The UAE government has Amended the UAE labour law 2021, and it will take effect on February 2, 2022. The sweeping change has been made on existing labor law of the country since the workplace environment rapidly changed with the advancement of technology after the Covid 19 pandemic.
The newly introduced law has added the work categories from two (Full-Time & Part-Time) to many including;
- flexy work and
- among other categories
In this post, I would discuss the most important topics that the new law has addressed. After reading all of the sections that have been changed, I felt that the new law will help the UAE’s labor market become more flexible and sustainable.
What is new in UAE labour law 2021?
Part-Time, Temporary and Flexy employment.
If the company has to hire part-time, temporary, or flexible staff, the law gives them the power to do so. People who have expired visas can also be hired by companies, but they must not leave the country.
a). Part-time worker: company can hire employees for specific hours or days.
b). Temporary worker: Employed by the organization to accomplish a specific project or job, or it can go for a fixed period of time.
C). Flexible work: For flexible workers, work hours and days might change according to the economy, the volume of work, and job factors of their employer.
There were only two categories of work in the old labor law: part-time and full-time work, but today there are two more: temporary and flexible employment contracts.
2. Salary and payments.
The organization can pay salaries to the employee in UAE (Dhiram) or any other currency specified in the contract paper signed by both parties. The former labor regulation required employers to pay salaries in local currency only.
The new law also declared explicitly that there is no pay discrimination based on gender. Women must be paid equally to men if they performed the same duties and had the same sort of employment.
3. Removing the Unlimited contract
As previous labor code, there were two types of contracts: limited and unlimited. The duration of the limited contract has increased to one year or it can be valid for three years, whereas previously, the limited contract time was just two years.
The unlimited contract can convert to a fixed or limited contract in accordance with the rules, controls, and procedures outlined in this legislative decree.
Unlimited contacts are no longer available in the UAE, and a deadline of one year has granted for converting to limited contracts. The contract can renew after completing 3 years.
Under the new law, Working fathers can now take 5 days of paternity leave within 6 months of their child’s birth.
The law allows the mother to take 45 days of paid maternity leave and an additional 15 days at half pay if the child’s and mother’s health need it.
Regardless of the cause of the mother’s or child’s illness, the mother may take an additional 45 days of unpaid leave.
If the child is born with a disability, the mother is entitled to 75 days of paid leave and an additional 30 days of unpaid leave.
Each employee with a minimum of two years of service is entitled to ten days of study leave if they are enrolled in an accredited institution in the UAE.
Employees are entitled to five days of mourning leave for the death of a spouse and three days for the death of other family members.
Every employee in the private sector gets a rest day once a week and 30 days of vacation each year. Learn more
5. Recruitment costs and procedures
The law also states that the employer is accountable for the entire recruitment process and that it is illegal to collect fees from employees. It also barred the employer from holding the employee’s official documentation, such as a passport.
After completing the contract employees have the right to go with another establishment for employment.
6. Minimum wage
There was no minimum wage in the previous labor law, but now the cabinet will establish the minimum wage for private-sector employees, and all enterprises must meet it. This is an unprecedented move in the Gulf of the labor market because most of the countries do not have a minimum wage.
7. End of service
If a worker works in an establishment for more than one year but less than five years, he or she is entitled to 21 days of pay as a gratuity per year up to five years, and if the worker works for more than five years and he or she is entitled to 30 days of full pay per year.
The degree also waives all lawsuit fees claimed by employees, however, they do not exceed Dhs 100,000.
8. Obligations of employers and employees
The law also specifies the obligations of both employers and employees and increases its control over the issue of implementation.
The employer is responsible for providing suitable housing, protection, and prevention, as well as training and assisting employees in developing their skills.
Meanwhile, employees are also accountable for adhering to the terms and conditions outlined in the labor contract including;
- performing work during the specified times;
- abiding by work ethics and good conduct;
- keeping work secrets;
- developing job skills;
- not to work for another competing employer;
- vacating the labor accommodation within one month of expiry of employment contract and
- other obligations
9. Anti-discrimination and workplace harassment
The new rule prohibits employers from recruiting employees based on their gender, race, color, nationality, religion, socioeconomic origin, or disability.
The Degree legislation states that an employer may not force an employee to work by threatening them with penalties or through any other means.
Harassment of any kind in the workplace will take seriously, and bullying or any form of verbal or sexual harassment in the workplace by employers or superiors is illegal.
10. Probation rules
The probation period remains at 6 months; if the employer wishes to terminate the employee’s contract, he or she must offer 14 days’ notice. In the previous arrangement, contract termination during the probation period was immediate.
If an employee wishes to leave the nation after quitting their employment, they must notify their employers before 14 days. An employee wishes to change job, he or she must give the current employer one month’s notice.
If either party violates or breaches the terms and conditions outlined in the work contract, should financially compensate another party.
There are many sections in the UAE labour law 2021, but these above are notable since they directly relate to the employees’ well-being. UAE is a prominent destination for job seekers in the Gulf region, and as a result, the country’s labor laws have changed to address the changing work environment.