UAE Labour Law to be revised!

Changes to UAE Labour Law

Minister of Labour Saqr Gobash Saeed Gobash has told Federal National Council that a new and revised UAE Labour Law has been drafted. The UAE Labour Law has remained more or less at its original form since its inception in the year 1986. Whereas the market and dynamics have changed, UAE Labour Law has more or less remained same. This is a very good step taken by the Ministry of Labour, considering the current market conditions that we live in. The draft has been under preparation since 2009, when it was proposed to be changed.

labor law dubai

Why changes to UAE Labour Law?

UAE Government has been pushing for Emiratisation in the private sector which is hard due to the fact that there is less motivation for UAE Nationals to join private entities as the employment benefits are much better in the Public sector than Private sector. 

What changes will be brought under the New UAE Labour Law?

Below are the major changes that are being proposed to be revised:

  • More Clarity on Free Zones: The UAE Labour Law though formed in UAE may not be applicable in Free Zone areas. However, companies in Free zones have been following UAE Labour Law, they need not; as this is not explicitly mentioned in the UAE Labour Law and Free Zone entities do not come under the purview of Ministry of Labour. Saqr Gobash Saeed Gobash mentioned that this will be explicitly mentioned in the revised Labour Law.
  • Subsidising UAE Nationals’ wages in the private sector – UAE Nationals are well paid in the Public sector and this may prove as a hindrance for them to join private sector companies. 
  • Boosting the job security for UAE Nationals.
  • Two(2) day weekend for UAE Nationals in private sector.
  • Reduction of Annual Leave from 30 days to 21 days. I am not sure whether the Ministry is talking about working days or calendar days.
  • Changes to the maternity leave – Currently new mothers are allowed 45 days maternity leave. This is not on par with the international standards. I expect that there will be a major change here as Ministry of Labour wants to bring in the best policies for the empowerment of women.

In brief, UAE Government has now become serious on increasing the participation of UAE Nationals in the private sector through initiatives like this.

I will be writing more as and when I come across more news on revised UAE Labour Law. 

About Deepak 505 Articles
Deepak is a passionate blogger with interests in bitcoin, online marketing, and writing.
  • hey hi

    i would like to get a advice from Mr Deepak M,

    I was working for a company in Jumeirah Lake Towers under DMCC freezone. I got my visa stamped on 7th july 2014. Unlimited contract. I am under probition. I am not able to like the job and duty it as they want me to do it. I just wanna know if I resign will I have a ban ? or is there any rules apply to me which i should know ?

    • Shah,
      If you join any other company within DMCC, there may be ban.
      But outside that you will not face any labour ban.

  • Good day!

    I would like to ask if there is so called “Time Bank” as per Labor law regarding Overtime pay?

    I’m working in a Home Care for 2.5 months and Im expecting to get my overtime pay this month for my October’s overtime hours. Then, when Im getting my salary my manager doesn’t want to give it. He is telling that I cannot get my OT pay because he will put me on a “Time Bank” this December. It means instead of having my duty he will put me like an off set.. Im wondering if it is legal because according to him the reason why he’s doing that is because we don’t have enough patient as of today.. Besides, as far as my knowledge is concern and as per my contract even we don’t have patient or duty the employer should pay us the full salary regardless of having no duties. Because he cannot blame us why we dont have patients, it’s the company’s responsibility to find and to give us duty in order to complete our required duty hours per month.

    Next is he doesn’t give me my Holiday pay for Public Holidays last Oct 3, 4, 5, and 25. He put me on 24 hours duty for those dates. His reason is the same as he will put it on time bank. I’m very hopeful this month that I’ll get those overtime and holiday pay but unfortunately he keep insisting that he put me on Time Bank.

    When I questioned him about that time bank this is his answer. “As per labor law there are two types of Overtime, One is with pay (all OT’s will be pay) and the other type is “Time Bank” (all of OT’s will be compensated as off set).”

    It is not really clear to my mind about it. Because before we start to work here when we ask about the Overtime he answered that all hours exceeded to required duty hours will be paid. But now I think he is having different statement about it and denying our conversation before. The bad thing is that its not indicated or written in our offer letter and labor contract about overtime. And he just having this deal always on Verbal. He doesn’t want to put in written.

    Can you suggest anything about my dilemma. Im really feel sad about this because I’m expecting to be paid all of my hardworks and sleepless night during duties in patients home.

    Thank you in advance!

    • Julius,
      I have never heard of any concept like Time bank in UAE Labour Law.
      There is something called Compensatory Off which is applied when you work during a weekend or public holiday and the employer gives you leave during another working day.
      But nothing written in labour law.
      This is actually company policy.

