Don’t send women on duty to places without toilets in UAE

It is the responsibility of the employer to provide basic amenities or arrange for basic facilities in the work place.

I work as an auditor for a Dubai-based Fortune 500 company. The employer often sends women employees, including me, to clients’ location, which do not have basic facilities for women, or to remote areas. I have often raised this issue with the employer asking him not to send female staff to locations, which do not have washrooms for them. Nevertheless, I have been forced to visit such client locations. On many occasions we were threatened that our professional development and career could be stopped if we raise our voices for basic rights. Kindly suggest as to what are the rules and work facilities for women as per the UAE law.

Pursuant to your queries, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide basic amenities or arrange for basic facilities in the work place. Your employer should advise its clients to provide basic amenities and facilities while its employees go to their location to perform their work. Further, an employer must take extra precautions regarding the safety of women and provide for their sanitation and amenities. This is in accordance with Article 29 of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regulating Employment Relations in the UAE (the “Employment Law'”), which states: “No women shall be employed on any job that is dangerous, arduous or detrimental to health or morals or on any other operations specified by order of the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) after consulting the competent authorities.”

Further, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide proper toilet facilities for its employees. This is in accordance with Article 94 of the Employment Law, which states: “Without prejudice to the provisions of the regulations and orders issued by the competent government authorities, an employer shall ensure perfect cleanliness and ventilation in each workplace with adequate lighting, drinking water and toilets.”

Further, while an employee is employed in remote areas the employer must take care of the facilities in such areas. This is in accordance with Article 101 of the Employment Law, which states: “Every employer employing employees in areas remote from towns and not connected with them by any normal means of transport shall provide his employees with the following services:

> Adequate means of transport

> Suitable living accommodation

> Drinking water

> Suitable food stuff

> First-aid facilities

> Recreation and sports facilities

The areas to which all or part of the provisions of this article apply shall be specified by order of the MoHRE. Except in the case of food stuff, the cost of services referred to in this article “shall be defrayed by the employer and shall be entirely free of charge to the employees.” In the event your employer continues to commit a breach of the provisions of the Employment Law, you may lodge a complaint against your employer with the MoHRE.

Know the law

Article 94 of the Employment Law, states: “An employer shall ensure perfect cleanliness and ventilation in each workplace with adequate lighting, drinking water and toilets.”

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