Employment Law in Dubai
Employment Law in DubaiUpdated on Wednesday 25th January 2023
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The Employment Law in Dubai is governed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) federal law. The legislation for employment applies to all employers and employees in the seven emirates and is enforced by the Federal Ministry of Labor in the UAE.
Dubai has two types of employment contracts, the main difference between them being the duration of the employment. Contracts need to include basic information about the employer, employee and other relevant information about the job. Our lawyers in Dubai can help in employment issues and can also help you draft an employment contract.
Types of employment contracts in Dubai
The two types of contracts allowed in the United Arab Emirates are the fixed term employment contracts and the unlimited term employment contracts. The first category has a fixed duration, with clearly specified dates for the beginning and the termination of the agreement. The second category includes contracts that are not terminated at a previously agreed date, but that can be terminated by one of the parties with an appropriate notice.
A fixed term employment contract in Dubai has a maximum duration of four years, but it can be renewed after its expiration, if both parties agree to do so. If this type of contract does not include an end date, it will be considered an open-term employment contract. If the employer terminates such a contract before its expiration date, he will have to pay compensations to the employee. Likewise, if the employee terminates the open-end contract, he or she will be liable towards the employer.
An unlimited term contract can be terminated by mutual agreement or if one of the parties gives a 30 days’ notice of termination. In some cases, the notice period can be less. If no notice is given, the party that has failed to provide such a termination notice is liable towards the other party. If you are interested in information about the liabilities that may arise upon early termination, our Dubai lawyers can answer your questions.
Hiring employees in Dubai
Foreign employees who want to work in Dubai must obtain a work permit and a residency visa. These documents are usually obtained by the employer hiring the foreign employee. The Labor Law applies to all individuals working in the UAE, whether they are nationals or foreigners. When they are firstly employed in Dubai, non-UAE nationals are required to sign a short-term standard employment agreement, as provided by the Ministry of Labor.
According to the law, the following information must be included in all types of employment contracts in Dubai:
- - the salary;
- - the date of commencement;
- - the nature of the employment contract (fixed or unlimited);
- - job description;
- - the end date (for fixed term contracts);
- - the location of employment.
Feel free to address us on immigration matters, as well.
Every foreigner applying for a visa to the UAE must have a sponsor in the country, such as their employer (for a work visa) or their education facility (for student visa). However, you do not need a sponsor to apply for an investment visa in Dubai, as the company you open will suffice to allow to obtain this residence permit.
The 2016 UAE Employment Law
In 2015 the Ministry of Labor enabled three new decrees which entered into effect at the beginning of 2016. These decrees are:
- - Ministerial Decree 764 of 2015;
- - Minister of Labor's Decree 765 of 2015;
- - Ministerial Decree 766 of 2015.
The first amendment refers to the initial employment offer which from now will consist in a letter specifying the complete terms of the contract. These terms cannot be changed, as it was possible before, if they are not consistent with the provisions of the new law and if the employee does not agree.
The second decree was introduced in order to delimit fixed-term from permanent work contracts. Under this decree, both parties are entitled to terminate any type of contract provided that they give a minimum one-month notice and a maximum three-month notice period. Also, the indemnification for an employee leaving the company will not exceed three months, under the new Labor Law.
The last decree covers the issuance of new employment visas for foreign employees. Under this amendment, the Ministry of Labor will issue a new visa if:
- - the employer has failed to respect their contractual obligations;
- - the employee has not worked for a period of time, even if still under contract;
- - if the six-month contractual period has expired;
- - if the employee has filed a complaint with the Ministry and was given just cause;
- - if the employment contract was ended for no reason.
Employees in Dubai are entitled to a number of benefits and maximum working hours apply. For more information about the 2016 Employment Law in UAE and if you are interested in doing business in Dubai, you can contact our attorneys in Dubai.