New UAE Labour Law- Everything You Need to Know

Do you know that now you can change your job in the UAE during the probation period? The UAE government has introduced new labour laws that influence existing employment contracts and modify and add new, more helpful, and advanced future agreements between employers and employees.

The UAE is the country with the highest number of expats. The UAE and its emirates always welcome foreigners to work, study, and travel there. The UAE amended new labour laws to manage private-sector and employee relations. 

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The government, with this initiative, has plans to boost the competitiveness of the seven emirates of the UAE as a perfect place for world-class talents to live, work, and study. Significant changes in the labour law will help the region to attract and retain foreigners.

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Here are the key highlights of new UAE’s labour laws related to working hours, resignation, family leaves entitlements, discrimination laws, termination of employment, etc. 

1. Most Substantive Fixed-Term Contract for Employers & Employees 

Now employers can place their employees on a fixed-term employment contract that must be a maximum of three years. Yes, an employee or employer can reduce the fixed-term years as per their understanding. 

But, prior to February 2023, employers must move their employees to a fixed-term employment contract. This rule is beneficial for both the employer and the employee. 

2. Probationary Period Job Resign & Termination 

No, there is no change in the probationary period under the new labour law. But, introduced new rules for employees and employers to terminate and change jobs during the probation period. 

An employer must provide written notice before fourteen days to terminate an employee on his probation period. On the same side, if an employee resigns to join a new employee in the UAE without completing the probation period in his current company, he must give one month’s notice. An employee must submit fourteen days notice period if he is flying back to his home country or shifting to another country from the UAE during his job probation period. 

3. Flexible Working Hours for Employees 

The new UAE labour law gives freedom to employees and employers and specifically made the UAE work arrangements more flexible and attractive for corporate sectors. 

In the previous labour law, supervisors and managers have the authority to excuse overtime. The new labour law is silent on this regulation. But, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MHRE) will explain the implementation of this law. 

As per the new law, employees can enjoy a day off on any day of the week because the resting on Friday rule is off now. 

4. Salary Payments in Any Currency 

Employers can request their employers to pay them in any currency. However, the executive regulations have not disclosed details on this new law’s execution and the Protection System (WPS) usage to pay employees. 

5. Annual Leave Agreements 

As per the new labour law, employees must take their annual leaves in the same calendar year or upon the agreement contract of the parties. However, there is no quote in the new law related to unused leave. On top of this, employers must pay the employee for unused leaves upon the employment contract termination and the employer’s basic salary. 

6. New Agreements on Maternity, Parental & Additional Leaves

Maternity Leaves 

Under the new UAE labour law, employees have the authority to get maternity leaves of sixty days, forty days full paid, and fifteen days half paid leaves. On top of this, you can take maternity leave of sixty days if you have not completed one year in the company, and your employer cannot reduce your maternity pay. You can also get maternity leaves if you miscarry after six months of carrying, suffer a stillbirth, or lose your infant after birth. 

The best part of this new labour law is that if an employee gives birth to a disabled or sick child who needs 24/7 medical attention, she will get an additional thirty days of paid leaves. 

But, the new law decreases the nursing breaks from eighteen to six months from the delivery date. 

Compassionate Leave

Any death in a family may not affect us physically, but it breaks us and disturbs our mental peace. The new labour law gives five days of paid leave to an employee who has lost his spouse. On the other hand, the new labour law provides three days of paid leave to an employee who has lost his parents or a sibling. 

Study Leave

Employees who have been working in a company for two years and regularly studying from a UAE-approved educational institution will get ten working days of study leave per year. But, the authorities are silent on whether the study leaves are paid or unpaid. 

7. No Service Gratuity 

According to the new law, when you resign, you do not need to be entitled to full EOSG if you have completed a minimum of one year’s service.

8. Protection Over Discrimination and Equal Pay

No employer can terminate an employee because she is pregnant or on maternity leave. Also, no employer can terminate an employee on the grounds of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, social origin, and disability. 

On top of this, there will be equal pay for men and women for the same work profile. 

The new labour law introduced by the UAE government has equal benefits for employees and employers that will come into existence very soon. 

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