  • Hi deepak!
    I just want to ask if im under probationary period and wants to terminate the agreement and i will transfer to a company that will provide me freezone visa.. will i have a ban? Can i start immediately to my new job? Thank you!

  • Deepak, first of all let me say you are doing fantastic work. I know this now because I have some problem and wanted to ask 🙂

    I am doing job in sharjah air port freezone as a software programmer and its been 2 months. My probation will be ending in end of January 2015 but I do not like the environment at all. So I want to resign. My contract (unlimited) says I will have to pay all recruitment expenses.

    Q#1 My question is how much that can be, any figure? They paid for my flight as well. I only want to know that how much it can be if we have to calculate,
    Job Visa, Residence visa
    Do I need to pay any cancellation fee?

    Q2# Should I resign now or after probation, what you suggest is best for me? I really want to resign though.

    Thanks alot Deepak!


    • Khurram,
      1. Since you have signed, yes, you will have to bear.
      2. Can’t suggest this.

    • i think you will be apple to pay for the the recruitment expenses, that depends on the company policies. it will be hard for you to transfer since you just only have 2 months work in the company. unless if the company terminate your contract or they will no longer need you.

      if you’re in a Freezone company, as per policy, you need to work at least 1 year before transferring or moving to another company.

      please bear in mind that the company pays for the visa for 8,000 AED or more depending on your work status.

      before you agree, or sign any contract, the company will give you a probationary period.

  • Hi deepak

    I am working in a company from sept 2014 and I am still in my probabtion period.
    But I don’t like my job profile anymore and im planning to go for mba from dubai.
    so if I will resign will there be any ban on me also if they put a ban then will it affect my student visa. Will I get a student visa when I am banned by MOL.

    • Harpreet,
      You will have labour ban.
      Labour ban won’t have any effect on student visa.

  • Hi MR. Deepak
    I am working in restaurent in Al Ain since APRIl 2014.
    I want to confirm that after 1 year if i got that job more than 3k so there will be ban on me ?
    or i have to visa expenses
    or no ?

  • Dear sir I want information about labour law.I have passed 5 year in company if now am give resign company will pay me all my service allowance and other bnifits??

  • Deepak gud pm my company terminate me and im only 10 months they will give me a NOC what do i do to lift the ban.

  • sir,
    I am working in a LLC in Dubai from last Eight months, the company is not giving the benefits what all they made in the contract, so i am looking for a new job.
    My question is… if i resign is there any ban on me and whether i should pay the visa charges to them

  • Dear sir, iam working in Palm beach hotel Burdubai since August 6 2014. But emirates I’d is from 30 September can you tell me probation period will be count.what ever fm told us in iterview we are not getting any facility no service charge 12 hours duty no medical facility 15 days one off so I want to change my company shall I give case to labour department for justice or what I will do pls give suggestion thank you

  • Good day!

    I would like to ask Mr Deepak if I am allowed to work since I am currently holding wife’s visa?
    Do I need to get a permit?

    Thank you

    • Arjay,
      You can work. But your company needs to apply for a labour card and you will need NOC from your wife.

  • Hello sir, am working in Abu Dhabi with cleaning company since december i never recieve salary for tow months now and am still working,no labour card no health insurance card no emirate card and i have for work for mor than six months and we paid for my visa and air ticket please what can I do please tell me

    • Nwachukwu,
      Are you working illegally? Without such documents, how are you working?
      WHat will you show to MOL when you approach to complain?

  • Hello sir, am working in Abu Dhabi with cleaning company since december i never recieve salary for tow months now and am still working,no labour card no health insurance card no emirate card and i have work for mor than six months, they sign my contract out of my knowledge and we paid for our visa and air ticket please what can we do please tell us

  • Please sir we are up to ten in number in this company non of us have any documents like emirates ID card or labour card please sir what can we do because have called labour last time and the told us that the gave them one week to provide it for us,but since November till now nothing have been done and no salary for me to take treatment on my health I call them the didn’t pick my calls and I was hired by onather company please sir what can i do and we paid for our visa and some of us have receipt for our the visa given by the company please encourage us what we can do.

  • hi sir. i just want ask that . is true that their a chnages from filipino visa? they said that its nit allowed now to get a visa for all filipino worker. thanks

    • Mimi,
      That is not true. I think you are talking about hiring a filipino maid. Yes this has changed not from UAE’s side but from Philippines Government side.
      There have been some new rules and laws that have been implemented. I am not entirely sure what are the rules.

  • i am working in labour visa and i get job in free zone visa so there is any band if i go free zone.

