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United Arab Emirates Labor Law


Welcome to the United Arab Emirates Labor Law website! Here you can find information pertaining to the United Arab Emirates Labor Law both in the private sector and public sector as promulgated by the Ministry of Labour. This page will be continuously updated to communicate any new advancements to the UAE Labor Law.

The goal of our website is to inform both citizens and expatriates of their rights and privileges as employees in the UAE to ensure that they are able to maintain a congruous workplace environment. Firms and companies may also find the resources provided herein beneficial for hiring legal and competent labor for the private sector within the UAE. A thorough understanding of the UAE Labor Law can facilitate healthier and more productive relationships between employers and employees.

The United Arab Emirates Labor Law website also contains resources for understanding the current economic situation in the UAE Labor Law, migrant rights, and other helpful tools to assist with further analysis of labor related functions in the country. The full text version of the UAE Labor Law including its amending texts is available on the site.

Employment matters in the UAE are governed by Federal Law No. 8 of 1980, often referred to as the Law. All amendments to the Law have been incorporated into official publications of the Law; they include:

  • Federal Law No. 24 of 1981, dated 07 November 1981

  • Federal Law No. 15 of 1985, dated 15 December 1985

  • Federal Law No. 12 of 1986, dated 27 October 1986

  • Federal Law No. 14 of 1999, dated 17 October 1999

However, the UAE has adopted multiple measures, decrees, and resolutions to increase worker protections and clarify the existing Law. The most recent updates are as follows:

Ministerial Decree No. (766) of 2015 on Rules and Conditions for granting a permit to a worker for employment by a new employer, issued 27 September 27 2015, clarifies and expands the circumstances in which a worker cannot face a labor ban in the UAE.

Ministerial Decree No. (765) of 2015 on Rules and Conditions for the Termination of Employment Relations, issued 27 September 2015, clarifies the termination provisions for both unlimited and limited contracts.

Ministerial Decree No. (764) of 2015 on Ministry of Labour approved Standard Employment Contracts, issued 27 September 2015, creates a standard employment contract as well as the conditions for amending the contract through the Ministry of Labour.

Federal Law No. 1 of 2015 amending some provisions of Federal Law No. 51 of 2006 on Combating Human Trafficking Crimes, signed 28 January 2015, criminalizes those who use deception, fraud, coercion, or even threats such as deportation to manipulate vulnerable people into exploitative labor conditions.

Ministerial Decree No. (788) of 2009 on Protection of Wages, issued 20 July 2009, creates a Wage Protection System (WPS) to address the issue of nonpayment of salaries.

The following list includes all other additional texts, government decrees, and ministerial orders which have complemented the Labor Law: Official Language

  • Administrative Circular No. 2 of 2008 in regard to enforcing Arabic as an official language, issued on 18 May 2008, states that Arabic shall be used as the official language for all communications with the Ministry

Work Permits and Employment Cards

  • Ministerial Order No. 57 of 1987 on the licensing of mediation and recruitment, and supply of non-national labor,adopted 1987.

  • Ministerial Order No. 18 of 1989 concerning the increase in work permits charges and the delay fines pertaining thereto, adopted 1989.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 52 of 1989 on the rules and procedures to be adopted at the labor permits sections with respect to the recruitment of non-national labors for employment in the UAE, adopted 1989.

  • Ministerial Order No. 155 of 1993 concerning additional charges on work permits and delay fines, adopted 1993.

  • Ministerial Order No. 1 of 1994 on increase in labor charges, adopted 1994.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 467 of 1995 to amend Ministerial Resolution No. 52 of 1989, issued 19 August 1995

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 951 of 2003 regarding investors, dated 24 December 2003.

  • Administrative Circular No. 77 of 2005, regarding employment of foreign workers on missions, dated 20 July 2005.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 370 of 2005, regarding the special mission entry permit dated 30 May 2005.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 92 of 2006, concerning work permits, dated 25 January 2006.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 764 of 2006 in regards to the applications of replacement, dated 19 October 2006.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 849 of 2006, on unused work permits, dated 21 December 2006.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 468 of 2007, on granting of work permits, dated 23 July 2007.

  • Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 25 of 2010 on concerning internal work permits applicable in the Ministry of Labour, dated 11 August 2010

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 1186 of 2010 on rules and conditions for granting a new work permit to an employee after termination of the work relationship in order to move from one establishment to another, issued on 29 November 2010

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 1188 of 2010 on regulations and conditions for the issuance of domestic work permits, issued on 29 November 2010.

Academic Qualifications (Certificates)

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 424 of 2005, regarding the elimination ‎of‎ the ‎requirement ‎of ‎obtaining ‎a ‎high ‎school ‎diploma ‎for ‎simple‎ manual‎ labor‎, dated 14 June 2005

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 240 of 2008 with Ministerial Resolution No. 851 of 2005 regarding the approval of the certificates, dated 21 April 2008

Labor Contract

  • Administrative Circular No. 1 of 2001, clarifies the terms of Article 127 of Federal Law No. 8 of 1980

Fees and Bank Guarantee

  • Ministerial Order No. 70 of 1992 on the commandment of the employer to provide a bank guarantee to cover air tickets to absconding labors at the time of notifying such abscondment, adopted 1992.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 444 of 2006 regarding the rules and procedures for fee exemption, dated 25 June 2006.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 812 of 2006, regarding the rules and procedures for exemption from fines, dated 11 December 2012.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 604 of 2007 on adding a case to the rules and procedures of fees exemption, dated 25 September 2007.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 968 of 2009 on the amendment of Ministerial Resolution No. 444 for 2006 regarding the rules and procedures for fees exemption, issued 6 September 2009.

  • Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 26 for 2010 on regulating labor relations and determined banking guarantees, ratified on 11 August 2010.

  • Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 27 for 2010 on the fees and penalties for services provided by the Ministry of Labour, issued 11 August 2010.

Cancellation and Absence from Work

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 500 of 2005, on labor card cancellation and expiry, dated 13 July 2005.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 707 of 2006 regarding the rules and procedures of conducting business in the state for non-citizens, dated 6 September 2006.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 721 of 2006 on escape reports procedures, dated 11 September 2006.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 724 of 2006 on the administrative cancellation of sponsorship, dated 10 September 2006.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 636 of 2008 regarding the amendment of Ministerial Resolution No. 707 of 2006, dated 15 September 2008.

Punishments and Penalties

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 42/1 of 1980 on determining the method of spending the sum of the fines deducted from workers, adopted 1980.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 51/1 of 1980 on defining the means of spending financial differences benefitting the employer as a result of deprivation of promotion and deprivation or postponement of bonus, adopted 1980.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 28/1 of 1981 on issuing the model regulation for sanctions to guide employer in setting the sanctions regulations for their facilities, adopted 1981.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 851 of 2001 on ceasing to deal with violating facilities, adopted 2001.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 589 of 2007, dated 17 September 2007.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 255 of 2010 for sub-contracting construction contracts, dated 30 March 2010.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 256 of 2010 regarding statutes and regulations for penalties, dated 30 March 2010.

  • Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 10 of 2012 to amend some provisions of cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 27 of 2010 regarding fees and fines on services provided by the Ministry of Labour, issued 1 May 2012.

Private Recruitment Agencies

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 1283 of 2010 on licensing and regulation of private recruitment agencies, issued 23 December 2010.

Facilities

  • Ministerial Circular No. 2 of 2006, dated 25 January 2006.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 757 of 2006 on the facility card system, dated 11 October 2006.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 810 of 2006, dated 11 December 2006.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 633 of 2008 on the amendment of Ministerial Resolution No. 757 of 2006, dated 15 September 2008.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 702 of 2008 on electronic facilities, issued 28 October 2008.

Nationalization

  • Ministerial Decision No. 50/1 of 1980 on the establishment of divisions for the recruitment of nationals and determining the rules and procedures to be complied with, adopted 1980.

