Employees Rights Under Uae Employment Laws. Legal Knowledge About Your Rights And Limitations

In todays highly competitive global market we can observe shifting trends in economies, employment strategies and business opportunities. The UAE labor laws have adjusted to accommodate these evolving market trends. People from almost all around the world come to UAE in search of a better future and opportunities, due to the employment benefits that the country offers.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is the main body that regulate and govern employment relations in the UAE. Thus the Ministry is the authority that issue work permits to expatriates who get employment in the UAE. UAE employment law help the employees and give right to information reliablity while doing work.Employer that is hiring an employee should apply for the work permit through the Minstry’s system, except for free zone entities that get work permits through free zone authorities. Specialization, qualification and vocational expertise, category of the company are the key elements in getting work permits. In some instances, the employees should provide relevant legalized degree and or experience certificates to prove their competencies in particular fields. After obtaining the work permit, the employee will be eligible to get a residency visa of the UAE, that would allow the employee to rent an apartment, open a bank account, apply for driving license etc.

Thanks to the UAE liberal policy and evolving economy, the UAE’s labor laws are constantly being reviewed and new decrees are being adopted to comply with market demands and international labor standards. At the same time, the government continues its policy to protect the interests of businesses or employers by creating a balanced legal framework where the parties would be obliged to continue employment relations for certain time (i.e. limited term contracts). Nevertheless, in recent years, the rules with respect to labor ban has been relieved by Ministerial decrees in favor of employees that enables them to change their employment without much hassle.

Moreover, the Ministry has adopted a new system of issuing work permits, whereby the employers are obliged to send official offer letter to potential employees and once accepted, the main employment agreement may not differ from the term offered in the initial offer letter. Such regulation would not allow the employers to change their minds after the employees accept the employment and come to the UAE relying on the terms offered in the offer letter.

In general, the rules of employment are stipulated in the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 Regulating Labour Relations as amended by Federal Laws No. 24 of 1981, No.15 of 1985 and No.12 of 1986 (the �Law�) and various Ministerial decrees. Some free zones have their own specific labor laws as well. The relationship between the parties are regulated by the Law, decrees and the contracts between them. Employment contracts are made in a particular format put down in English and Arabic, which is implemented by the Ministry. If there is no contract then witnesses, emails and other written communications in some cases may be considered as evidence to prove the relationship under labor laws. There are two types of contracts: limited and unlimited. Limited contracts are for limited term, breaking of which without a valid reason would be considered as violation by the breaking party and the law obliges the breaking party to pay compensation to the other party as a result. In the case if employee breaks the limited-term contract, the employee may also be banned from getting another employment for a period of 1 year. In case of unlimited contracts, the law obliges both the parties to serve 30 days notice in advance. The notice period can not be decreased by law and employee should perform its duties during the notice period and should get all the benefits in full.

There are some occasions in which both the employee or the employer can terminate the contract without serving a notice or without paying any compensation in limited-term contracts. The provision in relation to such occasions are clearly specified in the Law. If the employee violates one of the provisions of Article 120 of the Law, the employer may terminate the employee’s contract without notice. The employee may terminate the employment contract without notice if the circumstances listed in Article 121 of the Law are applicable. It is very important to know and understand such provisions of the Law to avail the benefits and protection offered under the Law and by the Ministry.