UAE law targets sexual harassment, forced labour
September 26, 2017 | 8:30 PM
by Reuters
An image taken from Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper, on May 21, 2013 shows part of Dubai's Marina. Photo - Files

Dubai: The United Arab Emirates issued a law on Tuesday to combat abuse of domestic staff, state news agency WAM said.

It includes prohibitions on sexual harassment, forced labour, and the employment of domestic workers under 18.

It also stipulates that workers are entitled to one paid day off each week, 30 days of paid vacation per year and up to 30 days of sick leave.

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan approved the law, which was praised by human rights organisations when its draft was passed by the country's legislative body in May.

The UAE relies heavily on migrant labour with an estimated eight million workers making up more than 80 per cent of its population, according to the International Labour Organisation.

Many of the dmestic workers come from southeast Asia.

The new law covers 19 service work occupations, including guards, parking valet workers, gardeners, domestic workers, cooks, and nannies, as well as private trainers, nurses, and drivers.

It is set to take effect two months after its publication in the official gazette.

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