Bid to prevent exploitation of employees

Public Media | October 2003


Labour officials are planning to plug a loophole through which employers bring workers into the country for specific jobs – but instead put them to work in other kind of employment.

They also aim to prevent employers paying the workers less than promised in the employment contract. The two practices have caused a lot of disputes between workers and employers.

Ahmed Kajoor, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, said the ministry plans to make submitting job offers mandatory for the issue of work permits to protect rights of workers.

"Within a week or two, all employers will be asked to submit details of job offers along with their applications for work permits.

"In the beginning, applications for work permits will include optional details about the worker's job title, salary, accommodation, and other benefits. In the second stage, no work permits will be issued unless the job offers of the workers involved are submitted.

"The move will eventually lead to the issue of a single employment visa. This requires arrangements with the Naturalisation and Residency departments.

"The move will speed up the issuing of labour cards because all details of the job offers and applications for work permits are already approved by the employment visa committee.

"It will save effort and time for officials of the ministry and employers. It will eliminate disputes between workers and employers that arise because of discrepancy between job offers and the employment contracts.

"Now the ministry does not recognise job offers or any contract other than the employment contract attested by the ministry," Kajoor said.

Kajoor said the moves are part of the ministry's ongoing effort to improve services offered to the public and to better work environment.