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Soaps and playgrounds for laborers
The UAE has passed new guidelines, effective from September, which will set out the standards expected from labor accommodation in the country.
June 8, 2009 11:26 by Aarti Nagraj
The UAE Cabinet has just issued a new decision to “protect workers’ rights and improve the standards of workers’ accommodation in line with international standards.” The decision approves the Manual of the General Criteria for the Workers’ Accommodations, which will be implemented from September this year.
The new manual says, “It is essential for the facility owner to assign a minimum of three square meters in each room to accommodate a bed, side table and wardrobe for each worker living in the complex. The number of workers allowed in each room should not exceed eight to ten, with a commitment to provide individual space for each one of them.”
The bathrooms have to be located at a distance of up to 100 feet from any bedroom or kitchen, and there must be one bathroom with two toilets for every eight people, says the manual. If there are shared bathrooms, a single shower area should be provided for every eight people.
“The employer should maintain the bathrooms’ cleanliness and equip them with full amenities such as soap, mirrors, towels, clothing ties, toilet paper and reservoirs,” it says.
The labor accommodation units and floors have to be built from concrete or brick walls, and 35- 40 percent of the total complex area has to be used for “entertainment, parking, yards, walkways and green spaces.” Each accommodation complex should have its own mini market and playgrounds.
“To ensure workers’ health and safety, each accommodation must include its own medical clinic equipped with full services, with medical practitioners available 24×7 including religious and national holidays,” the manual states, adding that the accommodation has to be “a safe distance” from sources of environmental pollution and noise.
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