Where and to who is UAE Labour Law not applicable?
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I have been asked on numerous occasions as to ‘on who is labour law is not applicable?‘. I enquired with MOL and other known people and found below information.
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Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 Regulating Labour Relations, as amended by Federal Laws No. 24 of 1981, No. 15 of 1985, No. 12 of 1986 and No. 8 of 2007 (Labour Law), and applicable Ministerial Orders implementing its provisions, applies to all employees working in the UAE, including foreign nationals, except for the following:
Members of the following categories of workers DO NOT COME UNDER UAE LABOUR LAW:
#1. Officials, employees and workers in federal and local government departments, or appointed for federal and local government projects;
#2. Members of the armed forces, police and security officers;
#3. Domestic servants working in private residences;
#4. Workers employed in agriculture (apart from employees of agricultural companies engaged in processing products, or operating or repairing machinery required for agriculture);
#5. Employees working for a company with a place of business in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and who are based in, or ordinarily work in, the DIFC. These employees are subject to the DIFC Employment Law No. 4 of 2005 (DIFC Employment Law);
#6. Employees working in one of the many free zones in the UAE, including foreign nationals, are subject to the Labour Law in addition to employment regulations introduced in the relevant free zone. Where the free zone regulations are not consistent with the Federal Labour Law, the Federal Labour Law provisions take precedence unless they are less favorable than the relevant free zone regulations.
Where no mandatory laws apply, the law of contract governs the contractual employment relationship. The parties can choose the law applying to the contract, but during litigation the UAE courts generally assume jurisdiction and apply the Labour Law.
Laws applicable to nationals working abroad
The Labour Law or DIFC Employment Law only applies to nationals working abroad if this has been contractually agreed between the parties, subject to the jurisdiction they are working in (that is, the laws of other jurisdictions may prevent non-local laws being agreed between the parties).
So hope it is now clear on who the UAE Labour Law does not apply.