EMPLOYMENT OF FOREIGNERS IN THE MALDIVES by idv45773

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									EMPLOYMENT OF FOREIGNERS IN THE MALDIVES

PRESENT STATUS


Who needs a Work Permit …

Any foreigner who is offered a job in the Maldives must obtain a work
permit before taking up employment. The only exceptions are foreigners
married to Maldivians who holds a marriage visa from the Department of
Immigration and Emigrations and foreign diplomats holding a diplomatic
visa.


Who should apply …

The prospective employer must apply to the Ministry of Higher
Education, Employment and Social Security for a work permit before
employing the foreigner.


How to apply …

The employer must engage a registered employment agency to recruit the
foreign worker. However, it is optional for the employer to make the
application through an employment for the following sectors:

    1. Medical professional working at Health Sectors
    2. Teaching professionals working at Education Sectors
    3. Consultants and specialists coming under a temporary work
       permit.


Steps to follow …

1. Obtaining a quota:

#     All employers, excluding the government, employment of domestic
      servant and sports professionals employed with sports clubs or
      associations, must obtain a quota to recruit a foreigner before
      applying for the work permit.
#    Before the application is made for a quota, the employer must
     advertise the vacancies on a local newspaper for three consecutive
     days. If the foreign worker is to be employed outside Male’, the
     advertisement has to be made in the island where the foreign
     worker is designated to work. In such cases advertisement has to
     be made through the atoll office or the island office. It is essential
     that the advertisement contain the following basic information.
     - Job title
     - Basic Salary and other remuneration including overtime
     - Work site
     - Minimum qualification required
     - Working hours
     - Arrangement made to provide food
     - Benefits such as medical, transport, and accommodation
        arrangements
     - Contact numbers of the employer

#    Quota application forms are available free of charge from any of the
     registered employment agency or can be downloaded from the
     Ministry’s website. ( www.employment.gov.mv )

#    Quota application will generally be processed between 5 - 15 days

#    An approved quota which is not utilized for 3 months will
     automatically be cancelled without further notice.

#    Quota application must be filled and submitted along with relevant
     documents as stated overleaf on the application form.

2. Obtaining a W ork Permit:

#    Once the quota is approved the employer needs to obtain a work
     permit ( prior approval ) before the foreigner arrives to Maldives for
     employment which has to be submitted to Immigration authorities
     at the Airport for necessary Immigration clearance.

#    The work permit application forms are available from all registered
     employment agencies or can be downloaded from the Ministry’s
     website.

#    The completed forms should be submitted to the Work Permit
     Section with the following documents.
     - A copy of the passport data page ( should have a validity of minimum 12
         months from the date of application )
     -   A copy of the residential registry ( only for domestic servants )
     -   A copy and the original National Identity Card of the employers
         and if the employer is living on rent, a court endorsed copy of
         the agreement made between the owner of the house and the
         employer (only for domestic servants )
     -   Copy of the company certificate or the certificate of the
         Investment
     -   Educational and experience papers
     -   Letter of appointment
     -   Other relevant documents
     -   Security deposit

#    Normally 2 days will be taken to process th e work permit.




3. Obtaining the Work Permit Card:

#    The employer then applies for the work permit card before 15 days
     after the arrival of the worker.

#    The following documents are required when applying for the work
     permit card
     - The first copy of the work permit
     - Original employment contract ( to submit on demand only )
     - Employee passport ( to be checked and returned )
     - 2 stamp size photos of the employee
     - A valid medical report from a recognized in the Maldives
     - Work permit fee for one month ( mrf250/- )

#    Normally 2 - 3 days will be taken to process the Work Permit card.

#    If the employer does not apply for the work permit before 15 days
     of the workers arrival but applies after 30 days, the employer will
     be asked to pay a fine of MRF25.00 on per day basis from the 16th
     day till the date of submission and the application will be accepted.
     However if the employer does not apply before 30 days, the
     Ministry has the right to reject the application and repatriate
     worker. In such cases the employer shall be fine with MRF75.00
     from the 16th day of the workers arrival to Maldives on per day
     basis till the date of departure. If the employer fails to settle the
     fine before the date of agreement to settle the fine, the employer
     shall be suspended from granting new foreign quota and issuing
     new work permits from an existing quota.
4. Work Permit Collection:

#     All documents pertaining to expatriate employment can be
      collected by the employer himself or by a person assigned by him
      legally. Or by an Employment Agency designated by the employer.


5. Work Permit Renewal:

      When to renew…

#     Normally a work permit should be renewed before the expiry of the
      current work permit.

#     The work permit renewal forms are available from all registered
      employment agencies or can be downloaded from the Ministry’s
      website.

