Thursday 5 April 2012

AE and India to Activate an Electronic Contract Registration and Validation System to Stremline the Employment of Indian Contract Workers

The UAE Ministry of Labour and India’s Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs today signed a protocol at Abu Dhabi to streamline the admission of Indian contract workers by way of an electronic contract registration and validation system. A milestone in the efforts to upgrade rules and procedures governing contract employment of Indian nationals in the UAE, the new system heralds a joint endeavour by the UAE and India. 
Mr. Saqr Ghobash, UAE Minister of Labour underlined the commitment of the UAE to exemplary co-operation with India in a range of areas, including the employment of Indian contract workers in the UAE, whose number has grown to approximately 1.7 million. In particular, the new system ensures the full transparency of the contracting process by mandating that the prospective worker be duly informed by Indian government-accredited recruitment agencies of the terms of the contract offer, including the scope of remuneration and employment conditions and benefits, prior to deploying to the UAE. Mr. Ghobash further elaborated that the system requires that the worker signs off on the terms of the contract and that the competent Indian government authorities approve these terms before the admission process is completed and a work permit is issued. These same terms are then electronically captured into the formal employment contract that is signed by worker and employer in the UAE. He stressed the importance of safeguarding and protecting the interests of both workers and employers under the provisions of the UAE Labour Law.

Shri Vayalar Ravi, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs hailed the protocol, which would protect the interest of workers as well as the employers, as a leap in India-UAE relations in the field of labour employment. He stated that the protocol underlines the commitment of the Indian Government to the protection and welfare of the Indian workers in the UAE, in accordance with UAE legislation. Thanking the Ministry of Labour of UAE Shri Ravi said the new system safeguards the interests of workers and employers alike by validating the contract conditions of the Indian worker in the UAE. The Minister said that India is implementing a comprehensive e-governance system towards making the process of overseas deployment of Indian workers transparent and accessible to all stakeholders. The Contract Registration and Validation System is fully aligned with India’s e-governance system, allowing for a seamless application of the respective rules and procedures of both countries. He cited many projects undertaken by the Indian government to ensure welfare and protection of the Indian workers. Shri Ravi stated that the interests of workers and the employers are complementary and that the new protocol is a commitment of both the governments to jointly work towards the same.

The new system is activated by an online application by a UAE employer for the granting of work permits that requires disclosure of the key terms of the employment offer. The UAE Ministry of Labour processes the application and provides access to the electronic record to Indian government-accredited recruitment agencies in India that are then required to obtain the worker’s attested consent; a duly designated Indian government agency also accesses the record for the purpose of reviewing the terms of the employment and granting an emigration clearance accordingly. This is followed by the registration of the electronic contract and the issuance of the work permit by the Ministry of Labour of UAE .

This protocol emanates from a comprehensive UAE-India Memorandum of Understanding on Manpower, which was signed by Shri Vayalar Ravi, Minister of overseas Indian Affairs and Mr. Saqr Ghobash, UAE Minister of Labour in New Delhi on September 13 last year.

The protocol mandates the informed consent and approval by the worker, the employer and the Indian competent authorities of the full terms of the work contract prior to the worker’s deployment to the UAE. The contract terms are, in turn, captured in the contract document that is eventually signed by worker and employer in the UAE and duly registered with the Ministry of Labour of UAE.

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