UAE set to adopt new labour laws

01 October 2015

Ministry of Labour is understood to have about 500 inspectors charged with ensuring companies are adhering to rules

  • New labour laws to take effect in 2016
  • Rules regulating contract terminations have also been amended

The UAE is set to introduce new labour reforms in a bid to tighten the oversight of employment agreements, according to the Ministry of Labour.  

The reforms, which will take effect on 1 January 2016, are going to be implemented through three decrees.

Under the new rules, workers will be asked to sign an employment offer in their home country, which would then be filed with the Ministry of Labour before a work permit is issued. The agreement would then be registered as a legal contract once the worker arrives in the country, and no changes would be allowed unless mutually agreed on.

Rules regulating contract terminations have also been amended to allow either party to end the employment. This will leave workers free to switch to a new employer without previous restrictions.

The relaxing of regulations will make employees more mobile and able to transfer between employers more easily, and as the market adjusts to the new system, there has been instability for contractors seeking to hire workers.

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