Important Parts of Dubai Labour Law for Employees

dubai labour law

Whether you’re coming to work in the emirate or anywhere else in the world, make sure you know the country’s laws. Yes, it might seem impossible but try to get to know the basics to survive.

More often than not, people find themselves in awkward situations just because something they consider normal is illegal in the new country. This can also go bad for you if you’re not familiar with Dubai labour law.

For example, it’s illegal for employers to demand an employee’s passport but there have been several cases that ended badly for the employers. Penalties have ranged from AED 10,000 – 20,000. However, if you’re unaware of your rights, you might never even get to sue your employer.

Similarly, here are some other important points from Dubai labour law that you ought to know:

Working Hours and Overtime

The government of the UAE recognizes 8 hours per working day as normal. This translates to 48 hours per week. With approval from MoHRE, organizations, hotels, cafes, etc. can go for 9 hours per day. However, government employees are exempt from the labour law and work for 7 hours per day.

In situations when the working conditions are classified as unhealthy, dangerous or harmful, working hours cannot exceed 7 hours.

All working hours are subject to a 2-hour decrease in the month of Ramadan.  

When it comes to overtime, the law states that if the nature of the job demands overtime, the employer may allow it. However, the pay for the overtime will be equal to the remuneration as per the daily average plus 25% of this overtime compensation. This can increase to almost 50% if the overtime duration is between 9 pm to 4 am.

Holidays and Vacation:

As per the labour law, you are entitled to 2 off days per month once you’ve completed 6 months of service. Once you’ve worked for a whole year, your entitlement rises to 30 days.

The national holidays that you’ll get an off day for include:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Prophet’s Ascension
  • Eid Al Fitr
  • Eid Ul Azha
  • Day of Arafat
  • Eid Al Adha
  • Islamic New Year
  • Prophet’s Birthday
  • Commemoration Day
  • National Day

Most of the above are holidays from the Islamic calendar which follows lunar cycles. Thus, the days differ from the Gregorian calendar every time.

Employment Contracts

A legal contract contains the following:

  • Initiation date of the contract
  • Designation of the employee along with a description of the nature of work.
  • Compensation or salary that’s been agreed upon
  • Nature of the contract

An employment contract can be of two types, limited or unlimited. A limited contract has a clearly defined term period that establishes an end date. Although the maximum limit for a limited contract is 4 years.

An unlimited contract has no end date and is terminated upon mutual agreement from both parties. Whenever a party wishes to end the contract, they have to serve a one-month notice. Should the employer decide to end the contract without a valid reason, they’ll have to compensate the employee for the abrupt termination. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you should seek the help of the top labour lawyers in Dubai.

It’s crucial to know any country’s labour laws before you decide to move and work there. Having legal help overseas or beyond borders is integral for survival.