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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00


dubailaw, lawfirm, corporatelaw, realestatelaw, familylaw, employment, federal law, labourrights, domesticemployees,, legislation, policies

On Wednesday, October 5, Decree Federal Law No. 9 for 2022 was released to strengthen domestic labour rights. The UAE strengthened its legal obligations to domestic employees in the same week as the amendments to its employment legislation. The decree-law on the regulation of work relationships as well as changes to UAE employment legislation was issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MoHRE).

The decree-law on the Regulation of Employment Relationships will be amended, according to MoHRE. According to the new revisions, employment contracts must have a specified period and may be renewed if both parties to a contractual relationship agree. The length of that tenure is not capped by the legislation. The modification increases the growth and stability of the labour market, protects both parties fairly, and raises the UAE's economic competitiveness and the updates have modernised the labour legislation that the UAE implemented in February.

According to the revised law, fixed-term contracts in the private sector still need to have a stated period, but the UAE law will no longer impose a maximum length requirement. Contracts may be renewed, according to the MoHRE, provided that both parties accept the terms. The new regulations will enhance the development and stability of the labour market while boosting the UAE's economic competitiveness. 

They also aim to protect both employees and employers in a balanced manner. According to Dr Abdulrahman Al Awar, MoHRE, the UAE Government is working to create rules and legislation that are in line with the needs of the country's future development over the next 50 years. The laws and regulations enhance the resilience, attractiveness, and stability of our business environment. The rules adhere to the sophisticated developmental model, basics, and guiding principles of the UAE, which are based on fairness, protecting human rights, and keeping up with change. This ensures the UAE's ongoing development, stability, and leadership status. Additionally, the new amendments build a sophisticated ecosystem of mechanisms that increase the labour market's resilience, productivity, and convenience of doing business while also enhancing its appeal to talent and business owners. 

A three-year restriction on the length of fixed-term employment contracts in the private sector has been repealed by the UAE. Work contracts in the UAE may not extend for more than three years, according to decisions made regarding employment legislation last year. With the new changes, both parties to an employment contract will have more stability and be able to establish a contractual roadmap for a flexible period. Although the regulations are being adopted to control the private sector, they will also apply to workers in UAE-free zones. Employees in the public sector are not subject to the rules. 

According to the law's executive rules, the decree-law addresses working hours, weekly breaks, and leave for domestic employees and upholds their right to a paid day off each week.

Working hours and leave policies are governed by executive resolutions made by the MoHRE. Additionally, the rule states that daily breaks must be a minimum of 12 hours, which must include eight working hours. The decree law states that domestic workers have the right to compensated annual leave of at least 30 days. 

They are entitled to two days of leave each month, and the employer may designate the day on which the yearly leave will begin if the service length is less than a year but more than six months. The decree law mandates that employers must pay for domestic workers' return tickets once every two years if they desire to visit home for annual leave. The employer will only pay for a one-way ticket if the two parties decide to part ways or decide not to renew their work agreement after the annual leave.

The new amendment serves the objectives of creating an advanced system of mechanisms that enhance the flexibility of business and productivity of the labour market to attract investors and skilled workers while enhancing the competitiveness of Emirati national cadres. This is in parallel with providing multiple options for employers to employ workers whose contracts have expired through flexible and easy procedures.

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