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Monday, December 13, 2021

Al-Awar: The UAE Unified General Labour Rules promote balance and integration in the public and private sectors

Federal Decree-Law No. (47) of 2021 on the UAE Unified General Labour Rules is the first of its kind as it unifies the general labour rules in the UAE under to a contractual relationship between the employer and the employee based on a fixed-term employment contract, His Excellency Dr. Abdul Rahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said today, Monday, in a media briefing. The Minister indicated that the conditions, rules and procedures for contracting, as well as the obligations of the parties to the employment relationship will be subject to the "Human Resources Law” in the case of Federal Government Workers, and the "Law Regulating Labour Relations" for the private sector workers.

The media briefing was held by His Excellency Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation to reveal the details of the Federal Decree-Law on the Unified General Labour Rules in the UAE, which was approved by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, as part of the largest legislative changes in the history of the country. The new changes included updating more than 40 laws in line with the vision of the wise leadership and the community expectations. Simultaneously, the updates aims to meet the aspirations of pivotal and diversified sectors and enhance the country's competitiveness and position on the future map.

The Federal Decree-Law on the UAE Unified General Labour Rules will come into force as of February 2, 2022, and its provisions will apply to Federal Government employees who are subject to the provisions of the Human Resources Law, as well as to private sector workers who are subject to the provisions of Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021, regulating labour relations, which will take effect as of February 2, 2022.

His Excellency Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Awar said: “the new law aims to enhance the efficiency, attractiveness, flexibility and sustainability of the labour market, as it authorized contracting according to four work patterns or any other patterns specified in the law on Human Resources in the Federal Government and the Federal Decree-Law on the Regulation Labour Relations, which together regulate the cases in which combining more than one position with more than one entity is permissible.

His Excellency stressed that the multiplicity of work patterns will maximize the utilization of the human resources existing in the country and achieve benefit for federal government or private employers by directing employment operations to meet the needs of both sectors. It also ensure business continuity in the required manner, as well as achieving benefit for the employees or workers by allowing them to establish a working relationship that suits their aspirations.

Work patterns include full-time, which is working with one employer for the entire daily working hours throughout the official working days; as well as part-time work, which is working for an employer or employers for a specific number of working hours or days scheduled for work, whether in both cases from the workplace, remotely or hybrid work pattern, based on the work contract, or what is agreed upon between the employer and the employee or worker.

It also includes part-time work, which is working for an employer or employers for a specific number of working hours or days scheduled for work, whether it is from the workplace, remotely or a hybrid work style, based on the work contract, or what is agreed upon between the entity or employers The employee or worker.

It also includes temporary work that the nature of its implementation requires a specific period, or is related to a specific work that ends with its completion; as well as flexible work, which is work whose performance hours or working days change according to the volume of work and economic and operational variables at the employer. Employee or worker may work for the employer at changing times according to work conditions and requirements.

His Excellency Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Awar added that the new law aims to create balance and integration with regard to the attractiveness and efficiency of the work environment between the government sectors, especially in terms of vacations, holidays and working hours.

According to the law, full-time workers in the government and private sectors are entitled to annual leave, maternity leave, parental leave, sick leave, mourning leave and study leave, as well as sabbatical leave to perform the national and reserve service that the citizen employee is entitled to in accordance with the legislation in force in the country.

An employee or a worker with other patterns of work shall be entitled to an annual leave that is calculated proportionally based on the working hours or days, and the conditions and duration of its entitlement shall be specified in the work contract.

The human resources and labour relations laws define the rules and procedures for granting the aforementioned leaves, the possibility of working during them, the cases and conditions for carrying forward the annual leave, and obtaining allowance in lieu of the leave, as well as the rules and procedures for granting any other leaves, whether with or without pay. The Council of Ministers shall determine the public holidays and their duration.

According to the new law, the maximum normal working hours are (8) hours per day or (48) hours per week, taking into account the rules of working and break times, the hours in which work is prohibited, the overtime and its rules, and the remuneration that the employee is entitled to for overtime. The employee will also be given a paid weekly day off of not less than one day.

His Excellency pointed out that the law regulating labour relations gives the private sector flexibility in determining the weekly rest in terms of its date and number of days, provided that the same shall not be less than one day.

The Minister stressed that the Federal Decree-Law on the UAE Unified General Labour Rules defines the rights of all employees and workers in the state in a balanced manner, especially with regard to wages and end-of-service benefits.

According to the new law, employees and the workers shall have the right to obtain the wage agreed upon in the employment contract in accordance with the controls and standards specified under the Human Resources Law and the Decree-Law on regulating labour relations. The wage is to be paid in UAE dirhams or another currency, as agreed upon in the employment contract.

The service of the employee or worker terminates with the expiry of the employment contract, or in the circumstances specified by the two previous laws. The entitlement to the end-of-service benefits for the citizen employee or worker shall be in accordance with the legislation regulating pension and social security affairs in the State. An expat employee who has completed a continuous year in full-time service will be entitled to a gratuity at the end of his service calculated based on the basic wage, with a minimum wage of (21) days for each year of the first five years of service, and a wage of (30) days for each year more than that. The end-of-service gratuity for those employed in other work patterns other than the full-time work pattern, will be calculated according to what is determined by the two aforementioned laws. Other systems may be adopted as alternatives to the end-of-service gratuity, as determined by the two laws.

His Excellency Dr. Abdul Rahman Al Awar confirmed that Federal Decree Law No. (47) of 2021 on the UAE Unified General Labour Rules reinforces the principle of respect for all categories working in the United Arab Emirates, as the law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national or social origin, or because of a disability that may affect equal opportunities or affect equality in obtaining or continuing a job and enjoying its rights.

While law prohibits discrimination in jobs of same duties, but the rules and procedures that would enhance the participation of the UAE citizens in the labour market are not regarded as discrimination. The new laws applies to federal government and private sector employees workers starting from February 2, 2022.

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