UAE Labour Law
Highlights of the UAE Labor law
Arabic shall be the language used with regards to all records , contracts , files , data and others provided for herein or in any decision of regulation issued in implementation of the provisions thereof . Furthermore, Arabic shall be the language used in the instructions and circulars issued by the employer to his employees. Should the employer use a foreign language in addition to the Arabic language, the Arabic text shall prevail.
The provisions hereof shall not apply to the following categories:
a – Employees and workers of the Federal Government and the governmental departments in the Emirates, members of the State, the employees and workers in public entities and institutions, whether Federal or local, and employees and workers appointed for governmental, Federal and local projects.
b – Members of armed forces, police and security.
c – Domestic servants in private households and similar occupations.
d – Workers in farms or pastures with the exception of persons working in agricultural institutions processing the products thereof or the persons permanently operating or repairing mechanical machines required for agriculture.
Article 4: All amounts payable to the employee lien on all the employer’s moveable and immoveable property, and shall be paid directly after the judicial expenditures
Article 5: Cases filed by employees or their beneficiaries under Labour Law shall be exempted from court fees at all stages of litigation and execution
Article 6: The employer, worker or any beneficiary lodges claim, then he is required to
Apply to the concerned Labour Department. A summon will be sent to both parties and will take necessary steps for settlement of dispute
If the settlement is not reached on the discussion, then department will refer the dispute to the competent court within a 14days from the date of application
A summary refers the evidence of both parties and the comments of the Department will be submitted in the court. Within 3 days of application, the court will fix a hearing date and call both parties & a representative from the department for explanation.
No claims for any rights will be heard after one 1 year from the date of maturity
Article 8: Gregorian calendar (365 days a year & 30 days a month) is followed for labour law unless anything specified on the contract
Article 10: When the national worker is not available, the priority of the employment shall be given to 1- Worker holding nationality of an Arab State. 2- Other Nationality worker
Article 12: Employer may employ any unemployed national (UAE citizen) and must notify it in written to the labour department within 15days from the date of employment with Name, age, wage & type of employment of the employee
Article 13: Non Nationals cannot be employed without prior consent from the labour department. The rules stipulated by Ministry of labour & social affairs should be followed to obtain work permit.
Such permit has conditions: worker should possess academic & professional qualification and the worker should satisfy the conditions in the residence regulation in the state
Article 15: Cancellation of work card by Ministry of Labour for non nationals has the cases like: Worker remain unemployed for more than 3 consecutive months & worker no longer fulfil the conditions applied for the work card granted
The non national work should remain in his position until the end of contract or time grated in work card whichever is earlier.
Article 17: No person can be a medium for recruitment of non nationals without a license. The license will be issued for to nationals only and if it is necessary. It has one 1 year validity can be renewable. License will not be grated without verification of employment office in that region and satisfying the rules of Ministry of Labour.
Article 18: Licensed Labour mediator should not request or accept any commission or material for providing employment service
Article 20: Age below 15 on both genders may not be employed
Article 21: Following documents must required to employ any youth
Age proof – Birth Certificate or Age certification by relevant doctor or by health authority
Fitness certificate for the job required should be issued by relevant doctor and authenticated
Written consent of the guardian or trustee of the youth
Article 23: Youth may not be engaged at night in industrial enterprises. Word night means period of 12 consecutive hours at least from 8pm to 6am
Article 25: Maximum working hours for youth is 6 hours a day and minimum 1 hour break.
It means youth should not work for consecutive 4 hours and youth may not be kept work location for more than 7 consecutive hrs in a day.
Article 27: Women may not be employed at night – means the period for 11 consecutive hours of at least from 10pm to 7 pm
Article 28: Exception of prohibition of Women labour at night for
Work in the firm ceases by a force majeure or work in administrative or technical position or work in health service and other jobs determined by Ministry of labour
Article 30: Women can take maternity leave with full payment of wage for 45 days that include pre & postnatal periods provided the employee should complete 1 year service as continuously. The maternity leave shall be grated with half wage for workers has not completed 1 year service
At the end of the maternity leave, worker can extend their absence for maximum of 100 days from work for without pay. Such leave can be entitled with a valid medical certificate stating illness because of pregnancy. These leaves will not be accounted in any other leaves.
Article 32: The female worker shall be granted a wage equal to that of the man should she be performing the same work
Article 37: The worker may be employed for a probation period of not exceeding 6 months. Employer may terminate the service without notification to the worker or at the end of gratuity. On continuation of job after 6 months under the same employer will be accounted as part of service period.
Article 43: The trainee having reached the maturity age shall conclude the contract by himself. Whoever is under eighteen years of age may not enter into a direct contract with the employer for the training. The trainee shall be represented by the parent, legal trustee or guardian thereof
Article 56: Workers employed in return for an annual or a monthly wage shall be paid at least once per month. All other workers shall be paid at least once every fortnight.
Article 63: Workers employed in return for an annual or a monthly wage shall be paid at least once per month. All other workers shall be paid at least once every fortnight.
Article 65: The maximum number of ordinary working hours for adult workers shall be eight hours per day, or forty eight hours per week. The number of hours may be increased to nine hours per day for people employed in trade, hotels, cafeterias, security and other jobs whose addition may be made by virtue of a decision from the Minister of Labour.
The ordinary working hours shall be reduced by two hours during Ramadan.
Article 70: Friday shall be the ordinary weekly rest for all workers with the exception of the daily worker. Should the circumstances require that the worker work on this day, the worker shall be entitled to a substitute rest day or to the basic wage for the ordinary working hours in addition to 50 % at least of the said wage?
