Legally speaking: Can employer in UAE charge you for cost of recruitment?

Estimated read time 2 min read

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Some employees in the UAE have taken to social media to raise complaints against companies or recruitment agencies charging them for the cost of their recruitment.

The so-called fees allegedly cover visa charges, airfare and employment processing fees. The practice is rampant among recruiters offering to secure jobs for blue collar workers.

“I found work as a cleaning lady, but my boss said that I have to pay for my employment visa, which will be deducted from monthly salary. Is this common practice?” a Dubai resident shared.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) has repeatedly emphasised that the practice of charging employees for the cost of their employment is illegal.

Any recruitment agency or company in the UAE that asks employees or job candidates for a fee is breaking the law. The UAE Federal Law specifically states: “The employer is prohibited from charging the worker for the fees and costs of recruitment and employment or collecting them from him, whether directly or indirectly.”

Violators face fines and prosecution in court. In some cases, the company can also be shut down for engaging in fraudulent activities.

MOHRE has urged the public to report violators to the ministry via their helpline number 80084 or through the MOHRE app. ICA/Expat Media

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