Hiring Domestic Help in Dubai
No sooner have you unpacked the last box in your new home a plethora of house maids will be ringing on your door to offer their services. Do not rush into this – tempting as it may seem at this point in time, sweat still running down your back and your house looking like a bomb has hit it!
Think carefully what you will require the help for. Will it be just for part-time work a few hours a week or will you require a full time live-in maid? Interview a selection of maids, make sure you can communicate with each other. This is very important especially if they will be left alone with your children. Ask for references as it is always good to speak to their old employers even if they are now overseas.
There are a couple of ways of recruiting maids either by word of mouth, adverts on notice boards, community websites or by agencies. It is illegal to hire domestic help without a visa but there are many agencies available to hire part-time maids. Regularly the media publishes stories about residents being fined up to Dhs50,000 for hiring a housemaid because they did not sponsoring her.
Sponsoring a maid is a big monetary outlay so you want to make sure you recruit the right maid for your family otherwise that money will be wasted. Maids must be personally sponsored by the head of the family (called sponsor, and usually the male), whose salary is not less than 6,000 AED a month or 5,000 AED + accommodation. Bachelors are not eligible to sponsor a maid.
The employment of domestic help has been tightened up in recent years and as of 1 April, 2007 maids now require a new unified contract (called employment agreement for domestic workers and sponsors). This was put in place to regulate the rights and duties of domestic workers. The contract is valid for one year with options to renew. The contract governs vacation, air tickets, medical care and procedures, in case of breach of contract.
Domestic staff can only be employed from Sri Lanka (minimum age 23 years), Indonesia, India, Ethiopia, Bangladesh and the Philippines. Maids from India and Philippines have to be older that 30 and younger than 60. Minimum wages have also been set by the embassies of the domestic helpers and therefore differ according to nationality, for example Filipinos should be paid a minimum of 1,400 AED and Sri Lankans 825 AED but this is the minimum.
When sponsoring a maid you should first apply for the Residence Visa (employment permit to enter country) next the Medical Fitness Report (after the maid enters) and finally get the Residence Stamp on the Maid’s Passport and Issue of Domestic Worker Card. Click here to find out all the up to date details on costs and how to obtain a visa for your domestic help. In addition to all the documents required you will need to produce an accommodation contract showing minimum 2 bedroom apartment with Ejari attestation.
Maids visa’s are renewed annually for a fee of 5,080 AED plus medical test 325 AED. If there is a dispute between a maid and an employer then the case can be mediated by an arbitration service set up by the DNRD.
A maids visa can be canceled at any time however you will lose the money you paid on sponsorship. If the maid absconds the employer can report the case to DNRD and a ban may be placed on the individual in the event of a breach of contract or illegal activity. If there is a breach of contract the ban can not be appealed by the maid but the sponsor can however lift it. Click here to read about the new law that will regulate employer-employee contracts to ensure decent working and living conditions for the large number of domestic workers in the UAE.
Check out our Directory of Maid Agencies in Dubai