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Attention to all who have committed to a labour contract in UAE or are considering one: recent legislative updates may significantly influence your work dynamics. It’s imperative to thoroughly understand UAE labour laws and the process of obtaining a labour contract online. Shuraa Business Setup presents a comprehensive blog to assist you in securing your labour contract in adherence to UAE regulations. With our services, obtaining your labour contract online has never been more manageable.

What Constitutes a Labor Contract in the UAE?

A UAE labour contract is a formal agreement between an employer and an employee, mutually endorsed by both parties. Once executed, this document legally obligates both the employer and the employee to adhere to the stipulations outlined within. From fixed-term to flexible arrangements, all types of contracts fall under the purview of UAE Labor Law.

Labour contracts delineate the scope and specifics of an employee’s duties, encompassing timeframes, schedules, and performance expectations. Just as it binds the employee, the labour contract imposes obligations upon the employer, including providing entitled benefits as specified in the agreement. These labour contracts are readily accessible online.

The UAE labour contract law encompasses various employment contract types, each holding distinct characteristics. Key categories to grasp include Limited (fixed-term), Unlimited (flexible), Part-time, Full-time, Temporary, Special employment, and Job-sharing contracts.

Comparing Limited and Unlimited Contracts in the UAE Labor Market

Limited and unlimited labour contracts diverge in three significant aspects, each contract type entailing varying:

  • Legal responsibilities
  • Safeguards
  • Termination procedures

UAE Fixed-Term Employment Contracts (Limited)

Fixed-term contracts are used for specific projects, specifying start and end dates. They obligate employees to work for a set period and employers provide compensation accordingly. Recent legal changes allow contracts to last up to three years. Employers must transition all employees to fixed-term contracts by February 2023, as per Federal Decree-Law No. 33 (UAE Labour Law).

UAE Flexible Contracts (Unlimited)

Under the new UAE Labour Law, unlimited-term or flexible contracts don’t have fixed end dates. They only terminate with mutual agreement.

Employees can resign with notice, as outlined in the contract, with a minimum of 30 days’ notice now legally required. Failure to give notice may result in owing the employer up to 30 days’ wages. Employers must provide 30 days’ notice before terminating an unlimited contract, except in specific cases:

  • Forged documents or identity fraud
  • Dismissal during probation
  • Violation of safety instructions
  • Continuous failure in duties
  • Breach of non-disclosure agreements
  • Court convictions for dishonourable actions
  • Intoxication during work
  • Assault at the workplace

Part-Time vs. Full-Time vs. Temporary Contracts in the UAE

According to the UAE Labour Law, labour contracts are divided into full-time, part-time, or temporary categories.

  • Full-time contracts require employees to work 48 hours weekly, usually across six 8-hour workdays.
  • Part-time contracts still involve a single employer and employee but entail working fewer than 48 hours per week.
  • Temporary contracts are specifically for a 90-day probationary period, outlining rights and obligations for both parties during this time.

After the temporary period, employers typically extend the contract as part-time or full-time. Employees under a part-time contract can take on additional part-time work with other employers without permission. However, those seeking to work part-time for multiple employers need a permit from the Ministry of Human Resources.

Full-Time Hours and Overtime Requirements

Under UAE Labour Law, most industries are restricted from enforcing workdays exceeding eight hours. In the hospitality sector, a 9-hour workday is permissible, but the workweek cannot exceed 60 hours for any individual employee.

Overtime rates apply when an employee works beyond 48 hours. Generally, this involves the employee’s hourly rate plus a 25% increment. For overtime between 9:00 pm and 4:00 am, compensation is the hourly rate plus a 50% addition.

UAE Labor Contract Changes Under Decree-Law No. 33

Federal Decree-Law No. 33 introduces various modifications to UAE employment contracts, affecting employees’ and employers’ rights and responsibilities.

The revisions generally expand employee rights while providing employers with increased flexibility in certain aspects.

UAE Fixed-Term Contract Mandate

The recent legislation mandates a shift to fixed-term contracts for all employees, with HR professionals primarily tasked with communication. Employers must complete this transition by February 2023.

UAE Employment Contract Probation Period and Notice Guidelines

Employers have the authority to impose a probation period of up to six months for addressing performance issues or for new hires. If termination occurs during probation, the employer must give the employee at least 14 days’ notice.

Similarly, employees on probation must give their employer a 14-day notice if leaving the UAE. However, if seeking employment with a different UAE employer, a 30-day notice is required.

Flexible Work Contracts

The recent legislation officially recognises flexible work contracts, allowing employees to determine their work hours. Alternatively, employers may request varying work schedules from employees across different weeks throughout the year. Employers must adhere to workload regulations and overtime laws despite the fluctuating hours.

Non-Compete Clauses

Employers have the right to incorporate non-compete clauses in labour contracts. However, part-time employees cannot seek additional work with non-competing employers. Employees working for multiple employers need approval from MoHRE.

Rest Day Policies

Employers must ensure every employee has a weekly rest day, although Friday is no longer mandatory. Compensation, such as overtime pay or a substitute rest day, must be provided for employees working on their designated rest days.

