KATHMANDU, April 26: Nepal and the United Arab Emirates were agreed to sign a revised labor agreement on Thursday.
The two sides reached the consensus during a two-day second Bilateral Technical Meeting on the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of Nepal and the Government of the United Arab Emirates on the Recruitment, Employment and Repatriation of Workers that was concluded on Thursday in Kathmandu.
“The MoU will be signed once the two governments approve the document,” Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security Ram Prasad Ghimire told Republica Online who led the Nepali delegation.
The MoU is expected to benefit as many as 225,000 Nepali migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates. Most of the Nepali nationals are ordinary workers engaged in construction, hospitality, farming and security service sectors in the Gulf nation.
Once it is signed, the MoU will officially replace the ‘Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Nepal and the Government of United Emirates in the Field of Manpower’ signed on 3 July 2007.
Here are the key takeaways of the proposed MoU between the United Arab Emirates and Nepal :
A) Within its jurisdiction the Government of the UAE will ensure that the worker does not have to pay any recruitment related costs and fees.
B) Employers will bear all the costs related to recruitment, employment and the residency of Nepali Worker in the United Arab Emirates including but not limited to recruitment agency fees, air ticket costs, insurance fees, visa fees, medical examination fees and all other recruitment related costs and fees.
C) The Government of the UAE shall ensure access to Labor Court for the Worker without any cost until the case is resolved. When the case is in the Court, the Worker is entitled to apply for a temporary work permit in accordance with the relevant Laws of the UAE.
D) The terms and conditions of employment of the Nepali Worker in the UAE shall be defined by an Employment Contract between the Worker and the Employer. The Employment Contract shall specify the basic employment conditions, and the rights and obligations of the Employer and Worker in accordance with the laws and regulations in force in the UAE.
E) The Government of UAE shall ensure that the employment offer shall indicate the job specifications, required qualifications, types of jobs for which recruitment is proposed as well as the terms and conditions of employment offered including wages, non-wage benefits, accommodation and transportation when applicable, end-of-service entitlement, and any other details required by the government of the UAE. All these details must be reflected unaltered in the Employment Contract.
F) The Worker is eligible to seek and obtain alternative employment when it is duly established that the Employer has failed to meet contractual or legal obligations to the Worker due to any reason including closure or winding up of business or if the worker is subjected to violation of any of his/her rights under UAE laws, without prejudice to the right of the worker to collect his/her dues from the employer and/or seek judicial redress. In such events, the Worker shall also have the right to return back to Nepal if he/she so desires. In such case, the Employer shall bear all associated costs.
G) Any amendments to the terms and conditions of the Employment Contract that are introduced by the government of the UAE in favor of the Worker shall be implemented without prejudice to the rights of either Worker or Employer as provided for in the contract in force at the time of commencement of the amendments.
H) The Government of the UAE shall uphold the rights of the Worker in the UAE pursuant to its laws and ensure that the worker is not subjected to unlawful discrimination. The government of the UAE shall also ensure the Worker receives fair and equal treatment compared to other foreign workers in the UAE on matters including wage protection, working conditions, grievance handling and access to justice.
I) The Government of the UAE shall ensure the safety, security and welfare of the Worker with due regard to the female worker.
J) The Government of the UAE shall ensure that the Worker is not subject to any form of unlawful treatment and is free to communicate with any third party.
K) The Government of the UAE shall ensure that the Worker is able to exercise his/her right to maintain possession of his/her personal identification documents.
L) In case of a complaint filed by a Nepali worker or communicated through diplomatic channel, the Government of the UAE should ensure that effective monitoring and inspection measures to be taken in order to resolve the issue.
M) The Government of the UAE shall ensure extensive and close oversight over the application of the existing wage protection systems to monitor timely payment of wages and other benefits. Besides, the UAE law has a provision of both work related insurance as well as medical insurance schemes that cover almost all the cases of accidents/injuries and sickness except personal negligence.