What UAE gratuity payment is my maid entitled to?

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Our maid has been with us for four years. She is now requesting four years’ worth of gratuity money although she is not leaving the country yet. She says she needs a large sum for some kind of work at home in India. We are on good terms and want to help her, but are not sure what the law says about a gratuity payment to domestic staff as we have been told different things. We want to pay at least the amount legally required out of goodwill, so could you clarify please? WS, Dubai

The end of service gratuity is an allowance paid on leaving service to employees who are covered under UAE Labour Law, Federal law No 8 of 1980, and the relevant updates and amendments. Article 3 of this law states that the provisions of this law do not apply to several categories of employee and this includes ‘domestic servants in private households and similar occupations’. This means that someone employed as a maid is not legally entitled to receive a gratuity on ceasing employment and indeed, no employee has an entitlement to receive such a payment part way through their employment.

There have been laws enacted this year to protect the interests of domestic staff in respect of hours of work and paid holiday, but this makes no mention of any end of service payment. While not obligatory, it is not uncommon for employers of domestic staff to make such a payment on a voluntary basis when someone leaves service.

Source Credit: The National
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