Employment Contracts in the UAE

The UAE Labour Law defines an employment contract as an agreement reached between an employer and an employee wherein the employee agrees to serve for the employer and under his direction in exchange for a salary that the employer will pay to him.

The contract should specify the commencement date, kind of job, location, terms and conditions, and remuneration. Employees in the UAE are eligible for an employment contract that has been approved, attested, and acknowledged by both the employee and the employer by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE).

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    The major changes to the labour laws call for improvements to both current employment contracts and company guidelines and procedures pertaining to future agreements with fresh recruits.

    The fixed term contract is perhaps the most significant change, and companies are required to modify existing employment contracts by February 2023.  All workers must be covered by fixed-term employment agreements with a three-year maximum period, as required by law. Otherwise, if agreed upon, contract terms may be shortened.

    The contract of employment shall consist of two copies. One copy is retained by the employer and the other is given to the worker, in accordance with the forms provided for in the Regulations.

    Work Arrangement Categories in UAE

    The following four types of employment arrangements are permitted by labour law:

    • Full-time: A full-time employee only has one employer for whom they work.
    • Part-time: An employee does hours or days of work for one or more employers.
    • Temporary work: A specified task is completed by the employee over the course of the employment contract.
    • Flexible work: Based on the employer’s business requirements, working hours or days may fluctuate.

    If the MOHRE does not provide an employment contract, the employee may use other legal documents to establish his employment, such as an internal agreement reached between the two parties. The MOHRE maintains a copy of the employment contract for reference in the future and applies to the preserved contract record in circumstances of employment issues.

    All employees are protected at work, according to the new UAE labour laws. It is against the law to discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, nationality, social background, or disability. The new rules will provide workers more protection from mistreatment.

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