UAE announces labour reforms to protect foreign workers
â€œWe want to close the door on those who trick the simple worker,â€ Emirati Labour Minister Saqr Ghobash told a press conference in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
The new measures, which will remove practices associated with a sponsorship system known as â€œkafalaâ€ will allow foreign workers to terminate their contract and change employer.
The kafala system not only regulates entry and residence, but also requires that workers seek permission from employers to change jobs.
Ghobash said that from January 2016, the UAE would take steps which, when completed, would get rid of â€œall the practices that were associated with kafala.â€
He said that under a new system, in which workersâ€™ contracts would be lodged with the labour ministry rather than with employers, who currently hold the documents, â€œinvoluntary labourâ€ would be prevented.
â€œThe worker cannot, under any circumstances, be made to, or otherwise be compelled, to remain in an employment relation,â€ a ministry statement said.
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