New UAE Labor Laws for Employment Contracts

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a new established of labor guidelines governing private-sector work relations. On February 2, 2022, Federal Decree Legislation No. 33 of 2021 took influence, repealing and changing Federal Regulation No. 8 of 1980, as amended, in its entirety.

The labor legislation adjustments are quite considerable and necessitate amendments to current employment contracts, as very well as modifications to policies and treatments relating to long run agreements with new personnel. Employers have until February 2023 to employ the new labor regulation modifications. The UAE federal government is arranging to challenge executive restrictions to offer further more instruction on the new guidelines.

In addition to the labor law modifications, the UAE federal government has transformed to a Monday–Friday operate program (with a fifty percent-working day on Fridays) for all government workforce. Though not expected in the personal sector, a lot of personal sector corporations are scheduling to implement a Monday–Friday program to comport with the new federal government program.

The next is an overview of vital modifications to the UAE’s labor legal guidelines.

Mounted-Time period Contract Specifications

This is the most substantive alter and demands businesses to amend latest work agreements (to the extent that they are not by now mounted time period). Employers need to position all staff members on mounted-phrase work contracts with a optimum expression of three decades. Deal phrases may possibly be shorter if agreed on. There is no utmost quantity of mounted-expression contracts that businesses may well enter into successively.

Probationary Period

The maximum probationary interval below the new labor regulation continues to be unchanged at six months. The new regulation does, on the other hand, introduce particular notification needs in the course of the probation time period. Especially, if an personnel is on probation, employers should now provide a minimum amount of fourteen days’ written observe of the intention to terminate the work contract.

If an worker decides to resign all through the probationary interval, the worker have to:

Adaptable Performing Preparations

The new legislation expressly acknowledges a adaptable perform arrangement as a style of work marriage to which get-togethers may perhaps agree.

Additional time

Below the prior labor law, supervisors and supervisors had been exempt from time beyond regulation. The new law is silent on this exemption. It is envisioned that the forthcoming executive polices from the Ministry of Human Assets and Emiratisation (MHRE) will detail whether and how the exemption will utilize below the new labor legislation.

Relaxation Days

Beneath the new legislation, companies are not necessary to implement a rest day on Fridays. It can be on any working day of the week by arrangement of the get-togethers.

Currency of Wage Payments

Companies might shell out employees’ salaries in any currency agreed on by the parties in the employment agreement. It is predicted that the forthcoming executive polices will offer further more element on how this provision less than the new legislation is effective in follow for businesses that are required to pay out personnel by way of the existing Wages Security Technique (WPS).

Once-a-year Depart Rollover

Less than the new regulation, workers need to use their once-a-year depart in the exact calendar year that it accrues, until or else agreed by the parties. The new legislation does not supply element on how to take care of unused leave (i.e., regardless of whether it can be considered forfeited). It is envisioned that the forthcoming executive regulations from the MHRE will give further more facts on this challenge. Workers are entitled to payment in lieu of unused leave upon the termination of employment calculated on the basis of an employee’s essential income only.

Maternity Leave, Parental Depart, and Added Depart

Maternity Depart

The new regulation raises maternity go away entitlements to sixty calendar times the initial forty-five times are compensated in total and the remaining fifteen days at one particular-half pay. The new law prohibits companies from lessening an employee’s maternity spend in the function that an personnel has not finished a person complete 12 months of work at the time of availing of maternity depart. Workers are now entitled to maternity go away and pay out in situation exactly where the personnel miscarries right after 6 months of carrying, suffers a stillbirth, or activities the loss of life of an toddler immediately after delivery. Staff who give start to disabled or ill small children whose wellbeing conditions need “constant companion[ship]” are entitled to an additional thirty calendar days of maternity depart (with full pay back), which can be even further extended for an further thirty times (unpaid).

The law decreases employees’ entitlement to nursing breaks from eighteen months to 6 months from the day of shipping and delivery. Personnel still have prolonged unpaid time off after exhausting maternity depart for pregnancy related medical issue, but the entitlement has been lowered to forty-5 days from 100 days.

