Maid-hiring agencies managed by private individuals and operating in the United Arab Emirates will be closed from March this year. This was told by UAE minister of human resources and Emiratisation Nasser Al Hamli to members of the Federal National Council on January 19.
He said residents and citizens would have to turn to the government-owned Tadbeer centres for hiring of domestic workers as the remaining 10 private recruitment agencies will be shutdown latest by March.
“We recently had a meeting with Tadbeer centres to lower their operational costs. We will revise their fees every year to make them more competitive,” the minister said. Now, over 240 private domestic workers recruitment agencies have been sacked after 30 years of being in operation. These private agencies have been identified as having been responsible for bringing workers illegally into the country on working visas. These workers who are untrained for the job are sent to work as housemaids with no guarantee that they’d stay with their employing families.
According to Deputy Speaker of the Federal National Council, Al Rahoomi, who spoke extensively on the issue, these private agencies often referred to as ‘black market’ did not offer protection for the rights of the maids or even the employers.
Sacking these private agencies will also see a drop in the fees and charges of the Tadbeer centres and an improved service delivery as the existence of the black market who offered poor services affected the operations of the Tadbeer centres. With this on the offing, new set of regulations that give value to and reverence for human rights are expected to be rolled out by the government.