Information if you face problems at work – example of UAE
The spectrum of Pakistani migrant workers in UAE includes low skilled, semi-skilled and others in several professions in UAE. UAE in the recent decades has been a very lucrative market for Pakistani migrant workers.
Living overseas as a migrant comes with its own set of challenges, this range from homesickness to serious issues like visa substitution, abuse at the hands of the employer etc.
It is very important to for the intending migrants and migrants to know their rights and responsibilities in the destination countries. They should also have an understanding of what avenue are available to them in the destination countries to redress their concerns and what help is available to them from the country of origin/ home country.
If your employer violates the terms and conditions of your employment, you can file a complaint with the UAE Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (to proceed with the application filed with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, you must pay 100 dirhams as registration fee).
In case the employer and/or employee are not happy with the decision of the Ministry, the issue can be taken to the local and federal courts.
Any issue related to employment contracts, wages, working hours, leave, safety and protection, medical and social care, labour inspection, occupational diseases, penalties and employment can be taken to the local and federal courts.
Workers employed in the free zones (where businesses are registered with the Free Zone Authority and not with the UAE Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs) are sponsored by the free zone management and not by their employer. Hence, in case of complaints, they can file their applications against their employers to a court. Your employer can only dismiss you for a serious reason, such as theft, physical assault, drug use or being absent from work for seven consecutive days without informing the employer or not providing a valid reason.
Before your employer can dismiss you from work, he must first give you a warning letter and must conduct a domestic enquiry.
The UAE Labour Law does not permit workers to create unions, bargain collectively or strike. Anyone who tries to form a union can be dismissed, imprisoned or, in the case of migrant workers, deported. So abstain from participation in any such initiative (even though it goes against your rights as a worker generally; it is not your right according to UAE law).
Make sure you keep photocopies of personal documents, including passport, visa and employment contract with you in the UAE. If you have a mobile that takes photos, you can also take pictures of all your documents in case your hard copies are lost.
Stay in regular contact with your family. Tell your family the name, telephone number and address of your employer. Agree that if they do not hear from you within a certain amount of time they must seek help from local authorities. Make sure your family has details and copies of your identification documents (passport, visa number and work permit) and your contract. Also, provide them with copies of your insurance certificate and Overseas Pakistanis Foundation membership card (which is issued on demand) that you have obtained after registering with the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment.
If you experience any problems in UAE, you may also seek the help of the police, the Pakistani embassy in UAE
The contact details of the Consulate in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are given below
CONSULATE GENERAL OF PAKISTAN DUBAI (U.A.E)
Chancery Address: Umm Hurair One, Khalid Bin Waleed Road, Bur Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone No: (+971-4) 3973600, (+971-4) 3970412
Fax: (+971-4) 3971975
Pakistani Embassy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Plot No: 2, Sector W59
United Arab Emirates
Telephone: (+971) (2) 444 7800
FAX: (+971) (2) 444 7172
Complaint Cell- Overseas Pakistanis Foundation
The issues/problems of overseas Pakistanis working abroad vary from country to country. However, mostly the problems are work related in Middle Eastern/Gulf countries. In order to resolve the complaints of overseas Pakistanis; OPF Complaint Cell was established in June, 2001. The complaints are received through the following sources:
- Prime Minister’s Office
- Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & HRD
- Pak Missions Abroad
- OPs Grievance Cell Supreme Court of Pakistan
- Directly from the OPs through post, e-mail, fax, Online Complaints Management System and personal visits.
- OPF registered members are eligible for services offered by OPF.
- Overseas Pakistanis who are not registered can obtain membership.
Overseas Pakistanis are advised to submit their complaints with complete details and documentary proof as per area of jurisdiction pertaining to their complaints for early resolution of grievances to minimize time gap before initial action.
During the year 2017, 1225 complaints have been registered with OPF for appropriate action and about 383 cases have been settled and rest are being pursued with concerned departments.
1. LAWYERS PANEL FOR OVERSEAS PAKISTANIS
In order to speed up the process and provide relief to the Overseas Pakistanis in pursuing their cases, especially pertaining to illegal occupation of land by Qabza Groups/Land Mafia property disputes and family matters etc. OPF offer services of some well reputed, experienced and dynamic lawyers on OPF Lawyers’ Panel. The Overseas Pakistanis may contact these lawyers directly and mutually settle the terms and conditions for pursuing their cases and also inform OPF so that OPF will monitor these cases. The list of lawyers is available on the OPF website.
Personal intervention by OPF officials to resolve the complaints.
2. NEW MEASURES
Keeping in view the needs of Overseas Pakistanis, Police Officers in 05 Divisions & Additional Commissioners in 09 Divisions have been nominated as focal persons in Punjab Province. Likewise Facilitation Centre for Overseas Pakistanis (FCOP) established at DCO Office Jhelum w.e.f. May 2014.
For AJ&K, the office of the Chief Secretary (AJK) at Islamabad has been declared as focal point which issues directives to Officers in 10 Districts being the focal persons.
For Sindh Province AIGP (Operation) Karachi and last but not least, in KPK, all Addl. Deputy Commissioners are the focal persons.
Register yourself on OPF web portal for launching complaints. Please click on button below.
You can monitor the status of your complaint by logging in to your account.