UAE workers seek clarification of new labour laws

ABU DHABI // Many workers are still in the dark about how the new labour rules will affect them. They say they are stuck in low-end, low-paid jobs that they are overqualified for and are awaiting laws that will allow them to find more suitable employment. They claim shrewd employers are using the laws to […]

ABU DHABI // Many workers are still in the dark about how the new labour rules will affect them.

They say they are stuck in low-end, low-paid jobs that they are overqualified for and are awaiting laws that will allow them to find more suitable employment.

They claim shrewd employers are using the laws to keep them from leaving.

Muhammad Ghafari, a senior engineer, has been working for his present company for 10 months and recently received a better job offer.

“I got a good offer of a job that paid Dh18,000 but was concerned about the law and couldn’t understand the new rules, but I heard it supports employees.”

“My current private employer pays me Dh5,000 a month but I got a good offer lately from another company and I wanted to switch the job.”

The Pakistani, who has a university degree, wanted to hand his notice in but was afraid of the consequences.

“I plan to give my employer a month’s notice to leave the company and I hopes he agrees. Since the law is in place now I can negotiate with my employer to move,” he said.

According to the Ministry of Labour’s rules, the employee and employers can mutually terminate the contract, provided the worker has completed a period of six months.

Some workers, however, believed that the new rules should be better publicised.

“Rules are there on the Ministry of Labour website but we can’t properly understand it. It should be more simplified,” Mr Ghafari said.

For some workers, however, the new laws offered hope that they could amicably leave their current role.

Momin Khan used to earn Dh4,000 a month as foreman but currently drives a bus for Dh2,500.

“Due to family matters I had to discontinue the job for a year. When I came back I couldn’t get any job and agreed to drive a bus on a paltry salary of Dh2,500,” said Mr Khan.

“I am trying to get my old job back because I don’t like driving the bus and the salary is insufficient,” said Mr Khan, who worked as a foreman for 10 years.

anwar@thenational.ae

Source: uae news

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