Domestic Workers Law in UAE: A Comprehensive Guide to Rights and Responsibilities

Awatif Mohammad Shoqi Advocates & Legal Consultancy | View firm profile


The UAE has embarked on a significant initiative to ensure equitable treatment for Domestic Workers through the implementation of Federal Decree-Law No. 9/2022 Concerning Domestic Workers and Cabinet Resolution No. 106 of 2022, outlining the Executive Regulations of Federal Decree-Law No. 9/2022, further refines the legal framework. Together, these legislative measures represent an essential step in regulating employment relationships, providing a comprehensive and structured framework that governs the recruitment and employment of Domestic Workers in the UAE.

Licensing Requirements and Obligations:

Article 4 outlines licensing requirements for Domestic Workers Recruitment Offices, emphasizing the need for Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) approval.

    • The law prohibits recruiting workers under 18 and specifies prohibited acts during recruitment.
    • Articles 6 and 7 authorise a formal contract, approved by the MoHRE, covering worker requirements, rights and obligations, financial obligations, and the recruitment process timeframe.
    • Recruitment Offices must inform workers about job details, refrain from charging commissions, conduct pre-employment medical examinations, and provide suitable accommodation.

Employment Conditions, Leaves, and Remuneration:

Article 9 of Federal Decree-Law No. 9 of 2022 and Articles 7 and 8 of Cabinet Resolution 106 of 2022 ensure that Domestic Workers receive a paid day off every week.

    • A daily rest period of at least 12 hours, including a continuous 8-hour sleep, is mandated.
    • Article 10 addresses leaves, entitling Domestic Workers to an annual leave of at least 30 days, with public holidays considered part of it.
    • For service periods exceeding 6 months but less than a year, 2 days per month are granted to the workers.
    • Employers shall pay round-trip airfare if a worker spends annual leave in their home country.
    • If work conditions require a Domestic Worker to work during their annual leave, the Employer may pay their Remuneration plus a leave allowance.
    • As per Article 15, the Remuneration of the worker must be a monthly payment in AED, and a Domestic Worker cannot be required to work during annual leave more than once in 2 consecutive years.

Sick Leave and Other Obligations:

    • A Domestic Worker may take a maximum of 30 days per year based on a medical report, with the first 15 days fully paid.
    • Remuneration is not payable if the illness results from the Domestic Worker’s misconduct.
    • Article 17 addresses the suspension of Remuneration during preventive detention.
    • The Employer and the Domestic Worker have responsibilities to notify the Ministry regarding absences and departures.

Obligations of Employer and Domestic Worker:

Article 11 and Article 12 detail the obligations of Employers and Domestic Workers, respectively.

    • Employers are responsible for paying the agreed Remuneration, covering medical treatment or health insurance, and providing necessary work requirements, accommodation, meals, and clothing.
    • Domestic Workers must carefully perform tasks, follow instructions, and respect societal customs.
    • The natural expiration of the term of the contract, if death or disability of the Domestic Worker, death of the Employer, conviction of the Domestic Worker, mutual agreement to terminate the contract, exhaustion of sick leave, and violations of contractual obligations.
    • The Employer is obligated to settle all financial entitlements within 10 days of the contract expiration.

Rescission of Contract:

Article 20 of the Federal Decree-Law No. 9/2022 allows either party to unilaterally rescind the employment contract for specified breaches.

    • If the Employer terminates the contract without attributing reasons, they must provide a return ticket and settle outstanding entitlements.
    • If the Domestic Worker ends the contract post-probation Period, reasons attributed to them incur varying obligations based on the recruitment method.

 End-of-Service Gratuity, and Dispute Resolution:

Article 22 authorizes the Council of Ministers to approve and distribute end-of-service gratuity systems for domestic workers. Dispute resolution mechanisms are outlined in Article 23, emphasizing amicable settlements through the Ministry, with the possibility of court referral if resolutions are not reached.

Inspection and Penalties:

    • Article 24 authorizes Ministry employees to monitor and inspect various aspects related to domestic workers.
    • Article 25 establishes administrative penalties for violations, outlined in the Implementing Regulation.
    • UAE courts’ jurisdiction to examine disputes arising from violations, with a 3-month timeframe for filing lawsuits.
    • Penalties outlined in Article 27 range from fines of AED 5,000 to AED 1,000,000 for various violations, including incorrect information provision, employment of unlicensed workers, and exploitation of electronic systems.
    • Imprisonment of up to 6 months and fines up to AED 100,000 are applicable for obstructing authorities and revealing work secrets.


The Domestic Workers Law in the UAE establishes a comprehensive framework to safeguard the rights and responsibilities of both Employers and Domestic Workers. Understanding this law is important for all parties involved in domestic employment relationships in the UAE.


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