New UAE labor rules to come in effect from January 1, 2016

Ministry-of-Labour-UAE
Ministry of Labor, UAE has announced a set of new Labor Laws, to come in effect from January 1, 2016.

Ministerial Decrees 764, 765 and 766 pave the way for improved labour relations by securing more stable practices governed by regulations that protect workers who are legally sponsored to enter the UAE.

New UAE Labor Laws

Salient Features of new UAE Labor rules

  • New employees in the UAE will have their offer letters kept on file by the government to ensure they cannot be tricked into working for lower wages. The move is intended to put an end to disputes over salaries and working conditions between companies and expats – as the ministry will have a copy of every job offer.
  • Firms will have to show the ministry that the new employee has agreed and signed the document before a work permit is issued. At present, an employer only needs to attach a passport copy and personal photo to the application to have the permit issued. The move is intended to ensure a new employee in the private sector does not accept a post – only to arrive in the country to find their employer has changed the conditions.
  • Salary, hours, job titles and working conditions will be guaranteed.
  • Job offers will also have to be in a language the employee understands.

Standard work contract

Ministerial Decree 764 of 2015 on ministry-approved standard employment contracts states that a worker must be presented with an employment offer that conforms with the unified contract and then must be signed by the worker.

All contract renewals in force beforehand must use the new unified contract which, in addition to the employment offer, the terms of which cannot be altered or substituted unless approved by the ministry.

No clauses can be added to any contract unless compliant with and approved by the labour ministry.

Terminating work contract

Within Ministerial Decree 765 of 2015 on terminating employment, a series of articles outline conditions when a contract can be terminated for term and non-term contracts.

Under term contracts of no more than two years, an employee contract is terminated if the term of the contract expires, if an employer and employee mutually agree to end the contract, if either party acts unilaterally to terminate the contract or renewal, but complies with legal consequences of early termination including notification in writing at least one month in advance and no longer than three months.

A contract can also be terminated if a worker commits violations prohibited under Article 120 of the Federal Labour Law.

Non-term contracts can be terminated if both parties consent to termination, one party gives notice of termination at least one month in advance and not exceeding three months or if one party unilaterally acts to terminate but bears consequences of early termination.

The non-term contract can also be terminated if an employee violates labour law rules under Article 120.

Granting a new work permit

Under Article 1 of Ministerial Decree 766 of 2015, rules and conditions for granting a permit to a worker for employment by a new employer must meet a set of new rules, the ministry said.

For both term and non-term contracts, a new permit may be granted upon termination of the workers employment when the term of the contract has expired.

A new permit can be granted when both worker and employer mutually consent to terminating the contract during the term provided that the worker has completed at least six months employment or if workers qualify for a skill set series classified by the ministry.

The decree also notes that a new permit can be issued for a worker whose employer terminated him or her without reason provided the worker has completed six months.

The six-month rule is waived if the worker has skill levels classified by the ministry as 1, 2, and 3 meaning those who hold a university degree, post secondary diploma or high school diploma, respectively.

Term contracts can be terminated with notice periods of between one and three months, of the terminating party continues to honour contractual obligations for the term duration or if the terminating party indemnifies the other party in the amount not exceeding the equivalent of three month’s gross wages.

Meanwhile, a worker may be granted a work permit for all term and non-term contracts if it is determined that the employer has failed to meet legal and contractual obligations, including but not limited to when the employer fails to pay the worker’s wages for more than 60 days.


A worker may also be granted a permit if the labour ministry confirms that the employing company has not provided work due to the firm being inactive for more than two months and, if the worker reports to the ministry during the company shutdown.

Work permits may also be issued in cases in which a labour complaint is referred by the ministry to the labour court and final ruling in favour of the worker who is terminated early or is owed outstanding wages less than two months of dues for end of service.

Highlights of Ministerial Decree (764 ) of 2015 on Ministry of Labour-Approved Standard Employment Contracts

  • Standard employment offer/contract: terms, rights and obligations;
  • Informed consent;
  • Non-substitutionof labour contract;
  • Filing the offer for eventual capture as a legal contract;
  • Termination clause;
  • Commitments by the employer.

