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New e-system in place to recruit Indian workers

posted Apr 4, 2012, 9:29 PM by ABDUL SALEEM saleem   [ updated Apr 4, 2012, 9:35 PM ]
ABU DHABI — The UAE and India will activate a landmark electronic contract registration and validation system to safeguard and streamline the entry and employment of Indian workers in the UAE from the first week of May.

The new online registration system will provide workers the opportunity to review and approve the terms of the proposed work contract and working conditions prior to departing India and reporting to the job. It ensures full transparency of the contracting process and safeguarding the interests of the worker and the employer alike.

According to the Ministry of Labour (MoL), the system will ensure an informed consent of the worker by requiring a recruitment agency, duly accredited by the Indian government, make a copy of the draft contract available to the worker and attesting his/her approval of the contractual terms and conditions. The Indian agency concerned will access the contract and, upon approval of its terms, issue the emigration clearance.

In this regard, the Ministry of Labour and India’s Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs signed a protocol agreement at the MoL’s headquarters in the Capital on Wednesday.

This agreement emanates from a comprehensive UAE-India MoU on manpower, which was signed by Saqr Ghobash, UAE Minister of Labour, and Vayalar Ravi, Indian Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, in New Delhi on September 13 last year.

Ghobash said that the new system ensures that the prospective worker be duly informed by recruitment agencies of the terms of the contract, including the scope of remuneration and employment conditions and benefits, prior to departing to the UAE.

“We look forward to the full activation of the new system and to making it available to other labour sending countries in the future. We will have the opportunity to introduce and highlight it at the upcoming Second Ministerial Consultation of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue among Asian Countries of Origin and Destination, to be held in Manila on April 19,” Ghobash said.

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.

Addressing the Press conference, Vayalar Ravi hailed the agreement, which would further protect the interest of workers as well as the employers, as a leap in India-UAE relations in the field of labour employment.

The online contract registration system will be only applicable to employees whose passports fall under the category of Emigration Check Required (ECR), whereas for other professional and skilled people, the Indian government is devising another framework for registration, Ravi said.

“We have noticed complaints about labourers being exploited by recruitment agents in India who dupe them of money against providing an employment visa. A certain amount is okay, but charging up to Rs200,000 is wrong. We will take action against such unscrupulous agents,” Ravi said.

Ravi further 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 a seamless application of the respective rules and procedures of both countries.