Article 73: A schedule of the weekly day off, working hours and rest periods for all workers categories should be displayed at the main entrance used by the workers and at the site and a copy should be sent to labour department.
Article 74: The worker shall be entitled to an official leave with full payment in the following occasions:
a – New Year’s Day ( Hejir ) – One day.
b – New Year’s Day (Gregorian) – One day.
c – Eid al Fitr – Two days .
d – Eid al Adha and Arafat Day – Three days .
e – Prophet Mohammed Birthday Anniversary – One day.
f – Isra and Mi’raj – One day.
g – National Day – One day.
Article 75: The worker shall be entitled during every year of service an annual leave of no less than the following periods:
a – Two days for each month should the period of service of the worker be of six months at least and a year at most.
b – Thirty days for each year should the period of service of the worker exceed one year .
Should the service of the worker be terminated, the worker shall be entitled to an annual leave for the fractions of the last year.
Article 78:If there is a need that the worker on annual leave has to work, then the employer has to pay for the days he works in additional to the annual leave benefits. The worker may not be required to work during the annual leave for more than once within two consecutive years
Article 117: The employer and the worker may terminate the employment contract with undetermined term for valid grounds at any time subsequent to the conclusion of the contract, and such after notifying the other party thereof in writing at least thirty days prior to the termination thereof.
2 – With regards to day workers, the notice period shall be as follows:
a – One week should the worker have worked for a period of six months at least and one year at most.
b – Two weeks should the worker have worked for a period of one year at least.
c – One month should the worker have worked for a period of five years at least
Article 120: The employer may dismiss the worker without prior notice in any of the following cases:
a – Should the worker assume false identity or nationality, or submits false certificates or documents.
b – Should the worker be appointed under probation, and the dismissal occurs during or at the end of the probation period.
c – Should the worker commit an error resulting in colossal material losses to the employer, provided that the Labour Department is notified of the incident within 48 hours of the knowledge of the occurrence thereof?
d – Should the worker violate the instructions related to the safety at work or in the work place , provided that such instructions be written and posted in a prominent location , and that he is notified thereof should he be illiterate .
e – Should the worker fail to perform his main duties in accordance with the employment contract, and fail to remedy such failure despite a written investigation on the matter and a warning that he will be dismissed in case of recidivism?
f – Should he divulge any of the secret of the establishment where he works?
g – Should he be convicted in a final manner by the competent court in a crime of honour, honesty or public ethics?
h – Should he be found in a state of drunkenness or under the influence of a narcotic during work hours?
i – Should he assault during the work the employer, responsible manager or co – worker.
j – Should he be absent without valid cause for more than twenty non – consecutive days in one year, or for more than seven consecutive days.
Article 121: worker may leave work without notice in the following cases:
The employer breach his obligations towards the worker
The employer or the legal representative assault the worker
Article 128: The non – national worker leave work without a valid cause prior to the end of the contract with definite term, he may not get another employment even with the permission of the employer for a year from the date of abandonment of the work. No employer may knowingly recruit the worker or retain in his service during such period
Article 130: Non – national workers obtaining prior to the employment in another job the consent of the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs in accordance with the authorization of the original employer shall be exempt
Article 137: The worker bound by an employment contract with undetermined term leave his work by his own choice after a continuous service of one year at least and three years at most, he shall be entitled to one – third of the end of service gratuity set forth in foregoing Article.
His continuous service is of three years at last and five years at most, he shall be entitled to two thirds of the said gratuity, and to the full gratuity should it exceed five years.
Article 141, 142, and 143: If worker got injured at work place, then it should be immediately informed to Labour department and to the police.
Police will investigate the case to confirm whether the accident is occupational or from misconduct of the worker. Then police will send the copy of investigation details to labour department. Labour may further investigate or will finalize by reviewing the statement.
If the accident is by occupational, then employer shall undertake the pay cost for the treatment for the worker in a government or private medical centre until his recovery or proven disabled.
Such treatment shall include costs of hospitalization or stay at a sanatorium, surgeries, x – rays and medical analyses, medicines and rehabilitation equipments, and the supply of artificial limbs and other prosthetic appliances when disability is established. Furthermore, the employer shall pay the cost of any transport required with regards to the treatment of the worker
Article 149: the occupational injury or disease cause the death of a worker, the members of the family thereof shall be entitled to compensation equal to the basic wage of the worker for twenty four months, provided that the amount of compensation is not less than eighteen thousand Dirham’s or more than thirty five thousand Dirham’s .
The amount of compensation shall be calculated on the basis of the last wage received by the worker prior to his death
Article 151: The amount of compensation due to the worker in case of permanent total disability shall be equal to the amount due in the event of his death
Article 155: A dispute occur between one or more employers and all or some of the workers and both parties fail to settle it amiably
The workers shall submit their complaint or claim in writing to the employer , and shall send at the same time a copy thereof to the Labor Department
The employer shall reply in writing to the complaint or claim of the workers within seven working days as of the date of the receipt and send a copy to the labour department
The employer failed to reply to the complaint and not lead to settlement of dispute, then the labour department will initiate on its own or on request of a party to the dispute.
Labour department will arrange meeting to settle the dispute amicably. If it is not settled in ten days from the date of acknowledgement; It will be refer to conciliation committee.
The conciliation committee will settle the dispute based on the majority of votes at the end of the settlement discussion. Though the conclusion is not attained
Supreme Arbitration committee formed by Minister of labour will provide the final solution based on the analysis and documentations submitted by labour department.