6 Significant Changes Made to the UAE Labor Law (2024 Update)

By greytHR
2 minute read ● June 19, 2024
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6 Significant Changes Made to the UAE Labor Law (2024 Update)

The UAE has a new labor law. The provisions of this law have added greater transparency and flexibility to the legal landscape in the region. Henceforth, employees will have better clarity and greater confidence while making decisions. The amendments also aim to protect the rights of employers.

In a conversation with greytHR, Ahmad Al Khalil, Partner, Crimson Legal, discussed the labor law changes and their significance in 2024. He also answered questions on the responsibilities imposed on employers, the impact on recruitment strategies, and avenues for resolving conflicts between employers and employees.

Here are the highlights of the new UAE labor law:

  1. Limited-Term Contracts

The amended law prohibits unlimited-term contracts and ensures that every employee is on a limited-term contract. It is mandatory to have a starting and ending point in the contract. The existing unlimited-term contracts have to be converted in accordance with the provisions of the law. Renewals will be based on mutual consent.

  1. Flexible Employment

People are working remotely and many more are opting for freelance work. The addition of several types of contracts, like full-time and part-time, has been welcomed by employees and employers. Since there are no visa and immigration requirements, it benefits employers. The employees get to enjoy the benefit of working from the location of their choice.

  1. Unemployment Benefits

There’s good news for unemployed people in the region. The new Unemployment Insurance Scheme makes a provision for employees to earn a wage if they are terminated by their employers. This is a form of protection provided by the government.

  1. Recruitment Impact

The legal change related to visa and employment costs is noteworthy. If an employee resigns during the probation period, the employer has the right to recover these expenses. This was not possible under the old law, so employers were at a loss whenever an employee quit suddenly.

  1. Faster Conflict Resolution

As per the recent announcement, any case concerning an amount less than 50,000 dirhams will be handled directly by the ministry and not by the court system. This is likely to speed up the process. Also, it eliminates the need to pay a hefty fee to a lawyer to recover smaller amounts.

  1. Employee Safety

Although the old law had provisions to prevent discrimination, the new amendment added more clarity to the same. The employees will know what to do when there is an instance of discrimination in the workplace. Special provisions related to safety and health have also been added. Non-compliance by employers will lead to penalties.

Conclusion

The new law is in place. However, not all employers and employees are aware of its provisions. This lack of awareness could lead to disputes between employers and employees. Hence, employers and employees must stay updated on the provisions and further developments related to the labor law in the UAE. The official gazette is the best source of authentic and updated information. Following law firms/HR experts on LinkedIn and reading articles on popular media are the other recommended ways to be in the know.

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