    • Suman,
      No, if you are shifting to Free zone from Labour, labour ban is not applicable to you.

  • mr deepak,

    i was terminated because of lay off. i had 1 yr and 3 months in my company and that is unlimited. do i have ban????

    • Michelle,
      If you are terminated, you will not have a ban.
      Better also to take NOC from the company.

  • Mr Deepak
    I’m a unlimited contract in the company,and I’m 9 months only and they terminate i have ban?the ban will be payable in my case?how much it will be?

  • Mr Deepak
    I’m a limited contract in the company,and I’m 7 months only and they terminate i have ban?the ban will be payable in my case?how much it will be?

  • Please we work with Roya pearl cleaning service in Abu Dhabi,we have been working for more than six months and others are working for more than five months now with our company but the didn’t give us any labour card or emirates ID or health insurance card and the also hold our international passport,and for them to pay us salary is very hard anytime we ask them our right the will tell us that the will ban us, and now the are turning us to construction company for us to work and become a construction workers, please sir we don’t know what to do because we tell them that we will not work in construction with them but the still tell us that the will ban us for six months if we dont work with them and we pay for our visa,five thousand dihram (5000) earch person and airticket ,and we are ten (10) in number please tell us what to do please.

  • Mr. Deepak i just want to ask if the company terminate me because there are costing the company im working as a technician for 1 year and six months . Do i have a ban ?

  • Deepak I want to know if annual leave will be 21 working days or calendar days

    How is a leave calculation done

    • Kaveri,
      Depends on your company. Some companies have 21 working days.
      Usually calendar days will be 30 days.

  • hi sir,
    i”m working for more than 5yrs in our company we have unlimited contract,we have an application going to Europe and we are just waiting for our contract as well as the working it true that once we resign from our company our company will send us back to our country of origin while we are waiting for working visa.
    could it be possible when we received our visa that’s the time we will resign.
    thank you so much.

    • Jenny,
      I think your employer would seek you just exiting UAE and not be specific on where you are headed whether Europe or home country.
      All the best.

  • Dear sir i have finish 1year and six month am getting basic salary 500 and allowance 400 but i have get another job for 2500 how can i do that to change from this company,,,thanks sir

  • Need advice, 1 year and 6 mos. working in our company in AUH. any BAN if i transfer to other company with not more than 5,000AED salary?

  • Mr Deepak.
    I worked in a company 5 may 2005 to 18 coct 2014, then i resigned, after Nov 25th they canceled my vissa without giving my settlement. that time they promised me they will pay my money before leave. I have nearly 60000/aed as a settlement.Januray 2015 they paid only 15000/aed remaining 45000/aed still with them. Presently I am working under another sponsor. please advice me how i can get money back from my previous company. I can complaint to Labour.

  • Hello mr deepakcan you give me some advice what will happen if i go to MOL for my case . Beacuse the representative were im working didnt fulfil my contract , he forced me to do other work that is not written in my contract. And it was extremely dangerous for me to work.

    Can i get another job even if not a freezone ?
    Am my have a ban ?
    Is the company where i work pay me for some penalties?

    Im waiting for sir many thanks

    • Jommel,
      Yes, you could approach MOL.
      If you join a free zone from LLC company, there will be no labour ban.
      You do not have to pay any penalties.

  • Dear sir how can i check ban ,,,my contract is unlimited as i told you i have worked for 1year and 6month but i have got another job tht give me 2500 thanks sir

    • Joseph,
      You can check directly with MOL whether you have 6 month labour ban.
      If you do not complete your contract, you will have labour ban.

  • Dear sir is it allowed when the company looses jobs or contracts that awoker or labour can be forced Annuel leave,,,how is it sir thanks

  • Dear sir i greet you hope your fine,i would like to know if my two years contract finish and i renew again then after renwe again another job with another company can i have aban

  • Hey,

    I resigned after 3 months on unlimited contract. I am joining same company. I hope there won’t be any visa or any other issue. I am an Indian national.

  • Hey Deepak,

    Thanks for quick reply.

    I just wanted to know whether six months employment ban is calculated from date of exit or visa cancellation date.

  • My neice is in Dubai looking for a job. She is 19 years old. Lots of companies are saying they cannot hire her becoz she is too small.

    How old do you have to be to get work visa for ladies.

  • Hi Mr. Deepak,

    Good morning.

    Can you please kindly send me a link for the revised UAE LABOUR LAW (2015 the updated Labour Law).

    Your immediate response is highly appreciated.