Highlights of Ministerial decree (765) of 2015 on Rules and Conditions for the Termination of Employment Relations

Any employment relation may be terminated, by either party, subject to a due process. One party or the other cannot be made to involuntarily continue the relation. A relation is terminated:

  • By mutual consent, at any time
  • By one party or the other, subject to certain considerations of notice and/or identification

A relation is considered to be terminated if:

– If employer does not meet its contractual obligation to worker;
– If employer ceases to empower worker to perform his/her employment duties without; complying with due process;
– If a worker absconds, without complying with due termination process.
While a relation cannot be sustained except by mutual consent, the way it is terminated has a direct bearing on the status of the worker after termination (the granting or declining of a new work permit)

Highlights of Ministerial Decree (766) of 2015 on Rules and Conditions for granting a permit to a worker for employment by a new employer

  • Sets the conditions for granting a new work permit to a worker whose labour relation with an employer has ended as a function of the manner the relation was terminated
  • Notably ascertains that the power to determine the status of the worker whose employment has ended is a public authority

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17 Responses to New UAE labor rules to come in effect from January 1, 2016

  1. Muhammad Arif July 26, 2016 at 1:32 pm #

    Dear Sir, I would like to know about visa / work permit law in UAE because I was hiring through a Company, employer has send me a Employment Confirmation/agreement letter that saying I have appointed, but there letter has mentioned and forwarding me to a consultant or Travel agent to contact them, they are sending me reply details about all expenses about travelling Visa/Work permit /Residence visa Expenses it is costing me more that $.1500/-, Please advise me is it the Law to pay by a employee or by Employer, I am staying in Pakistan how can I take risk about this payment to send them this expenses. Please reply in this regards. Thanks, Muhammad Arif.

  2. karthik siva March 29, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

    Dear sir
    I submitted my resignation to my company before 25days .Still my company is not taking any action regarding this.I got a offer from other company they need cancelation copy as early as possible.
    kindly provide me solution

  3. Urb March 16, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

    Hi actually I have completed my 1 month if notice period,and I my waiting for cancellation which will probably take 15 days. But problem I that my new company is asking to get the visa cancellation order with in 5 days otherwise they will cancel my newoffer. So in this case what should I do,any is there any validity for offer letter.

  4. Mahadi hasan January 7, 2016 at 3:28 am #

    dear sir i am form bangladesh.i am leveling in abudhabi from 7 years.i have valid uae driving licence.this month 13/01/2016 my visa is finis.so how can i get new visa to another company.

  5. Mainuddin January 2, 2016 at 12:06 am #

    Sri Bangladesh people who are living in uae.they can transfer they’re visa anthar company. We have big big problems to staying in Dubai. Thanks

  6. cherryl December 30, 2015 at 3:29 pm #

    How about domestic helper? Are they included with that new policy? Coz my friend wants to go back in our country after 1 year finish and she dont want to finish her contract.is
    it the employer responsibilities to purchase tickets for her back home? Pls rply..thanks so much

  7. Dubai Expat Blog December 30, 2015 at 11:37 am #

    @REDEEESH: You have to visit the Ministry of Labor office. They will guide you about required documentation.

  8. REDEESH December 30, 2015 at 4:29 am #

    I am new here
    in Dubai, i worked as a secretart in 4.mons…then last November my employer cancelled my visa..they gave me NOC..as they said i am not ban, and they told me that go to tasheel and pass it ..so The MOL lift me…i am.so confused…until now i am waiting for tje Labor response…please anyone can help me.and explain me….

    REDEEESH

  9. sagar December 30, 2015 at 4:27 am #

    Dear sir.
    I like to inform you that we are Bangladesh worker. Facing many problem to company. Dear sir we are also human why company make problem only for bangdesh worker maybe open for transfer visa for bangla is batter for as. Full day working after come back acamadition than comp boss coming talk to tumarow going office you have tarmition form company dear sir we bangla very poor country we are many things sells than coming this u a e sir please open transfer visa for bangla

    Thanks lot you

  10. Muhammad Iqbal Chughtai December 30, 2015 at 2:40 am #

    It is good to hear the new policy of the UAE, it should have been earlier but not problem something is better than nothing.

