What you need to know about sponsoring a maid
Published on January 5, 2018
Looking to hire a full-time help? Here’s what you need to know.
- Domestic staff are not covered by laws enforced by the Ministry of Labour, but by the Ministry of Interior.
- You must prepare a contract for every live-in maid you employ, which should then be presented to and approved by the General Directorate of Residency & Foreign Affairs.
- There is a standard contract template you need to adhere to. You can get this either from the Ministry of Interior or via your prospective worker’s employment agency. This new standardized contract was brought in to streamline the legal process and safeguard the interests of both employer and domestic worker.
Contractual hours and time off
The contract covers aspects such as the type of work, degree of health care offered working hours, holiday time, air tickets provision and how disputes must be resolved.
- A maximum of eight hours per working day.
- A minimum of one day off per week.
- A fortnight’s annual paid leave. You would need to cover the cost of the airfare home.
- Should either party wish to terminate the contract, one month notice is required of both sides.
- At the end of the contract or if you wish to terminate the agreement beforehand, you as the employer, must bear the cost of the maid’s repatriation. If the maid wishes to terminate the contract prematurely, then she must buy her own ticket home. Further, if the worker moves on to a different employer in the UAE, her visa sponsorship must be transferred within four weeks of the original visa being cancelled.
- By 2016, it will be mandatory to provide health insurance for your domestic help.
- Minimum wages are stipulated by the worker’s embassy; these can be as little as AED 750 (Bangladesh) or as much as AED 1,468 (Philippines) per month.
As an employer, you’ll need to sponsor the maid, organize her visa and apply for her Emirates ID and Labour cards.
Bachelors are not eligible to sponsor a maid.
If the maid you wish to employ is already working with another family, make sure she gets the visa cancellation papers from them, so that a new contract can be drawn up. Also, always renew her visa it before it expires.
Documents required for residence visa include:
- Prepaid Application Form (from a Typing Centre)
- Your salary certificate in Arabic (government employee) or your labour contract (private employee)
- Copy of the sponsor and spouse’s passport (colour)
- Copy of the Tenancy contract: Minimum 2 bedroom apartment registered through Ejari
- A copy of the electricity and water bill in the name of applicant or spouse.
- Typed application form from authorised typing office
- Copy of the maid’s passport
- Maid’s passport photos (minimum 3)
- Affidavit from the embassy/consulate certifying non-relationship to sponsor and spouse, if maid hails from the same country.
- AED 6,000: Minimum salary required to sponsor a maid
- AED 5,000: Annual sponsorship fee
- AED 2,000: Deposit for visa application. This amount will be refunded when the visa is cancelled and maid leaves the country.
- AED 150/200: Fee for Emiratis/ expats for two-year/ one-year visa for a maid
- AED 350: Fees for medical and fitness tests
- AED 700+: Annual health insurance
Additional charges & fines
Aside from paying to draw up the contract, applying for visas, covering airfares, health insurance and holidays, there are also other costs such as agency fees and medical tests. Anyone attempting to sidestep all these different costs be warned; if you get caught you could face a fine of up to AED 100,000 as well as a possible prison stay or even deportation.