Compassionate Leave

In the party of the loss of life of an employee’s partner or wife, the law entitles the staff to 5 days’ compensated go away. In the function of the death of an employee’s father or mother, little one, sibling or grandparent, the regulation entitles the employee to a few days’ depart.

Examine go away

Employees with a lot more than two years’ services who are affiliated or frequently studying with an accepted UAE educational establishment are entitled to ten doing the job days of research depart per calendar year. The new law is silent as to regardless of whether this must be paid out or may perhaps be unpaid. It is envisioned that the forthcoming executive restrictions will supply more depth on this stage.


Employers may suspend staff for up to thirty days, with one particular-half spend throughout a disciplinary investigation. An personnel will be entitled to reimbursement of all withheld pay out if the staff is eventually cleared of wrongdoing.

Contract Termination

Recognize intervals

The minimum detect time period for the termination of an work deal stays 30 times, but the highest see interval is now capped at ninety days. The new labor legislation also imposes minimum observe intervals for terminating present limitless-time period contracts prior to employing the new set-phrase contracts. In this instance, the employer should supply at the very least 30 days’ observe if the staff was employed for much less than 5 years at the very least sixty days’ see if the staff was utilized for much more than five a long time but much less than 10 a long time and ninety days’ observe if the employee utilized for far more than 10 yrs.

Grounds for termination

Redundancy termination is considered a valid grounds for a termination of an employment deal less than the new regulation. Less than the prior regulation, redundancy was not identified.  There are further grounds for “for-cause” termination, which include where an employee: (i) abuses his or her situation for profit or personalized get or (ii) commences perform for yet another employer without complying with the relevant rules and strategies.

Task-research go away

Workforce are now entitled to a person day of unpaid depart per 7 days for the duration of the observe period of time to search for new work.

Finish-of-Support Gratuity

Less than the prior law, an stop-of-assistance gratuity (EOSG) for a resigning personnel was lessened based on how prolonged the employee experienced been utilized (i.e., there was no EOSG if the employee experienced not done at least just one year of service 1-3rd EOSG if the employee experienced accomplished up to three years’ service two-thirds EOSG if the worker experienced among a few and five years’ service and 100 percent EOSG if the staff had finished much more than 5 years’ support). Beneath the new legislation, workforce will be entitled to whole EOSG when they resign, furnished they have concluded at minimum one particular year’s services.

Payment of Finish-of-Services Entitlements

All termination entitlements have to be paid out to employees inside of fourteen days soon after the termination date. Prior to the new regulation, there was no expressly said deadline.

Restrictive Covenants

The optimum publish-termination limited period of time for noncompete agreements less than the new legislation is two several years.

Provisions Relating to Workplace Policies

The new regulation also contains provisions that companies may well want to get into account, even if they are not included in employment agreements, like:

Discrimination and Equal Pay back

The new labor legislation presents security for staff from discrimination in the office on the grounds of race, coloration, intercourse, religion, national origin, social origin, and disability. Neither pregnancy nor maternity is not detailed as a shielded attribute nevertheless, employers are prohibited from terminating the work of an employee (or threatening to terminate the employment of an worker) owing to the truth that she is pregnant or on maternity depart.

Also, the legislation supplies that there must be equivalent shell out for guys and gals for the identical function. This was initial launched by Federal Decree By-Regulation No. 6 of 2020, but the new regulation reinforces it.

Bullying and Sexual Harassment

The new legislation offers protection for staff in opposition to bullying and sexual harassment in the place of work. Precisely, Short article 14 prohibits “[s]exual harassment, bullying or any verbal, actual physical or psychological violence” towards an personnel.

Interior Function Guidelines (Handbook)

Posting 13 of the new law sets forth a variety of employer obligations, including the prerequisite that businesses execute inner get the job done rules. Outside of that, no further more aspects are offered. Thus, it is predicted that the forthcoming executive laws will established out the framework and deliver added particulars on this prerequisite.

Retention of Work Information

Beneath the new legislation, all employment documents have to be held for at the very least two yrs right after termination of work.

The UAE’s new labor law provides about substantial adjustments for affected businesses. Businesses could want to take into consideration developing tactics to carry out these new improvements during the upcoming calendar year.

© 2022, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.
National Law Assessment, Quantity XII, Amount 40