Hossam ZakariaLabour LawLegal Tipsقانون العملمحامي في دبيUAE Labor Laws; Rights of Employees and Procedures for Termination

Protecting Employee Rights and Termination Procedures

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) establishes robust labor laws and adheres to international conventions to safeguard the rights and well-being of workers. In this article, we delve into the UAE Labor Law (Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021) to explore the rights of employees and the procedures for terminating employment contracts.

Employee Rights and Contractual Obligations

Employees must be well-informed about their rights and contractual obligations upon commencing employment in the UAE. Employers must cover travel expenses and residency permit costs as stipulated in the employment contract. Employment terms must align with the initial job offer, and employees should retain a copy of this offer. If employers fail to fulfill promised opportunities or experience delays in salary payments, employees can seek assistance from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

Protecting Worker Mobility and Rights

Certain protections and freedoms are enjoyed by workers in the UAE. As a member of the Arab Labour Organization and the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UAE is committed to ensuring fair treatment of employees. The government consistently reviews various aspects of employment to ensure the well-being of immigrant workers. Employers are prohibited from retaining employees’ passports, and employees do not require permission to exit the UAE.

Termination of Employment Contracts

The UAE Labor Law states that employment contracts can be terminated under specific circumstances. These circumstances include:

1. Natural Expiry: When a contract reaches its expiration date without renewal or extension.

2. Mutual Agreement: If both the employee and employer mutually agree in writing to terminate the contract.

3. Notice Period: Either party can terminate the contract by providing written notice within a mutually agreed-upon notice period, typically ranging from 30 to 90 days according to Article 43.

4. Employer’s Death: In the unfortunate event of an employer’s death, especially if the contract is closely tied to their organization.

5. (Note: The text mentions an incomplete point number 5; however, it does not elaborate upon it.)

Employee’s Right to Terminate with Notice

Employees have the right to terminate their contracts with notice in specific situations, as granted by Article 45 of the UAE Labor Law. These situations include: when the employer fails to fulfill contractual obligations, provided that the employee informs the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation at least 14 working days before quitting, and when an employer engages in harassment or assault against the employee at the workplace, and the employee reports the incidents to the authorities and the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

Task Deviations and Employee Consent

Employees must obtain written consent before carrying out tasks that significantly differ from the agreed terms in the employment contract in cases where employers assign them. However, Article 12 of the UAE Labor Law outlines exceptions where performing tasks may be necessary.

Employer Responsibilities for Safety

Employers have the responsibility to eliminate any workplace factors that pose risks to the health and safety of their employees, even if they were previously aware of these risks. Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 on the Implementation Regulation of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 details specific workplace dangers.

In conclusion, UAE labor laws encompass comprehensive provisions concerning employee rights and the termination procedures outlined in employment contracts.


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