The United Arab Emirates has launched labor reforms to protect its foreign workers, who rights group claim are often abused by employers and prevented from trading jobs.
The UAE is one of the cities who has been criticized for its “oppressive labor laws”, according to campaign groups.
The focus on the old labor laws are on a sponsorship system known as “kafala.” It regulates entry and residence, and also requires foreign workers to seek permission from employers to change jobs. Labor Minister Saq Ghobash said starting January 2016, the UAE will take steps which would get rid of all practices associated with kafala. The labor reforms will strengthen the right to change jobs and prevent “involuntary labor.”
Reorganizing labor contracts would also stop the “substitution” where foreign workers sign one contract before leaving their home country then are compelled to renegotiate lower wages upon arriving in UAE.