UAE Labour: Work permits will not be issued without a new contract from 2016

This post was originally published on 30 December 2015.

The UAE Ministry of Labour (MoL) will refuse to grant work permits without signed unified contracts, starting next year, it said in a tweet (@MOLUAE) on Tuesday. It further added that employers must assist workers to sign contracts within 14 days from entry.

Another of its tweet read: “The employer must inform the worker & vice versa, about ending a work contract with at least a 30 day notice.”

The unified labour contract, to be implemented from January 1, standardizes employment terms, making them more transparent. The contract is expected to improve regulation and transparency of the UAE labour market.

Unified, standard, employment offer for all employees

All employees across the country will be presented with a unified, standard, employment offer that contains clear and enforceable terms and conditions of employment, prior to the worker’s entry into the UAE.

The contract was drafted by the Ministry as part of the three new decrees, which are aimed at enhancing the UAE labour market conditions and consolidating the contractual nature of labour relations.

The contract will need to be signed by both the employer and the worker.

Offer letter in native language

The offer letter will be in both Arabic and English in addition to a third language that the worker understands.

The offer letter will be available on the ministry’s website containing comprehensive details of terms, regulations and labour laws.

Employee signature preceding contract renewal

The first decree requires employee signature preceding a contract renewal to obtain a new work permit, something that will terminate procedures currently implemented to renew work permits after only receiving a notification through the employer stating that both ends agreed to renew the contract, stating all privileges and requirements enclosed in the contract to be renewed.

Workers, under the new procedures, shall enjoy better options of either accepting to renew the contract according to marked privileges and stipulated requirements in the new contract or amend these privileges and conditions upon agreement by both parties, which actively contributes to promoting a strong working relationship, or on the other hand enable employees to completely end the relationship search for alternatives or return back home.

The second decree points six cases of labour contract termination for fixed-term contracts and four cases for non-term contracts.

Additionally, the third decree regards terms and conditions of granting a new work permit to workers who choose to end a working relationship through four cases to issue a permit if the contract between both ends was a fixed-term contract and three cases for non-term ones, something which promotes flexible mobility and maintains labour market competencies and exchange experiences internally.

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