    It is still in practice from the private company for particularly labourer that they donot allow to see the contract done in their native countries and the country sending the manpower, they do their own contract except the contract of the Company of UAE which is not allowed to see. In this case, the discrepancies arise.

    UAE must promolgate the law that one should not get less than the salary stipulated from the UAE government and that must be on humnatarian ground – as one person is not potato or onion that he or she should be sold cheap. And it is called that cheap labour are available in those countries were the poverty are.

    As in America, nobody is allowed to pay less than 10 dollars per hour. Likewise in Europe, then why not in our Muslim Countries – are we no Muslim? we should be more liberal than the Jews and Christian.

    Moreover, if anyone either legal or illegally stay in Europe or America they provide the illegal immigrants, nationality after 6/7 years, but in the case of our so called Muslim countries people are living even from 30 years in K.S.A. and even in UAE but they have not got nationality.

    Hope UAE government will take further steps for the betterment of their law for the benefit of the workers coming from outsides mostly from Pakistan, Indian, Bangladesh. It will be in the best interest of the UAE too that these people will deliver better services and will be happy.

    One more thing, the workers of all kind including labourers should be allowed to call their families so that mentally they were not be disturbed and on the other hand UAE economy will boost by giving them family visa, when the family will come, their housing demand will be increased, their transport will run more, the purchase of daily commodities items will be increased and thus the economy will boost by all means.

    Hope to understand the above mentioned requests.

    With kind regards,

    Muhammad Iqbal Chughtai

  11. mamdouh saad mansour ali elborm December 29, 2015 at 9:05 am #

    very nice system

  12. RISSA November 13, 2015 at 9:52 am #

    I’m directly hired worker at Hotel dubai as Front Office Lady Driver here in dubai. I’m start here January 2012 and my visa expired February 2016. August 15 they call all drivers to attend the meeting with our Directors. They told us they finish our services its means they like to terminate our contract early.and they give us date to stop working September 5, 2015 and they give us time for searching work, and they offer they help if we like to work in other departments.and they give us only one month salary free.
    but only talking their promises. now im still searching good work. I’m stilll here in hotel accomodation .but they want to finish my stay here and they want cancel my visa until nov18.2015. Sir can u please advise me and told me what is my right as employee in the law of early termination of contract what is our benefits we need to take? Please i need your earliest reply. Thank you.

  13. JASMIN November 5, 2015 at 9:48 am #

    Dear Sir,

    My name is jasmin.I am bangladeshi. we have one kid. My husband working a company more then 5 years without any increment. currently he got new job at apple store. and salary also good. they gave offer latter.During the processing time they said they can not apply the visa because bangladeshi visa is close. they gave him time three months. I heard on jan 2016 uae gov will open some new rule. My question sir can my husband transfer his visa to another company? what he have to do. If there any way in this situation kindly reply me.

    I waiting for your reply..
    Thanks

  14. liezl October 26, 2015 at 10:52 am #

    i am working as secretary here in abu dhabi,but i am only working 1 year now..my residence visa will expire on 2017 january.but my joing date is november 2014.if i wanna trasfer company due to delayed salary and over timing reason.,what will happen to me?is there any chance for me transfer without ban?or still i have ban?can u please advise me what to do..cause our salary is coming late every 1 month or 2 months delayed,i am working in a construction field here in mussafah abu dhabi UAE.please i need your reply at the earliest.
    thank you

  15. Abdul Salam September 30, 2015 at 1:19 am #

    This is very useful of course but one thing UAE Government must consider that many companies from UAE come to Pakistan and hire people, promising some good salary but after people arrive they reduce the salary and they trick and trapped the people.

