The labor card is the identity proof given to all the expatriates working in the UAE. They must carry it with them at all times, as it holds some very important details. It includes the employee’s name, profession, contact number, nationality, expiry date, organization name, work permit number, and labor card number. In all, it is as important as your Emirates ID when living in the UAE.
While it may look small, and appear as just another card, it holds true importance. Let’s take a look at it in detail:
Labor cards cannot be given to any other person who wants to work in the UAE. Rather, there are a number of conditions that apply to employees and employers. If there is any gap, an employee can reach out to any reputed labor law firms like Davidson and Co legal consultants to help with the process and settling down.
In the case of employees, they should fall with the age bracket of 18-60 years. Along with this, they should have the necessary skills and academic qualifications for the country. Most importantly, the employee should be fit and free of any communicable diseases. For this, it is important to obtain a medical certificate from the host country. However, with the pandemic in place, the latest Covid-tests are necessary for travel.
Similarly, there are binding conditions for the employers. An employer should allocate a relevant salary to their employees with respect to their profession and experience. As for those who are no longer a part of the company, the employer should not keep the expired labor cards with themselves. This ensures they have a breach-free contract. Moreover, the employers should unify themselves with the ministry’s procedures and stay uniform with them.
For the application of a new labor car, the employee will have to get in contact with the labor sector department. This ministry provides a service to modify/renew work permits for the company that are valid for 2 years.
For the service procedure, all the required documents are scanned and printed at a service center or through the company that is involved with the ministry’s e-forms program. These documents include employee’s photo, company’s valid license copy, copy of entry visa, employee’s valid health certificate, copy of the signature card, 3 copies of the employment contract, on the condition that they should bear the signatures of the employer and employee with a company’s seal.
Upon the fulfillment of the form and documentation, they are thoroughly checked and verified. Inquiry services follow up application status and print the electronic employment contract and permit approval.
Keeping the Labor Card Safe
Once issued, the employee should keep the labor card safe with themselves. In addition to these, the below-mentioned points should also be noted, when applying for your labor card
- The labor card fee shall be included in the fee that has already been paid for receiving a work permit.
- An expat employee should be sponsored by the licensed company which is registered with the MOL (Ministry of Labor), now known as the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MoHRE)
- The labor card lasts for 2 years. And for government employees, the duration is 3 years. It is renewable for the same period only with the consent of the employee and employer. The labor card should be renewed within a period of 50 days from the date of expiry.
- If the labor card is not renewed within the given time period, then the employee has to pay the fee related to the labor card and employment contract.
- The recruited employee should receive a labor card within 60 days of his arrival in the country by the employer. If there is no labor contract issued, the employer will be accountable and the employee can notify the labor department in such cases so that the necessary measures will be taken by the employer. In this case, it’s the employer who pays the fine for the delay as mentioned in the UAE article 121.
- Along with the labor card, the Emirates ID and the residence visa will also be canceled and seized. After the entire process, the cancellation status of the labor card would be approved. After that, the employee will be given a grace period of 30 days to vacate the country.
Therefore, make sure to always carry it along, so if anyone questions you, you can safely show them the legal proof and stay out of trouble.
The labor process in the UAE is always improving, and getting better. With the labor cards in place, they are able to ensure that all the expatriates are working legally. In case of any trouble, the Ministry comes forth to help the workers. Therefore, it is equally important for the employees to ensure that their labor card is safe and valid, for continued support and benefit from the government and employees alike.