Currency Arrangements

Employers and employees can agree on payment in any currency, but payments made through the Wages Protection System must be in UAE Dirham, requiring conversion for processing.

Leave Benefits

Employees must utilise accrued leave within the same year of earning it or may be eligible for encashment by year-end.

Employees accrue two days per month for the initial six months, with a guaranteed 30-day leave entitlement after one year of service. The law also recognises specific leave categories:

  • Maternity leave
  • Compassionate leave
  • Study leave

Maternity leave encompasses 45 days at full pay and 15 days at half pay. In childbirth complications, employees are entitled to an additional 30 days of full-pay leave. Compassionate leave extends to 3-5 days of paid leave for bereavement within the immediate family.

Study leave grants ten days at an approved UAE educational institution, available to employees with at least two years of tenure, and may be unpaid.

Contract Termination Guidelines

Employers have the authority to terminate fixed-term contracts due to just cause or redundancy, and they are also required to provide advance notice to employees.

Notice periods vary based on the duration of employment:

  • For employees with less than five years of service: 30 days’ notice minimum.
  • Employees with 5-10 years of service: At least 60 days’ notice.
  • Employees with over ten years of service: Entitled to 90 days’ notice.

The grounds for terminating fixed-term contracts align with those for unlimited contracts. If an employee faces misconduct allegations, the employer may suspend them for up to 30 days, providing half-pay during suspension while conducting an investigation. If the employee is cleared of charges, they can be reimbursed for the suspension period. Employers must settle termination entitlements within 14 days.

End-of-Service Benefits

The recent legal updates revamp the end-of-service gratuity system, ensuring all employees are eligible for total gratuity. However, employees must complete at least one year of service to qualify.

Workplace Policy Mandates

Under the new law, employers are required to adhere to specific workplace policies, encompassing:

  • Non-discrimination against protected classes
  • Gender-based equal pay
  • Prevention of physical, verbal, and sexual harassment
  • Provision of an employee handbook

Exceptions to Labor Contract Laws in the UAE

While the new labour contract regulations apply broadly, there are exceptions.

  1. The new contract law does not govern the Dubai International Financial Center.
  1. Similarly, the Abu Dhabi Global Market operates under distinct labour laws.

These organisations follow unique labour regulations, separate from those applicable to other sectors outlining labour rights.

What is MOHRE?

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE), also called the Ministry of Labour, is a governmental body in the UAE. Its mandate encompasses various facets of employment and workforce development, including:

  • Regulating the employment relationship
  • Facilitating workforce development
  • Advocating for best practices in human resources
  • Providing essential services

MOHRE acts as a central resource for both employers and employees in the UAE, striving to maintain a fair and efficient labor market while advocating for ethical working conditions.

How to Obtain a Labour Card Copy Online

There are two convenient methods if you’re seeking a copy of a labour contract online. You can visit the official MOHRE website or utilise the smart app to access a copy of the UAE labour contract. 

Via MOHRE Website:

  • Visit the MOHRE website. 
  • Navigate to the services dropdown menu. 
  • Select “View Approved Contract.” 
  • Choose one of the available options: [details not provided] 

Note: Continue with the provided options to access your desired labour contract copy. 

Search by Transaction Number

Search by Transaction Number
  1. Enter your transaction number and passport number.
  1. Choose your nationality.
  1. Enter your date of birth.
  1. Input the characters shown in the Captcha text box.
  1. Click ‘View my contract’ or ‘View the employment contract’.

Search by Person Details

  1. Input your Emirates ID number.
  1. Click on ‘Request OTP’.
  1. Enter the OTP received on your registered number or email.
  1. Click ‘View my contract’ or ‘View the employment contract’.
Search by Person Details

Via MOHRE App:

  • Download the MoHRE Android or iOS app.
  • Register or log in to the MOHRE app.
  • Navigate to the “Services” option.
  • Select the “My Contract” option.
  • Enter your passport number, nationality, and date of birth.
  • Click “Done”.
  • Wait for the card details to appear.
  • Take a screenshot of the contract.

The MOHRE app stands out as a precious government tool in Dubai. Easily downloadable on your smartphone, it proves handy for various needs. For instance, it offers a convenient method of swiftly accessing your employment contract online.

What is a work permit in the UAE?

A work permit, a labour card, is an official document permitting non-citizens to work in the UAE for a specified duration. Below is a guide to obtaining a work permit in Dubai.

The government has implemented measures to safeguard the rights of both employees and employers. In case of any issues, a reporting mechanism enables labourers and employers to report workplace misconduct. Once a complaint is filed with MOHRE, it is promptly addressed and resolved.

Wrapping up with Shuraa?

Whether seeking employment or launching a business in the UAE, staying compliant is crucial. At Shuraa Business Setup, we provide comprehensive support to help you navigate the legal landscape seamlessly.

From precise labour contract guidance to essential business services, we customise our solutions to meet your requirements. Contact us for a complimentary consultation.

Reach out to us at +97144081900 or send a WhatsApp message to +971507775554. You can also email us at [email protected] for prompt responses to your inquiries.

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