The UAE, predominantly Dubai, is the leading hub for entrepreneurs and young talents from around the world. Therefore, to enhance the confidence and trust of the young professional as well as skilled and unskilled workers UAE has taken a drastic step in the field of Employment Law by repealing old law i.e., Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 with Federal Decree by Law No. 33 of 2021 (i.e., UAE Labour Law). This law applies only to the private industries and sectors performing their operations within the territory of UAE.

This Article will inform the reader about the prevailing UAE Employment Law and its relevance and importance regarding Employment Contract UAE. Therefore, for the convenience and better understanding of the reader this Article is divided into the following parts:



To understand the real meaning of any Law, it is essential at first instance to understand the Objective and Scope behind the law. This enables the reader to understand the intent of the Legislature and is also considered a key to opening the minds of the Legislature. As in this Article we are talking about the prevailing Employment Law in UAE therefore, the Objective and Scope behind the said law is mentioned herein below:


The object behind the law is to ensure efficiency in the labor market, which will lead in attracting and maintaining the best skills from the workforce coming from all around and to provide attractive business environment for Employers. Moreover, to regulate the labor relations in a balanced manner and to provide protection to both parties i.e. Employer and Employee.


The scope of the present law extents upon all the Establishments, Employers and Workers within the territorial jurisdiction of UAE. However, Employees of Federal and local government agencies do not come under the scope of UAE Employment Law.


The new UAE Employment Law provides various kinds of work categories for the employees compared to the old law. However, the old Labour Law of 1980 does not allow the employee(s) to work under the multiple employment. The kind of work provided under the present Employment Law are mentioned under Article 7 of which are mentioned herein as:

  1. Full-time, which is working for one employer for the full daily working hours throughout business days.
  2. Part-time, which is working for one or multiple employers for a specified number of working hours or days.
  3. Temporary work, which is work of which nature requires a specific period of time, or which focuses on a specific job and ends by the completion thereof.
  4. Flexible work, which is work of which hours or working days change according to the volume of work and the economic and operational variables of the Employer.
  5. The Worker may work for the Employer for times that change according to work conditions and requirements.
  6. Any other types specified by the Executive Regulation of this Decree by law.”


The Employment Contract is necessary to be executed between the Employer and Employee and by virtue of Article 8 of the UAE Labour Law and two copies of the said contract is to be formulated one should be kept with the Employer and the other one with the Employee. Moreover, there are some mandatory provisions to be included in the said contact which are mentioned herein below:

  1. “The clause regarding the wages to be paid by the Employer to Employee must be included in the Employment Contract.
  2. The tenure of Employment Contract shall not be unlimited and shall be concluded for a specific period not exceeding three (3) years at once. However, it can be renewed multiple times after the mutual agreement of the parties.
  3. In the event of an extension or renewal of the contract, the new period(s) shall be deemed to be an extension of the original period and shall be added thereto when calculating the Worker’s continuous service period.
  4. If both parties continue to implement the contract after the expiry of its original term or the expiry of the agreed-upon work without express agreement, the original contract shall be deemed to be impliedly extended with the same conditions stated therein.”

To know more about the drafting of Employment Contract UAE, click here to access a sample of the Employment Contract. (Backlink to Nour Attorneys)


The major hurdle which the Employee(s) faces while they have another good opportunity in their hand is the non-compete clause mentioned in their employment contract which bars them from working under different employment for a specific period of time. Thus in order to deal with this issue the Article 10 of the new UAE Labour Law deals with this situation which is mentioned herein below:

  1. “That non-compete clause must contain specific time, place, and nature of work for restraining the employee to work under the different employee or participating in any competing industry. Moreover, the maximum period of the non-compete clause shall not exceed more than 2 years.
  2. The non-compete will become invalid or nullified if the employer terminates the employment contract in violation of the provisions of mentioned under the law.
  3. The lawsuit filed by the Employer for the Worker’s violation of the provisions of this Article shall not be heard after the lapse of one year from the date of discovering the violation.
  4. The Executive Regulation of this Decree by law shall determine the provisions regulating this Article, and the skill levels or occupational professions that may be excluded from the provision of Clause (1) of this Article, in accordance with the conditions and controls specified by the Regulation.”


There are various rights and duties for Employer and Employee mentioned under the law which are to be dealt with in detail in the other Article which will specifically contain information with that scenario. However, the brief idea about the rights and duties of Employer and Employee are mentioned herein below under different heads:


What are the Responsibilities of Employees?

Article 16 of the new UAE Labour Law deals with the obligations of the Employee. Though other obligations are also there specified in different Articles of the law but the for the brief understanding the said duties are mentioned herein under:

  1. “To perform the work personally under the direction and supervision of the Employer or his representative, and in accordance with what is specified in the contract, and not to outsource the work to any other worker or any other person.
  2. To abide by proper conduct and ethical norms during work and display honesty and professional integrity.
  3. To preserve the means of production and work tools in his custody and preserve them by taking the necessary measures to keep them in the places designated for them.
  4. To maintain confidentiality of the information and data to which he has access by virtue of his work, not disclose trade secrets, and return anything under his custody to the Employer at the end of his service.
  5. To not keep in a personal capacity any original copies of papers or paper or electronic documents related to trade secrets without the permission of the Employer or his representative.
  6. To work during the approved business days and working hours specified in the employment contract and communicate and interact effectively to efficiently accomplish the tasks assigned thereto.
  7. To Work continuously and diligently to develop his functional and professional skills and raise the level of performance he provides to the Employer.
  8. To not work for others, in violation of the provisions of this law and other applicable legislation in this regard.
  9. To Evacuate the accommodation provided thereto by the Employer, within a period not exceeding thirty (30) days as of the date of the end of his service.”


