Collective Bargaining Rights of Employees in the UAE | Global Workplace Insider
Federal Law No 8, For , On Regulation of Labour Relations . 2 . of this Law. 3. Firm: Any economic, technical, industrial or commercial unit where. For all those who wish to learn more about UAE Labour Law, how to will engage in any kind of trading activity Industrial License • Issued to a. The UAE is keen on protecting workers' rights and several laws have "The labour laws strike a balanced worker-employer relationship and.
These are known as End of Service Entitlement. Furthermore, an employee whose employment has been terminated can claim Compensation for Arbitrary Dismissal if he has grounds for such a claim. End of Service Entitlement Upon termination of an employment contract, the employee is entitled to receive the following: A notice period with full pay or payment in lieu of notice if the employer does not want the employee to work during the notice Payment in lieu of any unutilised holiday balance Repatriation expenses - if the employee is to leave the UAE End of Service Gratuity.
End of Service Gratuity ESG is a variable amount based on the length of service and by reference to the party terminating the contract. In order to encourage employees to serve a reasonable period, the Labour Law applies a gradual entitlement to ESG during the first five years of employment.
An employee who resigns during the first five years will not be entitled to the full ESG amount for this period. If the employee terminates the employment contract, the ESG amount calculation becomes as follows: Note that days of absence without pay are not included for the purposes of computing the ESG amount. Compensation for Arbitrary Dismissal Unlike certain other jurisdictions where termination of the employment relationship can be more difficult with longer serving employees, the UAE Labour Law allows termination of employment by the employer provided only that it gives the relevant agreed advance notice.
However, the Labour Law does acknowledge the possibility of having an unfair arbitrary dismissal and expressly provides for the right of an employee who believes that his dismissal was unfair to claim compensation. Pursuant to Article of the Labour Law, termination of an employment contract by the employer shall be deemed arbitrary if it was for a reason that is unrelated to work.
The article contemplates that this is more likely to be the case if the employee has submitted a serious complaint to the competent authorities, or has instituted legal proceedings against the employer, that has proved to be valid.
The above provisions do not apply in case of fixed duration employment contracts. This is compulsory for all employers within the UAE who are registered with the Ministry and whose labour relations are regulated by the Ministry. The Labour Law is supplemented by various ministerial resolutions and decrees. Where there is inconsistency between the applicable free zone regulations and the Labour Law, the terms most favourable to the employee prevail. Who do these cover, including categories of worker?
The Labour Law does not distinguish between full and part-time employees. As such, part-time employees are entitled to the same benefits and entitlements as full-time employees.
The only exception is that in certain free zones there is a freelancer visa that individuals can obtain in order to work independently. Individuals can establish their own consultancy company akin to a contractor and render services within the confines and terms of their trade licence, but such arrangements are limited.
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In practice, there is a distinction between expatriates and UAE nationals insofar as the latter are afforded additional benefits and protections not otherwise enjoyed by expatriates. Contracts Must an employment contract be in writing?
Employment contracts must be in writing. As part of the visa sponsorship application process, employees must execute the UAE labour contract, as issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation formerly the Ministry of Labour or applicable free zone authority, which is in Arabic and English. Arabic is the official language of the United Arab Emirates and therefore prevails in the event of inconsistency in terms contained in English documents.
It is common practice for employers to supplement a UAE labour contract with their own more comprehensive employment agreements, which need not be registered with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation or applicable free zone authority.
Are any terms implied into employment contracts? The Labour Law establishes a minimum framework of employment terms and all employment contracts should be read in conjunction with this framework. Implied terms of, for example, good faith and fidelity, are not incorporated in the UAE labour contract or any supplementary company employment contract, given that the United Arab Emirates is a civil jurisdiction and such common law concepts do not apply with the exception of the Dubai International Finance Centre and Abu Dhabi Global Market free zones.
In an employment context, the UAE labour court has exclusive jurisdiction for hearing and determining disputes. The mechanisms of arbitration and dispute resolution are unavailable as a means of redress in labour disputes.
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How can employers make changes to existing employment agreements? Employee consent is required before any change to the key terms and conditions of an employment contract can be effected. This should be in writing. The Labour Law permits an employee to terminate the employment relationship immediately without notice in the event that the employer breaches its contractual or legal obligations towards the employee.
In case of companies falling under the remit of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation or free zone authorities, changes to core contractual terms — such as remuneration package details — will likely necessitate formal amendments to the employment agreements registered with the ministry or applicable labour authority, which may, depending on the circumstances, also necessitate formal execution before or in front of the ministry or applicable free zone authority.
Employers and employees cannot opt out of the minimum requirements mandated by the Labour Law. Foreign workers Is a distinction drawn between local and foreign workers? UAE nationals are required to have an appropriate and valid work permit regulating their employment in the UAE.
There are no mandatory requirements for: Employers have a statutory obligation to repatriate expatriate employees on cancellation of their visa sponsorship limited exceptions apply.
A distinction is drawn between expatriate workers and UAE nationals in the context of the provision of specific benefits, entitlements and, in certain circumstances, termination provisions. For example, UAE nationals must generally be enrolled in the state federal pension scheme there is no equivalent state scheme for expatriates.
Expatriates are not afforded a corresponding protection. The Labour Law also provides for a system of positive discrimination in favour of UAE nationals, granting them preferential status at the recruitment stage over expatriates.
This system of positive discrimination is generally implemented by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, with the Labour Law specifically providing that the ministry cannot approve the recruitment of non-UAE nationals unless its records show that there are no unemployed UAE nationals who are capable of performing the job.
If no UAE national is available, Arab employees who are nationals of other Arab states must be prioritised over employees of other nationalities. Recruitment Advertising What are the requirements relating to advertising positions? There are no specific requirements, rules or regulations governing the advertisement of positions in the United Arab Emirates.
It is common for advertised posts to be restricted to Western-qualified candidates, specific genders or nationals of specific countries. The hierarchy of importance stipulated above ie, UAE nationals first, followed by nationals of other Arab states and then individuals of other nationalities should apply, but this is generally not implemented by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, despite there having been more robust enforcement in certain sectors.
Background checks What can employers do with regard to background checks and inquiries in relation to the following: As of February 4 all employees applying for employment residence visas must obtain a Good Conduct Certificate or No Criminal Record certificate, or similar from every country in which they have resided in the last five years, at the time of work permit application.
As a pre-condition to the issuance of a UAE residency visa and as part of the general visa sponsorship application processall expatriates must undergo a medical test at a local government-approved medical testing centre.
A UAE residency visa will not be granted if an expatriate fails this test. The employer may make employment conditional on the candidate passing these tests.
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In practice, such pre-employment checks are rare.