  • Ministerial Decision No. 71/2 of 1982 on training of nationals in the existing establishment in the State, adopted 1982.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 41 of 2005 on occupational quota in the trade sector, 30 January 2005.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 42 of 2005 on occupational quota in the insurance sector, 30 January 2005.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 43 of 2005 on occupational quota in the banking sector, 30 January 2005.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 1216 of 2005 on the rules and procedures of the employment contracts of nationals, dated 26 December 2005.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 275 of 2006, dated 25 February 2006.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 442 of 2006 on the Directors of Human Resources and the Directors and Officials of employees Affairs in the Private Sector, dated 24 June 2006.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 443 of 2006 on secretarial jobs in the private sector, dated 24 June 2006.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 635 of 2008 regarding the public relations officials, issued 15 September 2008.

  • Ministerial Order No. 293 of 2015, regulating the conditions of employment of UAE national workers, signed 30 April 2015.

Labor Disputes

  • Ministerial Order No. 48/1 of 1980 on the formation of a Conciliation Board for the settlement of collective disputes, adopted 1980.

  • Council of Ministers Order No. 11 of 1982 to regulate proceeding and other rules necessary for the good progress of work before Conciliation Boards and Supreme Arbitration Board for the settlement of collective disputes, adopted 1982.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 307 of 2003 on collective labor disputes, dated 31 May 2003.

Occupational Safety and Health

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 4/1 of 1981 on defining works that are hazardous or in which it is permissible to reduce the legally decided working hours, dated 6 January 1981.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 27/1 of 1981 on determining remote areas as mentioned in the law regulation work relationships No. 8 of 1980, dated 19 April 1981.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 37/2 of 1982 regarding the level of medical attention the employer is obliged to provide his workers, dated 17 July 1982.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 32 of 1982 on determining prevention means and measures to protect workers from work hazards, adopted 1982.

Employment of Juveniles and Women

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 46/1 of 1980 on defining the works in which women can be employed at the time between 10 PM and 7 AM, adopted 1980.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 47/1 of 1980 on exempting some institutions from some of the provisions stipulated in the law organizing the relations pertaining to employing minors and women, adopted 1980.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 5/1 of 1981 on defining works that are hazardous, arduous, or harmful to the health and where minors are prohibited to work, dated 6 January 1981.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 6/1 of 1981 on defining work that is hazardous, tiresome, or harmful to health or morals, and where women should not be employed therein, dated 6 January 1981.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 1189 of 2010 on regulations and conditions for issuing work permits to minors, issued on 29 November, 2010.

Working Hours and Places

  • Ministerial Resolution No 49/1 of 1980 on determining the jobs where work must continue without halting and how to give the workers breaks for rest, food, and prayer, adopted 1980.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 235 of 1984 to amend some of the provisions related to Ministerial Resolution No. 7/1 of 1981 on the exempted categories from the provision related to working hours, adopted 1984.

GCC Nationals

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 1215 of 2005 on registering the nationals of Gulf Cooperation Council countries working in the private sector, dated 26 December 2005.

  • Ministerial Circular No. 3 of 2007, dated 20 May 2007.

  • Ministerial Resolution No. 4 of 2007 on permitting Gulf Cooperation Council countries nationals on practicing economic activities and professions in the country, issued 14 January 2007.

  • Ministerial Order No. 292 of 2015 regulating the conditions of employment of Gulf Cooperation Council national employees, signed 30 April 2015.

Specific Categories of Workers

  • Federal Law No. 7 of 2012 concerning regulating expertise profession before the judicial authorities, issued 10 October 2012.

  • Federal Law No . 6 of 2012 regulating profession of translator, issued 10 October 2012.

  • Federal Law No. 12 of 2014 concerning auditing profession law, issued 30 November 2014.

Miscellaneous

  • Federal Law No. 3 of 2013 concerning the establishment of Emirates Post Group, adopted 3 April 2013.

  • Federal Law No. 2 of 2014 concerning small and medium enterprises, dated 16 March 2014.




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