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Tuesday, February 01, 2022

The new labour law will come into force as of tomorrow

Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, February 2, 2022, Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 regarding the regulation of labour relations shall enter into force on all establishments, employers and workers in the private sector in the country, whereby Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regarding the regulation of labour relations ends.

His Excellency Dr. Abdul Rahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratization, said that the new law strengthens the position of the UAE labour market as one of the most prominent and important global labour markets that offers flexibility, efficiency, ease of work and attraction of competencies, expertise and skills, while protecting and guaranteeing the rights of both parties to the employment relationship in a balanced manner.

He added that the new law provides employers and employees with several options to determine the form and model of the contractual employment relationship in accordance with the wishes of both parties, especially given the existence of 12 types of work permits and 6 types of work models under which contractual employment relationships are established.

His Excellency pointed out that the implementing regulations of the Decree-Law recently approved by the Council of Ministers set out the conditions and controls of work models and the obligations that arise for each employer and employee, depending on each type and in the interest of both sides.


Work Models

The new law and its implementing regulations, which come into force tomorrow (Wednesday), allow for the awarding of employment contracts under six different models, including the full-time model, i.e. employment with one employer for the entire daily working hours. Another model is part-time employment, where you work for one or more employers for a certain number of working hours or working days. The third model is temporary work, i.e. work that requires a certain period of time due to the nature of its performance or is focused on a job in itself and ends with its completion. Models also include flexible work, i.e. work in which the hours or days worked are changed according to the workload and the operational and business needs of the employer. An employee may work for an employer under a flexible work arrangement, depending on the circumstances and requirements of the work.


New working models also include remote work, where all or part of the work is performed outside the workplace instead of being physically present, whether part-time or full-time, and the job-sharing model where tasks and duties are divided among several workers to fulfil previously agreed tasks. This is reflected in the amount of pay due to each of them, so that it is proportional. Such workers are treated according to the rules for part-time work.


It is noteworthy that the Decree-Law and its implementing regulations determine the amount of severance pay and annual leave in accordance with the working model in a way that guarantees the rights of both parties to the contract.



Work Permits


Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation will issue 12 types of work permits, allowing the establishments registered with the ministry to employ the worker according to these permits. They include a permit to bring in a worker from outside the country, a permit to transfer a non-national worker to and from an establishment registered with the ministry, and a permit for those who are on the residence of their relatives. They also include a temporary work permit, which is the permit under which a worker is employed for a job that the nature of its implementation or completion requires a specific period, and an project work permit, which is a permit granted to one of the establishments registered in the Ministry wishing to recruit a worker from abroad to complete a temporary work or a specific project with a fixed period.


The part-time work permit allows establishments registered with the Ministry to employ a worker under a part-time contract, so that his working hours or working days are less than his full-time counterparts. The worker can work for more than one employer after obtaining a permit for that from the ministry. The work permit for juveniles also allows the employment of those who have reached the age of 15 years and did not exceed 18 years of age in a facility registered with the ministry in accordance with the controls approved by the law and its executive regulations.

Work permits include a training and employment permit for students. This type of permit allows establishments registered with the Ministry to train or employ a student in the country who has reached the age of 15, under certain controls and conditions that guarantee an appropriate training and working environment, as well as a work permit for citizens/children of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. This type of permits for allows establishments registered with the Ministry to employ Emirati and GCC citizens.


A work permit shall be issued to holders of a golden residence permit at the request of an entity registered with the Ministry to employ a worker in the country who holds a golden residency. A national work permit for trainees is also issued to institutions registered with the Ministry that wish to train a citizen according to a recognized scientific qualification.

A self-employment permit is issued to individuals who wish to independently engage in self-employment (based on their own residency in the case of foreign individuals) without being sponsored by a specific entity or employer in the country and without the need for a valid employment contract through which the individual will earn a direct income by offering his or her services for a specified period of time or to perform a task or provide a specific service, whether to individuals or entities, in which case such natural person is in no way an employee of such individuals or entities.


Employment Contract


Unlimited employment contracts must be converted into fixed-term employment contracts within one year of the effective date of the Decree, the period being set at a maximum of (3) three years. It is permissible to extend or renew the contract for other similar periods or for shorter or longer periods by mutual agreement of both parties. The new period or periods shall be considered an extension of the original period and shall be added to the employee's continuous service period when calculating the employee's continuous service period.


The Decree-Law prescribes that the employment contract shall essentially state the name and address of the employer, the name of the employee, his nationality, his date of birth and all that is necessary to prove his identity, his qualifications, his activity or occupation, the date of commencement of work, the place of work, the hours of work, the days of rest and, if applicable, the probationary period, the duration of the contract, the agreed wage including allowances and supplements, the duration of the annual leave to which he is entitled, the period of warning, the modalities of termination of the employment contract and any other data determined by the Ministry as required to regulate the relations between the two parties.


It shall also be permissible for the employee and the employer to agree on the inclusion of new clauses in the approved contract forms, provided that they are compatible with the provisions of the Decree Law and the regulations and legal systems established by the Ministry.



Varied Leaves


The new law defines the leave to which the employee is entitled as bereavement leave for a period of (5) five days in the event of the death of the husband or wife and (3) three days in the event of the death of the mother, father, one of the sons, brother, sister, grandchildren, grandfather, or grandmother from the date of death, and (5) five working days of parental leave for the employee (father or mother) who has a child to care for his or her child, to which he or she shall be entitled continuously or intermittently within (6) six months from the date of the child's birth.


The law also provides that an employee who is affiliated with or regularly studies at a state-approved educational institution shall be granted study leave for a period of (10) ten working days per year in order to take examinations, provided that the length of service with the employer is at least two years.


The national employee shall also be entitled to full-time leave to perform national service with pay in accordance with the laws in force in the country. In order to be entitled to the leave referred to in this Article, proof of service shall be required from the competent authorities.


In implementation of the new law, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization will implement, starting tomorrow (Wednesday), the conditions, controls and procedures for the issuance, renewal and cancelation of work permits, as well as for the transfer of workers from one establishment to another, so that employers can meet their labour needs and benefit from their capacity and productivity at the lowest operating cost, especially in terms of new work models.

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