Collective Bargaining Rights of Employees in the UAE | Global Workplace Insider
The UAE is keen on protecting workers' rights and several laws have "The labour laws strike a balanced worker-employer relationship and. The employment relationship between construction workers and their employers is governed by the UAE Labour Law, No 8 of Strikes in. UAE Federal Law No. 8 of , as amended, (the Labour Law) is the principal piece of legislation governing the relationship between.
UAE nationals are also afforded, in certain circumstances, special protection regarding dismissal, necessitating the prior consent and involvement of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation formerly the Ministry of Labour.
Employment & Labour Law 2018 | United Arab Emirates
It is common to find lengthy post-termination restrictive covenants in local employment contracts, but the enforcement of such restrictions in the United Arab Emirates is not as robust as in other western jurisdictions, as the courts do not grant injunctive relief. Accordingly, employers are restricted to bringing a claim for damages suffered as a direct result of a breach of the restrictions, and evidencing such damages can be problematic, as employers must prove actual direct business loss following the breach.
Liquidated damages clauses are therefore prevalent. Any industrial action is viewed as a public disorder offence. This is another unique feature of conducting business in the United Arab Emirates and removes the complexities of certain employment practices and processes.
Key labour law issues in the UAE
Is there any general advice you would give in the employment area? The employment and immigration regime — which is fairly static — is a key consideration, particularly in the context of employees who are assigned or temporarily seconded to work in the United Arab Emirates from a non-UAE jurisdiction.
Employees require local sponsorship through a locally licensed and registered entity in the United Arab Emirates, which is both employer and location-specific, permitting the employee to work only at the premises of the employer through which they have obtained their visa sponsorship. Limited exceptions to third-party working exist. Accordingly, by virtue of such sponsorship, the assignee or secondee will be deemed an employee of the local UAE entity, irrespective of any concurrent home country employment and documentation.
Companies cannot rely on their own internal employment contracts in substitution of the prescribed form labour contract and, where internal contracts are in place, they must ensure consistency in their documentation — both company-specific and UAE labour contract-specific documentation.
No formal legislative amendments or timetable for action has been communicated or implemented. What are the emerging trends in employment law in your jurisdiction? The introduction of a pension system for expatriates to replace the end of service gratuity lump sum that expatriates receive has been discussed in the media recently. It remains to be seen if and when such a pension system will be implemented.
Additional emerging trends in employment law are greater female participation in the workforce and maternity rights. The Labour Law allows for 45 calendar days of paid maternity leave at full payif the employee has been employed with the same employer for at least one year.
If the employee has been employed for less than one year when she gives birth, she is entitled to the same amount of maternity leave, but at half pay. While no legislative amendments have been implemented and no timetable has been adopted or proposed, there have been a number of recent press reports regarding proposals to enhance the existing maternity leave and pay regime in the United Arab Emirates, in a bid to: Most notably, a Gender Balance Council has been established, with the aim of: Uniquely, the Abu Dhabi public sector recently changed its employment regulations to allow for three months of paid maternity leave and three days of paternity leave.
The private sector is expected to follow suit. Nationalisation initiatives and an increasing focus on greater Emirati employment in the private sector remain high on the government agenda. The employment relationship Country specific laws What laws and regulations govern the employment relationship?
The Labour Law is supplemented by various ministerial resolutions and decrees. Where there is inconsistency between the applicable free zone regulations and the Labour Law, the terms most favourable to the employee prevail.Industrial Relations
Who do these cover, including categories of worker? The Labour Law does not distinguish between full and part-time employees. As such, part-time employees are entitled to the same benefits and entitlements as full-time employees.
The only exception is that in certain free zones there is a freelancer visa that individuals can obtain in order to work independently. Individuals can establish their own consultancy company akin to a contractor and render services within the confines and terms of their trade licence, but such arrangements are limited. In practice, there is a distinction between expatriates and UAE nationals insofar as the latter are afforded additional benefits and protections not otherwise enjoyed by expatriates.
Contracts Must an employment contract be in writing? Employment contracts must be in writing. As part of the visa sponsorship application process, employees must execute the UAE labour contract, as issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation formerly the Ministry of Labour or applicable free zone authority, which is in Arabic and English.
Employment & Labour Law | United Arab Emirates | ICLG
Arabic is the official language of the United Arab Emirates and therefore prevails in the event of inconsistency in terms contained in English documents.
It is common practice for employers to supplement a UAE labour contract with their own more comprehensive employment agreements, which need not be registered with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation or applicable free zone authority.
Are any terms implied into employment contracts? The Labour Law establishes a minimum framework of employment terms and all employment contracts should be read in conjunction with this framework.
Implied terms of, for example, good faith and fidelity, are not incorporated in the UAE labour contract or any supplementary company employment contract, given that the United Arab Emirates is a civil jurisdiction and such common law concepts do not apply with the exception of the Dubai International Finance Centre and Abu Dhabi Global Market free zones. In an employment context, the UAE labour court has exclusive jurisdiction for hearing and determining disputes.
The mechanisms of arbitration and dispute resolution are unavailable as a means of redress in labour disputes. How can employers make changes to existing employment agreements? Employee consent is required before any change to the key terms and conditions of an employment contract can be effected.
The Labour Department Contract is a shorter form covering the basic elements only of the employment terms and is needed in order to obtain both work and residence permits. In the event of a dispute, there is a risk that the labour court in the UAE will only have regard to the Labour Department Contract with the Arabic text prevailing rather than the more lengthy standard employment contract.
Types of Employment Contracts The Labour Law provides for two types of contract, one being unlimited duration and the other being fixed term. The contract type has implications for the ability of a party to terminate and the consequences of such termination.
Employment & labour law in the UAE - Lexology
Where employment under a fixed term contract continues beyond the stated term, without a new contract being entered into, the terms of the original contract are deemed to continue to govern the relationship, but on an unlimited duration basis. Termination of Employment Contract An employment contract with unlimited duration can be terminated at any time by either party subject to giving advance notice to the other party.
Save in the case of termination for cause, the minimum notice period required by the Labour Law is 30 days but the parties can agree a longer period. As to fixed term contracts, these terminate upon the expiry of the relevant stated term, or earlier in the case of a dismissal for cause.
Upon termination of the employment contract, there are certain rights that the employee becomes entitled to under the Labour Law. These are known as End of Service Entitlement.
Furthermore, an employee whose employment has been terminated can claim Compensation for Arbitrary Dismissal if he has grounds for such a claim. End of Service Entitlement Upon termination of an employment contract, the employee is entitled to receive the following: A notice period with full pay or payment in lieu of notice if the employer does not want the employee to work during the notice Payment in lieu of any unutilised holiday balance Repatriation expenses - if the employee is to leave the UAE End of Service Gratuity.
End of Service Gratuity ESG is a variable amount based on the length of service and by reference to the party terminating the contract. In order to encourage employees to serve a reasonable period, the Labour Law applies a gradual entitlement to ESG during the first five years of employment.