The United Arab Emirates has announced sweeping changes in its labor and visa rules that will ensure the better protection of workers’ rights and do away with bank guarantees for recruitment in the private sector.
Indian workers are expected to be among the major beneficiaries of the measures, which were approved by the UAE cabinet on Wednesday. The measures will also stimulate and diversify the UAE’s oil-dependent economies.
Eight moves to enhance the UAE’s economic competitiveness:
A new system in place to replace the bank guarantees required for private sector employees’ visas.
Release the current bank guarantees totaling AED 14 billion back to private sector companies.
Implement a new insurance system for private sector employees valued at AED 60 per year to replace the AED 3,000 bank guarantee per employee.
Facilitate the process for job seekers in the UAE and grant a six-month temporary visa without the fee.
Exempt transit tourists from entry visa fees for the first 48 hours of their stay.
Grant a two-year visa for talented and outstanding students.
Allow visa status adjustment without having to leave and re-enter the country.
Facilitate the voluntary departure of people overstaying their visa without incurring a ban.
Benefits for Indians:
Indian workers are expected to be among the major beneficiaries of the measures. These will go a long way in easing the financial burden on Indian workers, professionals, and entrepreneurs.
The low-cost insurance policy which replaces the bank guarantees will cut costs for employers and offer greater protection to vulnerable low-income workers.
The employee will have better protection as he or she can complain to the ministry of human resources and Emiratisation in the event of non-payment of minimum entitlements and then the ministry can draw on the insurance to provide a payout.
The insurance policy will cover an end of service benefits, holiday and overtime allowances, unpaid wages, return air ticket and cases of work injury, with the maximum payout capped at 20,000 dirhams per person. The current system of bank guarantees doesn’t cover entitlements such as gratuity and holiday allowances.