    For example recently, EMRIL Company (service provider) of UAE came to Karachi, Pakistan to hire almost 150 cleaners and at that time they promise to pay 900 basic plus 270 for food and accommodation in one room 4 men.

    The local recruiter gave in the Jang Newspaper, Karachi that total expenditure of the candidate will be 65,000 rupees which is approx. more than 2000 Dirham and out of which those 150 selected they took from each candidate 30,000 rupees, along with their passport and medical (which was paid separately by the candidate @ Rs. 3500/-) and no contract was signed and delegation went back to UAE.

    When the visa came, 70 candidates were called to collect their visa, passport and ticket and hand over to them the rest of the money i.e. 35,000/- rupees plus 20,000/- as security deposit that nobody will leave the job within 6 months if so this 20,000/- will be forfeited by the local recruiter.

    Moreover, there were two contracts signed by the candidates – one was of the Employer and one was from the local recruiter – the Employer’s contract was even not allowed to see the candidate and just took signature on the other hand the local recruiter’s contract was signed by the candidate and they came to know that their salary is 500 instead of 900 Dirham, plus 130 for overtime and thus at the eleventh hour the candidates are blackmailed to sign as they had no option but to sign as – one side they paid already 30,000 rupees and on the other side their passport were with local recruiter – and 20,000 rupees extra were being taken on the promise that when they will stay their up to 6 month it will be returned.

    I strongly recommend the UAE government to ensure that the minimum salary should be fixed at least 2000 Dirham per month, and over time should be at least @ 1.1/2 if not double and in one room not more than 2 men.

    Moreover this kind of trick be avoided by imposing strict law and asking labourer directly.

    The only way is to keep in touch with the working people of expatriate.

    This is very inhuman that one should get less than 2000 Dirham per month.

    I would also recommend that candidates from the hired country should not pay any amount but employer should be bound to pay the recruiting expenses which in the case of EMRIL Company not done and all the expenses taken from the candidates and thus corruption and malpractices done to this effect.

    Although the Government of Pakistan through its department of Protector do it but they are also with the recruiter and take bribe and know each and every thing and instead of protecting candidates they protect local recruiter.

    Therefore, I would urge to kindly look into the matter and adopt the maximum as suggested above, which are both in the interest of candidates and employer and as well as UAE.

    With regards,

  16. Jamal uddin Sheikh September 29, 2015 at 6:25 pm #

    It is good to hear the new policy of the UAE, it should have been earlier but not problem something is better than nothing.

    It is still in practice from the private company for particularly labourer that they donot allow to see the contract done in their native countries and the country sending the manpower, they do their own contract except the contract of the Company of UAE which is not allowed to see. In this case, the discrepancies arise.

    UAE must promolgate the law that one should not get less than the salary stipulated from the UAE government and that must be on humnatarian ground – as one person is not potato or onion that he or she should be sold cheap. And it is called that cheap labour are available in those countries were the poverty are.

    As in America, nobody is allowed to pay less than 10 dollars per hour. Likewise in Europe, then why not in our Muslim Countries – are we no Muslim? we should be more liberal than the Jews and Christian.

    Moreover, if anyone either legal or illegally stay in Europe or America they provide the illegal immigrants, nationality after 6/7 years, but in the case of our so called Muslim countries people are living even from 30 years in K.S.A. and even in UAE but they have not got nationality.

    Hope UAE government will take further steps for the betterment of their law for the benefit of the workers coming from outsides mostly from Pakistan, Indian, Bangladesh. It will be in the best interest of the UAE too that these people will deliver better services and will be happy.

    One more thing, the workers of all kind including labourers should be allowed to call their families so that mentally they were not be disturbed and on the other hand UAE economy will boost by giving them family visa, when the family will come, their housing demand will be increased, their transport will run more, the purchase of daily commodities items will be increased and thus the economy will boost by all means.

    Hope to understand the above mentioned requests.

    With kind regards,

    This is
    Jamal uddin Sheikh

  17. P.CHELLADURAI September 29, 2015 at 11:54 am #

    Very , very , use full, THANKS

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