If any Indian national faces any dispute with his employer/sponsor regarding non-payment of wages, leave, compensation, end-of service benefits, etc., they can contact the Labour Welfare Wing to sort out their problems. The officials of the Labour Wing try to sort out their problems by correspondence and through discussions with the employer/sponsor for an amicable settlement. If no agreement or settlement is reached through discussions with sponsor, the matter is taken up through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Even after that, if the matter remains unresolved, the Indian nationals have to file a case with the Labour Court concerned. It is always good for all Indian nationals to keep a copy of their contract with them to safeguard their interests.
Several administrative and operative measures have been put in place to enhance the protection and welfare of emigrant workers and avoid their exploitation by unscrupulous agents. These include:
(a) MADAD Portal
In pursuance of "Good Governance" initiatives, MEA launched an online Consular Grievances Management System named MADAD on 21 February 2015 to extend a helping hand to Indians abroad requiring consular assistance. All Indian Missions and Posts abroad and the MEA's Branch Secretariats in Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad and Kolkata, are associated with this portal for consular grievance tracking and follow-up. The MADAD portal represents a qualitative improvement over existing procedures for handling of consular grievances, through online forwarding, tracking and escalation until their eventual resolution. It allows direct registration of the grievances by the members of the public and effective tracking of the entire grievance handling process thereafter. MADAD incorporates several innovative features such as a flexible architecture to handle a variety of grievances, online filing and linking of similar grievances for easier retrieval and reference, automatic escalation and enhancement of priority, colour-coded dash boards for easy assessment and monitoring, and has an associated call centre to help illiterate grievants. A mobile App for MADAD has also been launched.
The e-Migrate project has been rolled out in all Protector of Emigrants (PoE) offices with effect from 25th September, 2014. The project is designed for facilitating emigration of ECR category emigrants going to notified countries for employment purposes. The project helps in making the recruitment of workers a smooth process and mitigates the scope for malpractices. E-Migrate provides the Ministry a comprehensive and online database of emigrants, Recruiting Agents and Foreign Employers to make the whole emigration cycle faster and transparent and allows authentication/verification of credentials of all the stakeholders. Its comprehensive database also auto detects foreign employers (FE) with complaint cases pending against them and alerts the Protector of Emigrants (PoE) officials at the time of clearances of new recruitment for these foreign employers, who could be placed on a watch-list/black-list based on past complaints. The e-Migrate system is also integrated with insurance agencies providing the Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana (PBBY) and it verifies the genuineness of the insurance policy details.
(c) Overseas Workers Resource Centre (OWRC)
The Centre has been operational since 2008 and provides information to intending migrants and overseas workers on all aspects of overseas employment including requirements to obtain a legitimate work permit/visa for employment abroad. A multi-lingual 24 × 7 toll-free helpline is operated by the Centre to disseminate information and provide counselling on issues related to overseas employment.
(d) Migrant Resource Centres (MRCs)
Five Migrant Resource Centres have been set up in Kochi, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Chennai and Lucknow to provide information and counselling for intending migrants on all aspects related to overseas employment. Functions of MRCs include informing walk-in applicants about the procedure for legal migration and precautions to be taken while migrating; dissemination of the status of Recruiting Agents and other service providers; kinds of difficulties that can be faced abroad by potential migrants etc. The OWRC is linked to the Migrant Resource Centres (MRCs).
Indian Workers Resource Centre (IWRC)
Indian Workers Resource Centers (IWRCs) are operational in Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Riyadh, Jeddah and Sharjah. They provide a 24X7 toll free multi-lingual help line, registration and monitoring of grievance petitions and facility to conduct awareness classes and counseling sessions to the needy Indians in the fields of legal, financial and medical needs in consultation with the Mission concerned.
Note: Visa related matters are outside the scope of the ‘Madad’ portal.
You have the option of contacting the Overseas Workers Resource Centre or any of four Migrant Resource Centres at the numbers given below:
Kindly contact the nearest Indian Consulate/Embassy along with a copy of all the relevant documents related to your employment, stating the reasons as to why you want to go back to India, so that the nearest Indian diplomatic Mission can assist you with your concerns. You can also register your grievance, along with a brief description of your problem, on the MADAD Portal (https://www.madad.gov.in ). This will provide you system-generated email updates whenever there is an update to the status of your complaint/grievance.
You can avail leave and airfare to India as per the terms and condition of your contract and also as per the consent your employer/sponsor. If you feel the terms of your contract are being violated, you can register your complaint/grievance on the MADAD portal (https://www.madad.gov.in ) or make a complaint against your Recruiting Agent (RA) on the e-Migrate portal. (https://emigrate.gov.in )
The leave admissible during the period of your contract and the number of air passages admissible to India should normally be specified in your contract. If you feel the terms of your contract are being violated, you can register your complaint/grievance on the MADAD portal (https://www.madad.gov.in ) or make a complaint against your Recruiting Agent (RA) on the e-Migrate portal. (https://emigrate.gov.in ). You also have option of approaching the local labour office/court or the nearest Indian Embassy/Consulate for assistance.
Your return passage to India should normally be paid by the foreign employer/sponsor. If, however, your return to India is due to a breakdown in the contract relationship, you may be eligible for airfare at government expense under some conditions. Such assistance is provided from the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) on a means-tested basis. Please approach the nearest Indian Embassy/Consulate to know more details.
The salary and accommodation details and the number of air passages admissible to India should normally be specified in your contract. In you feel the terms of your contract are being violated, you can register your complaint/grievance on the MADAD portal (https://www.madad.gov.in ) or make a complaint against your Recruiting Agent (RA) on the e-Migrate portal. (https://emigrate.gov.in ). You also have option of approaching the local labour office/court or the nearest Indian Embassy/Consulate for assistance.
In Qatar, an exit visa is mandatory to leave the country; only the employer/sponsor can normally arrange an exit visa. In cases of dispute, where the employer/sponsor is unwilling to arrange an exit visa, then you need to approach the Exit Permit Grievances Committee. You can also register your complaint/grievance on the MADAD portal (https://www.madad.gov.in ) or make a complaint against your Recruiting Agent (RA) on the e-Migrate portal. (https://emigrate.gov.in ) or approach the nearest Indian Embassy/Consulate for guidance.
Please be aware that, under Qatari laws, it is illegal for the employer/sponsor to retain your passport, except with your consent. You may approach the nearest Indian Embassy/Consulate for issue of a travel document. Please note that, in addition to the travel document, an exit visa may also be required to be obtained from the local Government. In Qatar, the Exit Permit Grievances Committee can help in such cases.
It is advised that first you take up the matter with your employer. Generally, it is advisable to complete the contract period. In exceptional circumstances, the nearest Indian Embassy/Consulate may be contacted for possible assistance. They may be able to intervene to help you reach an amicable settlement with the employer, if there is no case pending against you. You can also register your complaint/grievance on the MADAD portal (https://www.madad.gov.in ).
Usually, there is a provision in the employment contract for urgent leave. You should invoke that clause in your contract. If your employer does not agree, please approach your Recruiting Agent for intervention with the employer. The Exit Permit Grievances Committee can also help. If you face problems in this regard, please approach the Indian Embassy/Consulate concerned for advice/assistance. You can also register your grievance on the MADAD Portal - https://www.madad.gov.in .