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UAE clamps down on illegal recruitment activity

Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation discovers 55 recruitment firms operating without a licence in the UAE.

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55 entities have engaged in recruitment activities without obtaining the required permits.
The UAE Ministry imposed administrative penalties on the violators, including fines.
The law states that violators could face no less than a year’s imprisonment

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The UAE is clamping down on illegal recruitment activity and warns of fines of up to £200,000 against firms operating without a licence.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has detected 55 entities engaging in recruitment and mediation activities without obtaining the required permits from the Ministry in 2023, including five social media accounts that were identified in collaboration with the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA).

The UAE Ministry imposed administrative penalties on the violators, including fines, restrictions in the Ministry’s records, and referral to the Public Prosecution, while the violating social media accounts were blocked.

UAE recruitment warning

 The Federal Decree-Law Regarding the Regulation of Employment Relationships prohibits recruitment or temporary employment of domestic workers without a permit from the Ministry.

The law states that violators could face no less than a year’s imprisonment and/or fines ranging from AED200,000 (£43,400) to AED1m (£200,000).

Khalil Al Khoori, Undersecretary for Human Resources Affairs at MoHRE, said: “Legislation prohibits engaging in recruitment and mediation activities without obtaining the required permits from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, in line with the procedures and conditions outlined in the Federal Decree-Law Regarding the Regulation of Employment Relationships, its Executive Regulations, and all relevant Ministerial Decisions.

“The Ministry is committed to enforcing legal measures and penalties against any company proven to be involved in such activities without proper licensing.”

He highlighted the effectiveness of the MoHRE’s inspection systems in flagging violations, especially through the proactive detection of parties advertising recruitment or mediation activities, cross-referencing their data in the Ministry’s records, and taking legal action against those practicing without the necessary permits in the UAE.

The Ministry also carries out inspection visits to suspected companies to flag unlawful practices and refer cases of violation to the Public Prosecution.

Al Khoori said: “The inspection systems track promotional and advertising campaigns circulated on social media, or any other platform, to identify potential violations in the job market”.

Al Khoori called on community members to verify that entities advertising employment or mediation services have obtained permits from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation before engaging with them to ensure their rights and avoid attempts at defrauding them.

He encouraged the community to report violations and illegal recruitment practices to the Ministry’s call centre at 600 590 000 or via the UAE MoHRE smart application.

TDRA Director-General Majed Al Mesmar, said: “The Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority is committed to its central role in regulating the telecommunications sector and enabling digital transformation, which requires us to always be prepared to take on any tasks that resonate with that role, in line with the ‘We the UAE 2031’ vision, which strives to establish the most prosperous society.”

He added: “We are dedicated to supporting national efforts and make sure to respond to all requests we receive from various sectors and entities, including our partners at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, who play a pivotal role in maintaining stability in the labour market and creating an environment that catalyses economic development.”

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