UAE declares low-income workers must be given free housing

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Low-income workers in the UAE must be provided with free housing if their company hires more than 50 workers, according to a new government decree.

The ruling, which will take effect in December, applies to workers making less that $545 (2,000 dirhams) a month, state-run news agency WAM reported.

Housing for low-income workers - most of whom are male – will be regularly inspected by authorities, human resources minister Saqr Ghobash said.

“Experts spent several months studying the living conditions of those workers, who have been listed in the ministry’s classifications system as low-skill laborers,” he added.

“The ministry follows up on the workers’ housing via inspectional visits and takes legal action against violating facilities.”

Immigrants, many of them employed in low-skilled professions such as construction and domestic help, make up around 80 percent of the UAE’s population of 9.3 million.

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