A unified job offer and employment contract will be recognized by the Philippine and UAE governments
DUBAI – The Philippines and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Labor Cooperation for the Overseas Filipino Workers (UAE) in the country.
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III and UAE Minister of Human Resources Saqr Ghobash inked the new MOU on Tuesday, September 12 in Abu Dhabi.
The MOU enhances the existing friendly relations between the two nations through labor cooperation by promoting mutual benefits and providing adequate protection of the OFWs in the UAE.
“Transparency to address contract substitution, among other, will be addressed by the MOU. This ensures effective implementation of the contract,” DOLE Secretary Bello III said.
Under the new MOU, a unified job offer and employment contract for the workers and the employers will be recognized by both the Philippine and UAE governments.
The Philippine government must observe the recruitment laws, procedures, and regulations. This includes physical and mental fitness of the workers, as well as informing their citizens about the laws, policies, cultures, and practices in the Philippines and the UAE.
The Philippine Embassy, Consulate, and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) are in charge of verifying job offers and contracts and assisting OFWs in distress.
The UAE government will also be enforcing and implementing the employment contract. It must uphold the rights of the OFW, including the rights and entitlements of workers in the UAE under the new UAE Labor Code and Law on Domestic Workers.
In the new signed MOU on Labor Cooperation, it includes an Annex that is a Protocol on Domestic Workers. It highlights recruitment and admission of OFW domestic workers to the UAE, in accordance with protective Philippine and UAE laws and regulations.
Under the newly-approved UAE Law on Domestic Workers Standard Employment Contract, it stated the following:
- Treatment of the worker that preserves personal dignity and physical safety
- Due payment and non-withholding of wages
- Twelve hours of daily rest
- One full day of weekly rest
- Decent accommodation
- Medical treatment
- Retention of identity documents, such as passports
- Non-payment of costs and fees on recruitment and deployment
- Non-payment of costs for repatriation
“With this MOU, OFWs in UAE will have stronger protection, and the firm assurance from both the PHL and UAE governments that protection will be the first order of the day,” the Philippine official added.
Aside from looking out of the welfare of OFWs, the two countries will also be cooperating with a collaborative administration of the contract employment cycle, including the use of information technology and exchange of information, strengthening regulations to combat human trafficking, and regulating recruitment agencies to enforce fair and transparent recruitment practices.