#     The completed forms should be submitted to the Work Permit
      Section.

#       If the employer does not apply for the renewal of the work permit
before its expiration, the employer will be asked to pay a fine of
MRF25.00 on per day basis from the date of expiration till the date of
submission and the application will be accepted. However if the employer
does not apply within 30 days after the expiration of the work permit, the
Ministry has the right to reject the application and repatriate worker. In
such cases the employer shall be fine with MRF75.00 from the date of
the expiration of the work permit on per day basis till the date of
departure. If the employer fails to settle the fine before the date of
agreement to settle the fine, the employer shall be suspended from
granting new foreign quota and issuing new work permits from an
existing quota.


      What documents to bring …

#     The work permit application forms are available from all registered
      employment agencies or can be downloaded from the Ministry’s
      website.
#    The completed forms should be submitted to the Work Permit
     Section with the following documents.

     -   The original work permit ( issued to recruit the worker )
     -   A valid medical report
     -   The workers passport ( should have a validity of minimum    12 months from
         the date of application )
     -   2 stamp size photos
     -   A valid contract ( to submit on demand )
     -   An authorization letter from the employer if a representative is
         coming on behalf of the employer

#    Normally 3 days will be taken to process the work permits
     extension

6. About Security Deposit:

#    All expatriates who come for employment in the Maldives are
     entitled to keep a refundable security deposit with the Ministry of
     Higher Education, Employment and Social Security. The purpose
     of the deposit is to repatriate the expatriate when required. A
     percentage of the amount of the single airfare to the home country
     of the expatriate has to be kept as a security deposit when
     applying for the work permit. The deposit is calculated as follows:
     - 100% of the single airfare for the employment of expatriates
        between 1 and 15
     - 75% of the single airfare for the employment of expatriates
        between 16 and 35
     - 50% of the single airfare for the employment of expatriates
        between 36 and above

#    Payment for the security deposit can be made through the
     following methods:
     - Cash deposit
     - A bank guarantee made on behalf of the employer or the
         designated employment agency

#    All deposits should be made by US dollars.

#    With a written request made by the employer the deposit can be
     refunded when the work permit is cancelled and the expatriates
     leave the country.

7. Work permit fee:
#    All foreign workers who holds a valid work permit must pay a
     monthly work permit fee of MRF250.00.

#    The employer is responsible to pay the fee to this Ministry on
     behalf of the worker.

#    The employer must ensure that the work permit fee for minimum
     one month is paid in advance before the current date of payment
     is expired. Failure to do so will be asked to pay a fine of MRF25.00
     on per day basis till the date of the new payment.

#    All payments regarding work permit has to paid by a bankers
     check except for the following sectors.
     - Domestic servants
     - Attendants attending a sick person
     - Drivers employed only for domestic purpose

#    Work permit fee can only be paid up to the maximum period of the
     work permit. Work permit has to be renewed before the payment is
     made.

#    The Ministry has the right to reject any work permit applied for
     renewal if the work permit is found expired. In such cases the
     Ministry will cancel the work permit and inform the employer to
     repatriate the worker.

#    Any repatriation made in connection with an expired work permit
     is subject to a quota suspension for a period of one calendar year.
     The employer is also responsible to settle all outstanding payments
     that the worker has to pay to the government including work
     permit fee, overstay and related fines till the date of departure of
     the worker.


8. Work Permit Cancellation:

#    When to cancel the work permit…..
     - When the worker ceases employment in the Maldives

#    Who to cancel the work permit….
     - The employer must complete the cancellation forms and submit
       to the Ministry. The forms are available from all the employment
       agencies and it can be downloaded from the Ministry’s website.

#    Where to go for the cancellation of the work permit….
      -   The employer must submit the forms to the cancellation
          counter of the Labour Section of the Ministry.

#     What documents to bring……
      - The workers passport
      - The original work permit
      - A copy of the confirm air ticket for the worker to leave Maldives
      - Termination letter issued to the worker
      - A copy and the original National Identity Card of the employer

#     The employer must ensure that all financial dues from the worker
that has to be paid to the government regarding his/her stay in the
Maldives is settled before the work permit is applied for cancellation.

9. Change of management/worksite/occupation:

# A valid or a vacant quota is required

# Except change of worksite and occupation within the same employer,
to change the management or employer, it is required to have a
minimum of 30 days validity on the work permit when applying for the
service.

# It is required to complete the set of forms designated when requesting
for the service. Forms are available with all the employment agencies and
can be downloaded from the Ministry’s website

# A fee of MRF50.00 shall be charged for providing this service.

10. Short term or temporary work permit:

# Short term or temporary work permit is issued only for technical and
professional jobs. No quota is required to obtain a short term or
temporary work permit.

# A work permit fee of minimum MRF250.00 per month has to be paid by
the employer when applying for the permit.

# This permit is issued only for a maximum period of 3 months from date
of issuance of the work permit. In the event that the employer require
having the services of the worker for more than 3 months, the employer
shall be liable for a fine of MRF75.00 on per day basis from the date of
the expiry of the 3 months period till the date of the departure of the
worker.

