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Labour Day Special: Exploring the UAE Labour Law and its Implications for UAE Workers

Essential facts that every worker in the UAE should be aware of

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Shulka S. Chavan

Published on May 1, 2024, 11:32:00


labour day, labour day in uae, labour laws in uae

As we mark Labour Day worldwide, it's crucial to ponder the rights and safeguards extended to workers, especially within the ever-evolving legal landscape of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This article delves into the legal ramifications for employees in the UAE, drawing insights from the UAE Labour Law and spotlighting 10 essential facts that every worker should be aware of.

Employment Contracts

Under the UAE Labour Law, every employment relationship must be documented with a written contract outlining terms and conditions, including salary, working hours and job responsibilities. This contract serves as a crucial legal safeguard for both employers and employees.

Working Hours

The standard working week in the UAE is capped at 48 hours, with a maximum of eight hours per day. However, certain industries may have different working hour regulations, so it's vital for employees to be aware of their specific sectoral requirements.

Overtime Pay

Employees who work beyond regular hours are entitled to overtime pay, which is calculated based on the regular hourly wage plus a premium. The UAE Labour Law specifies the rates for overtime work, ensuring fair compensation for employees' additional efforts.

Annual Leave

Workers in the UAE are entitled to annual leave, with the duration varying depending on the length of service. Employees with less than one year of service are entitled to two days of leave per month worked, while those with more than one year of service are entitled to 30 days of leave per year.

Public Holidays

The UAE observes several public holidays throughout the year, during which most businesses and government offices are closed. Employees are entitled to full pay on public holidays, with certain exceptions depending on the nature of the work.

End of Service Gratuity

Upon completion of service, employees are entitled to end-of-service gratuity, also known as severance pay. The amount is calculated based on the employee's length of service and last drawn salary, providing financial security upon termination of employment.

Termination of Employment

The UAE Labour Law outlines specific procedures and conditions for the termination of employment contracts, protecting the rights of both employers and employees. It's crucial for workers to understand their rights in case of termination and seek legal advice if needed.

Health and Safety

Employers in the UAE are required to provide a safe working environment for their employees, adhering to health and safety regulations outlined in the UAE Labour Law. Employees have the right to refuse work that poses a risk to their health or safety.

Discrimination and Harassment

The UAE Labour Law prohibits discrimination and harassment in the workplace based on factors such as gender, nationality, religion, or disability. Employers are obligated to foster a respectful and inclusive work environment, free from discrimination and harassment.

Legal Remedies

In the event of disputes or violations of their rights, employees in the UAE have access to legal remedies through the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) or the Labour Court. Seeking legal assistance can help employees navigate complex employment issues and uphold their rights under the law.

As we celebrate Labour Day, let us recognise the contributions of workers in the UAE and reaffirm our commitment to upholding their rights and protections under the law. By fostering a fair and equitable work environment, we can ensure the well-being and prosperity of all workers in the UAE.

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