UAE Labour Law: Know Your Rights as a Worker.


The UAE Labour Law is a federal regulation that governs the rights of employees and employers in the UAE. The law was passed in 1980 and it has been amended to bring changes in employment practices, families, and workplaces.

Additionally, the Labour Law has included employment contracts, holidays and vacations, working hours and extra compensation, maternity leave, and social security.

The following is an overview of UAE labor law that everyone needs to know.

Know your rights on UAE Labour Law

  • The UAE Labour Law deals with a wide range of issues that affect all employees in the country.
  • You need to know how to deal with your contract terminations and your terms of employment, as well as your right to maternity leave.
  • You also need to know your legal rights if you suffer from harassment, violence, and discrimination at work.
  • For instance, you are not required to provide your employer with a medical certificate if you have a serious medical condition that cannot be treated without exposing you to greater risk.

What is an employment contract?

It is an agreement between an employee and an employer that is mutually agreed upon. Both parties can terminate the agreement at any time the condition applied under the labor law of UAE.

The contract sets out the work terms and conditions of employment and spells out how and when the employer is required to pay employees.

Employee or employer can terminate the employment relationship in an unlimited contract, however, a termination notice must be given before the expiration of 30 days, as the notice will be legally binding.

Understand the basics of UAE labor law

For example, under UAE labor law, the maximum workweek is 48 hours, overtime pay is +25% on normal working hours, and a worker can not be denied the right to 1 day of rest in a week and 4 days in a month.

Employers are also obliged to pay a worker’s daily wage for both night and day work, and there is no minimum wage in the UAE.

Under UAE labor law, employees are allowed to work under one set of work circumstances such as Volunteering, Part-time work, full-time or temporary employment.

Independent contracting Job agencies are required to register with the Ministry of Labour, and the ministry can impose fines or withhold licenses for providing incorrect information.

Maternity Leave

The UAE Labour Law allows a female to take a full 3 months of maternity leave. During this period, she will entitle a full salary.

Males can also take three days of paternity leave after or before their wife gives birth to their child.

Once a female comes to work she will entitle to 2 hrs daily leave in the first years of delivery.

Over Time Pay

The UAE Labor Law allows employees to earn overtime pay if they work over a specified number of hours in a day or over a specified number of days in a week.

  1. If employees work overtime, they will get to an additional 25% of their wage with ordinary wage.
  2. If employees work from 9 pm to 4 am the employer needs to pay an additional 50% of the wage with normal wage.
  3. Overtime hours may not exceed two hours per day unless unconditionally necessary to avoid a catastrophic loss, a significant accident, or to remove or mitigate the consequences.
  4. Friday is a rest day for all UAE workers; if an employer requires them to work on this day, need to substitute rest day otherwise company has to pay an additional 50% of the wage with regular pay.

Sick leave

  1. The UAE Labour Law provides for a maximum of 90 days of sick leave for all employees in a year.
    • The first fifteen days with full pay.
    • The following thirty days with half pay.
    • The following periods are without pay
  2. An employee must inform their employer if they are taking a holiday, medical leave, or if they are absent for their own health reasons.
  3. Such information must be made public to allow co-workers to “know of any absences of sick employees and to protect the employer from penalties if the employee returns to work before the end of their vacation.”
  4. Loss of job, The law also requires that the employee must inform their employer if they are leaving the company.
  5. If the illness is caused by the worker’s behavior such as consuming narcotics and alcohol, he will not entitle to sick leave and the employer has the right to dismiss your job. Learn More

Holidays and vacations

Every year, there are 10 g

  • New Year’s Day ( Hejira ) – One day.
  • New Year’s Day ( Gregorian ) – One day.
  • Eid al Fitr – Two days.
  • Eid al Adha and Arafat Day – Three days.
  • Prophet Mohammed Birthday Anniversary – One day.
  • Isra and Mi’raj – One day.
  • National Day – One day.

Aside from the above-mentioned official holidays, the government may grant a holiday to all UAE residents if the moment is important to the country.

According to the UAE Labour Law, employees entitled to 30 days of paid vacation each year.

However, after two years of employment, most organizations send their employees on vacation with a basic salary and round-trip tickets.

If somebody wants to go on vacation in a year, he or she must buy two ways tickets because the company provides this service after two years of service.

In the United Arab Emirates, there are different types of workers, including full-time employees, part-time employees, and temporary staff.

Everyone has the same fundamental rights and responsibilities, regardless of ethnicity, gender, or social level.

Employee entitlements under UAE labor law

The UAE Labour Law protects employees’ rights, which means they have entitled to fair treatment, protection, and a fair contract between employee and employer.

The labor law specifically defines work schedules, off-days, paid holidays, health benefits, gratuities, and protection against unfair termination and failure to pay salaries.

The UAE Labour Law, in place since 1980, determines what a worker can do for his or her employer. It also contains provisions of disciplinary rules for the workers who will face the consequences if they fail to comply.

Termination of Employment Contract

In the UAE, there are two types of contracts under which employees and employers sign a legal agreement issued by the ministry of labor, referred to as an employment contract.

  1. Limited Contract
  2. Unlimited contract

limited contract: If the employer hires you on a limited contract, you may require to return home once the contract expires. In general, the limited contracts I found in the UAE are effective for one or two years.

If the company wishes to employ the worker after the contract has matured and the worker wishes to work for further years, both parties must sign the contract and submit it to the Ministry of Labor.

Unlimited Contract: This contract has no time limit because it can go for many years. The employment company or the employee can terminate the contract after 6 months of employment, however, both parties should have mutually agreed.

Compensation for occupational injuries

Compensation for workplace injuries has outlined in Chapter 8, articles 142 to 153 of the UAE labor code. It clearly states all subsequent procedures when a worker sustains injuries or occupational diseases. . Learn More


Employees have rights under UAE labor law that protect them from exploitation by their employers. Many improvements have made since 1980, for a better working environment.

The law has safeguarded employees’ rights and protected them from exploitation. Companies in the UAE should uphold employee rights, provide fair wages, and protect workers from exploitation. With these laws in place, we can conclude that the UAE is a great place to work in.

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