11. Missing worker:
# The employer must inform the Ministry within 7 days when a foreign
worker if found missing.

# A mandatory 30 days shall be given to the employer by the Ministry to
find the missing worker.

# During this period the employer must inform Department of
Immigration and Emigration about the missing worker. And it is
mandatory to the employer to make an announcement over the public
television, radio and use the print media to find the worker.

# After the mandatory 30days the employer can submit for the
cancellation of the work permit of the missing worker.

# The following documents has to be submitted for the work permit
cancellation.
      - passport
      - original work permit
      - evidence of proof of the announcement made

# The work permit shall be cancelled only when all outstanding work
permit related dues are settled.

# After the cancellation of the work permit, the Ministry will forfeit the
security deposit paid for the worker. In the case that there are no
sufficient funds on the security deposit to repatriate the worker, the
employer must top up the balance amount required.

# The forfeited security deposit will be used to repatriate the worker
when found. However if the worker is found illegally working, the person
who employed will have to bare the cost to repatriate the worker.

# When a foreign worker is declared missing or lost, his/her status
becomes illegal. Employment and deployment of a missing worker is a
serious offense. The penalty for such an offense is long term suspension
in granting foreign manpower quota and a fine depending on the number
of missing workers employed or deployed.

             he foreign worker shall face a maximum 10 years of
# When found t
deportation.




12. What to do when a work permit card is lost or misplaced:
# The employer must inform the Ministry once a work permit is found
lost or misplaced.

# Forms for this service can also be downloadable from the Ministry’s
website or can get from a registered employment agency.

# The Ministry will charge the employer with a fine of MRF200.00 and re -
issue a new work permit.




13. Important tips for the employer to remember:

# Make sure the foreign worker is well aware of the work he/she has to
do when employed.

# Explain all laws of the country and the rules and regulations of the
company or the place of work site to the worker well in advance that the
worker has to adhere during the period of his service.

# Sign a written contract with worker before he or she begins work.

# Make sure all wages are paid regularly as agreed.

# Ensuring that the worker does not engage in any form of employment
other than that stated in the work permit card.

# Ensuring that the worker does not engage in any form of free – lancing
arrangements or self – employment.

# Resolving all employment –related disputes with the worker amicably.

# Paying the work permit fee as required by the Foreign Employment
Regulation of the Maldives and validating the work permit before the
current work permit is expired.




14. Important tips for the foreign worker to remember:
# Read and understands the nature of work to be done and make sure to
sign on the appointment letter before coming for work.

# Make su re all proper documentations are completed including
obtaining the work permit before coming for work.

# After arrival to the Maldives, make sure to complete the following
formalities:
      - sign an employment contract with the employer and keep a
          copy of the contract.
      - undergo a medical check up from a government approved
          medical center or a hospital in Maldives.
      - obtain the work permit card from the Ministry and keep the
          card with the worker at all times during the period of service in
          Maldives.

# Any claim or complaint regarding salary matters should be referred to
this Ministry within 30 days of the date the salary is due to be paid.

15. Illegal employment and deployment of foreign workers:

# Under the present employment regulation of foreign workers,
employment of foreigners in the Maldives without obtaining a work
permit is considered illegal. The penalty for illegal employment and
deployment of foreign workers are:

      - fine of MRF1000.00 on per worker basis for employing and
      deploying foreign workers between 1 worker and 10 workers
      - if the number of workers illegally working exceeds more than 10,
      the fine is MRF25000.00

and

      - if the foreign worker is on a tourist visa, he/she shall be
      repatriated at the expense of the person who employed them
      illegally. Or
      - if the foreign worker is already a work permit holder, he/she shall
      be repatriated at the expense of the original employer

# In addition to this the quota allocated for the foreign workers shall be
cancelled and the person who deployed the workers shall be suspended
in granting new quota for a minimum period of 12 months.


16. Labour Relations and dispute settlement:
# The Department investigates claims and complaints on salary matters
and other terms and conditions of employment in respect of all
employees other than seamen.

#Any complaint or a claim with regard to a dispute between the worker
and the management can be lodged to the Labour Relations department
of this Ministry.

# Special forms called “CLAIM FORM” are available on the Ministry
website which is downloadable.

# Before the claim or complaint is lodged the Ministry advise to:

      -   firstly to resolve the matter amicably between the management
          and worker.
      -   Secondly to refer to the respective employment agency ( only for
          foreign workers )
      -   Finally to lodge the matter to Labour Relation Department.

# The Labour Relation Department will then investigate the case and look
into the possibilities to conciliate and mediate the case.

# If the matter is resolved during the conciliation and mediation process,
the matter is considered closed. Otherwise the Labour Relation
Department will advise to refer the matter to a legal court.

17. Important telephone numbers:

# Work permit Section

      -   foreign manpower quota:     3317172     ext:   145
      -   work permit application:    3317172     ext:   133
      -   work permit renewal:        3317174     ext:   134
      -   work permit cancellation:   3317174     ext:   135

# Labour Relations and Compliance Section


      - inspection on illegal foreign workers:    3317379      ext: 107
      - labour disputes:                          3317379      ext: 109

								
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