What are the Responsibilities of the Employer?

Article 13 of the new UAE Labour Law deals with the obligations of the Employer. Though other obligations are also there specified in different Articles of the law but the for the brief understanding the said duties are mentioned herein under:

  1. “To maintain the work files and records of the Employee.
  2. Not to withhold the official documents of the Employee or force the Employee to leave the UAE upon the end of employment.
  3. To lay down or formulate guidelines regarding work instructions, sanctions, promotions, bonuses or any other control as specified by the Executive Regulation.
  4. To provide accommodation to the Employee in the premises licensed by the Competent Authorities or to pay house allowance or to include it in wages.
  5. To Invest in developing the skills of Workers who work for him, and provide the minimum amount of training, qualification and empowerment tools and programs
  6. To Provide the necessary means of prevention to protect Workers from the dangers of occupational injuries and diseases that may occur during work, ensure the provision of guidance and awareness regulations, provide appropriate training for workers to avoid such risks, and conduct periodic evaluation to ensure that all work parties comply with the requirements of health and occupational safety and security.
  7. To Bear the costs of medical care for the Worker in accordance with the legislation in force in the State.
  8. To Bear the expenses of insurances, subscriptions and guarantees determined by the legislation in force.”


What are the rights available to Employees?

The new UAE labour law is well balanced regarding defining the rights and duties of both Employer and Employee. In furtherance of the same, this law provides rights to the Employees for terminating the Employment Contract without serving notice to the Employer in certain circumstances which are mentioned under Article 45 of the new UAE Labour Law. Thus, such grounds are mentioned hereinunder for better understanding:

The Employee/Worker may leave work without warning while retaining his rights upon termination of service in any of the following cases:

  1. “If the Employer breaches his obligations towards the Worker stipulated in the contract, this Decree by law, or the resolutions issued in implementation thereof, provided that the Worker notifies the Ministry fourteen (14) business days prior to the date of leaving work, and that the Employer has not removed the effects resulting from such breach although he had been notified by the Ministry.
  2. If it is proven that the Employer or his legal representative has assaulted the Worker or subjected him to violence or harassment during work, provided that he informs the concerned authorities and the Ministry within five (5) business days as of the date he is able to report.
  3. If there is a grave danger in the workplace that threatens the safety or health of the Worker, provided that the Employer has known of its existence, and has not taken measures that indicate its removal. The Executive Regulations of this Decree by law shall specify the controls for grave danger.
  4. If the Employer assigns the Worker to perform work that is fundamentally different from the work agreed upon under the employment contract, without the Worker’s written consent, except in cases of necessity in accordance with the provisions of Article (12) of this Decree by law.”


What are the rights available to Employers ?

The new UAE Labour law is well balanced regarding defining the rights and duties of both Employer and Employee. Therefore, in furtherance of the same, this law provides rights to the Employer for terminating the Employment of an Employee without providing any warning to him in certain circumstances which are mentioned under Article 44 of the new UAE Labour Law. Thus, such grounds are mentioned hereinunder for better understanding:

  1. “If it is proven that Employee/Worker impersonates another person or has submitted false certificates or documents.
  2. If the Employee/Worker makes a mistake that results in a grave material loss to the Employer, or if the Worker deliberately harms the property of the Employer and acknowledges the same, provided that the latter shall inform the Ministry of the incident within seven (7) business days as of the time of his knowledge of the occurrence of the incident.
  3. If the Employee/Worker violates the instructions of the Establishment’s internal system related to the safety of work and Workers or the workplace, provided that they are written and displayed in a visible place, and that the Worker has been informed thereof.
  4. If the Employee/Worker fails to perform his basic duties according to the employment contract and continues to breach them despite conducting a written investigation with him for this reason and warning him twice of dismissal in case of repetition.
  5. If the Employee/Worker discloses any of the work secrets related to industrial or intellectual property, which results in losses to the Employer, missing an opportunity for the Employer or gaining a personal benefit to the Worker.
  6. If during working hours Employee/Worker is found drunk or under the influence of a narcotic or psychotropic substance or has committed an act contrary to public morals in the workplace.
  7. If in the course of his work, the Employee/Worker commits, against the Employer, the manager or any of his superiors or colleagues, a verbal or physical assault or any other form of assault punishable under the laws in force in the State.
  8. If the Employee/Worker is absent from work without a legitimate reason or an excuse acceptable to the Employer for more than twenty (20) non-consecutive days, or more than seven (7) consecutive days.
  9. If the Employee/Worker illegally exploits his job position to obtain personal results and gains.
  10. If the Employee/Worker works for another Establishment without complying with the controls and procedures established in this regard.”


The role of employment lawyers in Dubai is very prevalent as the dispute arising from the relationship of Employer and Employee which generally are layman(s) and not having expertise or knowledge of the law is to be deal with such lawyer specializing in Employment Law.

Nour Attorneys Law firm has employment lawyers in Dubai. Who are always ready to be by your side in matters arising from the UAE Employment law. Our team of lawyers are specialized in dealing with matters related to Employment Law and other matters arising therefrom.

Our employment lawyers in Dubai are well experienced and are known as lawyer specializing in Employment Law. Moreover, our lawyers are well versed and capable in termination of limited employment contract UAE.


The new UAE Employment Law can be considered to be a drastic change in field of law and it has set an example for other nations that how the principles of Equity, Justice and Good Conscience is to be adopted. It is cogently proved after perusing the provision of the new Employment law that the law is well balanced and protect the interests of both i.e., Employer and Employee. Moreover, the law is not ambiguous and has been drafted after considering the Utilitarian Approach and has changed the perspective of Labour Industry.

The present Article is just a brief idea about the existing Labour Law of the UAE and other articles relating to the main subject matters of the law are yet to come.

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