Working in the emirate has its perks and associated luxuries to look forward to. However, changing countries can be a bigger deal than many might assume. Getting used to unfamiliar territory, different customs and traditions, etc., can be overwhelming. Similarly, knowing about the Dubai labour law when you are in the emirate can be a tough nut to crack.
Even if you keep your head down and your nose up, you’re liable to find yourself in tight legal situations. That’s because there are entities that can make things difficult for you regardless of whether you’ve done something.
There have been cases of employees facing lawsuits and legal problems just because they don’t know how things go. For example, Article 120 Uae labour law stipulates that termination of employees without notice is unlawful. Whereas, many people who were put off from work in their absence and didn’t know about the legal system returned home disappointed.
Here are some other helpful facts about the Dubai labour law that you should know:
Types of Contracts
Firstly, let’s take a look at the way contracts work in the UAE. When you’re in an agreement with a company, you’ll be signing either a limited contract or an unlimited contract. Both of these are exactly what they seem to be, though, we still recommend that you read on just to be sure.
As the name shows, limited contracts are employment agreements that have a clearly defined starting and ending date. According to the latest stipulations, the government of the UAE has decreed limited contracts to be allowed a period of no more than 2 years. This contract is mostly in line with the duration of the residency visa you acquire, which is sponsored by your employer.
Once this contract expires, you and your employer can agree to renew the agreement as you see fit. However, should either of the parties choose to end the agreement before the termination date, they will have to offer monetary compensation to the other.
If employers are seeking termination, they owe the employee 3 months’ remuneration or that equivalent to the contract’s remaining period.
On the other hand, if employees are seeking early termination, they’ll have to pay early termination compensation equal to half of 3 months’ (or equivalent to the contract’s remaining period) remuneration.
Unlimited contracts are most commonly used in corporate settings because these are not bounded. This means that the employment can continue for as long as both parties consent to it. Whenever a company hires someone without knowing the exact number of hours they want to hire them for, they use an unlimited contract.
This contract specifies the notice period to be served when seeking termination. The notice period can range from 30 days to any time as specified in the contract. An employer can terminate the contract without any notice or end of service gratuity if the employee is charged with one of the 11 gross misconducts as specified by the Dubai labour law.
When you start working for a company, you’ll serve a probation period lasting for 3-6 months. Once that is over, you will have your annual leaves as specified by the Dubai labour law.
As per the legislature, an employee will have 2 days off per month if they’ve worked for 6 months but not a whole year.
Once you complete the first year, you get 30 days off for the whole year. Your employer can’t deny you your right to go on leaves if you notify them beforehand. Moreover, if you choose not to avail them, you have a right to compensation from the employer for those leaves.
Other than the above, you will have off-days for the national holidays that are celebrated in the country. No one is required to work on these following days:
- New Year: 1st January
- 4 days of Eid-ul-Fitr
- Hajj Day
- 3 days of Eid-ul-Azha
- Hijri New Year
- Commemoration Day on 1st December
- 2 National Day Holidays
What Can Your Employer Not Do?
Employers have their rights but also their duties. They are not above the law and you can rest assured that it’s there to protect your interests. For example, one of the things that the law condemns employers to do is asking employees for their passport. You should never hand in your passport and even if you do, you have every right to have it back. In fact, you can land in severe legal trouble if you don’t have it on you whenever the authorities ask.
Another example of illegal discourse on the employer’s part includes charging an employee for their residency visa. You’re not to pay a single dime for it, regardless of how the employer puts it. There have been cases of employers deducting monthly payments from salaries, stating these are charges for covering their residency visas.
Make sure that you get in touch with the top lawyers in Dubai if you wish to have a safe life in the emirate. There are tons of things that you won’t know about the new place that you’re moving into. So, you might as well do your best to steer clear of everything and have backups.