Thursday, April 25, 2019

Nepal, UAE agree to seal revised labour deal

Nepal and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) today agreed to sign a revised labour agreement that is expected to benefit as many as 360,000 Nepali migrant workers, who are currently working in the UAE. The both sides also agreed on a draft of revised labour agreement that guarantees zero investment jobs in the Gulf country for Nepali workers.
The two sides reached the consensus during a two-day second Bilateral Technical Meeting on the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nepal and the UAE on Recruitment, Employment and Repatriation of Workers that concluded today, in Kathmandu.
The deal was signed by joint-secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS) Ram Prasad Ghimire and director of International Bilateral Relations under the Department of Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation of the UAE Abdullah al-Muaimi. According to the understanding, Nepali workers will not have to bear any financial burdens – whether cost or any fees – for jobs in the emirates.
The revised agreement that has put special stress on enforcement of wage protection system for Nepali workers will be tabled at the cabinet soon to approve it. "The MoU will be signed once the two governments approve the document,” Ghimire, who led the Nepali delegation, said, adding that once the new agreement is signed, it will officially replace the ‘MoU between the Government of Nepal and the Government of United Emirates in the Field of Manpower’ signed on July 3, 2007.
According to the proposed agreement, the Nepali workers will not pay any amount in cost or fees for jobs in the UAE. "The employer will be paying all the expenses on behalf of the worker,” the agreement reads, adding that employers will bear the cost of recruitment to the recruitment agencies, employment and residency of Nepali workers in the UAE. "The employers will bear all the costs related to recruitment, employment and the residency of Nepali worker in the UAE 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."
"The UAE government will ensure access to Labour Court for the worker without any cost until the case is resolved," it reads, adding that 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. "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 will 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, it further reads. "The UAE government will 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, Ghimire said, adding that the worker will be 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 or her rights under UAE laws, without prejudice to the right of the worker to collect his or 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 or she so desires. In such case, the employer will bear all associated costs."
Most of the Nepali migrant workers currently are ordinary workers engaged in construction, hospitality, farming and security service sectors in the Gulf nation.
The UAE government has also agreed to ensure the safety, security and welfare of the Worker with due regard to the female worker. "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," it reads, adding that the UAE will 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 or injuries and sickness except personal negligence.
Nepal, as the chair of the Colombo Process – a common regional forum of labour source countries – has put priority on securing zero cost jobs for its workers as well as reviewing the existing labour agreements and signing new deals with other destination countries lately. Likewise, the UAE has been one of the most-preferred labour destinations among the Gulf countries for Nepali migrant workers for its better treatment, remuneration among other facilities. 

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