  • Hi
    I have worked for a company for 2 yrs. I have a ongoing contract not a fixed term one. The company has told me my position is being terminated due to restructuring. I have been told to work for one more month and then leave. They will pay me one extra month then as compensation plus gratuity and outstanding holiday pay. Is this fair or should I be entitled to more than one month pay? Thanks for advice

    • Smith,
      Yes, under unlimited contract, you are entitled for what you company has mentioned.

  • hi mr.deepak im working in limited contract for 1 year and they terminate me for some reason they said.i just want to ask if i can have labor ban??because when i ask my boss he told me that i dont have labor ban,and some also telling i i dont have ban because i complete my 1 year in my it true or should i check to the mol about that?can you give me a contact number of mol?

  • Hello,
    My wife will give birth in September in Sharjah. We both work for a private school, as teachers. I heard from colleagues that the maternity leave given by the school will be only 2 weeks. Isn’t that illegal? What is the minimum maternity leave by law? Thank you in advance.

  • Sir.. My frist contract for 2 years and company terminate me one month without any isssue so its ban happen to me Aur not….

  • hello, mr, deepak

    I just want to ask that i’m under probationary period and company terminate me there is any ban…? and also i’m here in back my country. i use to work in abu dhabi.also i need to come back it’s possible if i can apply for job dubai so there is stilled ban dubai or if i can come freezone visa for dubai or abu dhabi also if can apply visit visa…

    • Ashan,
      You may have a ban depending on your company decision.
      You could apply with free zone companies where labour ban is not applicable.

  • Dear sir,
    I am graduate. I was working for one small trading company in dubai from September 2014. My 6months completes in this month 23. From the day I joined I have not received any offer letter, nor labour card. I m working as logistic executive but in my visa stamped S reception. No medical benefits not leave benefits. Morning 8 to daily working nearly 12 hours. Like slavery. Some time after office hours also carrying office phone and handling deliveries from home. I took one day leave in February. Next day I received warning letter from management. After dt they don’t assigned any job till next day. I went to boss and asked why he is not giving job. He said now you have done your post graduation you are not showing any interest. You find some other job once you find tell me I will cancel your visa. As he said I found job in jebelali. I got offer letter and went office to request boss to cancel visa but he demanded money . I was taken advance 3000 from boss and returned 500. 2500 was suppose to pay. Now for visa cancellation 3500 and advance 2500 totally 6000 he is demanding and I paid 3800 and I said rest amount I wil pay once I get my salary. After paying this also he is screwing me. He is telling he will cancel and send copy on Sunday or Monday and passport will be returned after this. I struggled lot to come dubai and I don’t have parents nor family to support me. My salary was 3000 here and in my new job also 3000 but freezone visa but new employer said I have to submit cancellation copy and passport asap. From feb 17 i m jobless and very difficultly I found this job. Now I Donno if boss delays to give my cancellation copy and passport I may lose this job. Kindly advice and guide me Sir pls.

    • Bala,
      You do not have to pay anything to your company to cancel the visa.
      You will have to repay the advance you took from your company.
      It is appalling to know that you have not been given any offer letter,labour card etc.
      If your employer is insisting on payment, please speak to MOL at 800-MOL and file a complaint.

  • Dear Deepak, You are doing a great job…

    I am working for a private firm for the last 3 years and 8 months.Now I resigned from there .And regarding my gratuity, they are quoting the Article 138 as per uae labor law mentioning that they are not ready to pay any money for me.
    Meantime i found your article listed below…
    “Scenario 2:
    If an employee employed for more than a year but less than five years under limited contract and complete his contract period he/she will be entitled for 21 days of Basic salary per year of service.
    Joining date 1-1-2008
    End date 30-12-2012
    Basic Salary 5,000/- per month
    Basic Salary per day =Basic SalaryX12/365=164.38
    Total no of days worked=Joining Date-End Date=1826
    Total no of years worked=Total no of days worked/365=5
    21 days’ Basic Salary=Basic Salary per dayX21 days=3452.05
    Gratuity Amount=Total no of years worked*21 days’ Basic Salary=17,269.73”

    where I can find this now ? official site ? I need your help on this.Please advise…..thanking you…

  • Respected Mr Deepak,
    I’VE worked in duba in Security services last year i left from dubai and now after a period of month i again want to come in dubai on visit but the person who is taking process on my viza in dubai is stating that i cant work anymore or my visit viza application is denied because new labour law of dubai says those applicants who worked in dubai before on low vages or in security cleaner or clerk positions cannot come to dubai anymore because its new rule of dubai that immigration is not allowing them only if they are coming on higher post than only employer will be allowed so is it true and if its true is there any other alternate i can come to dubai on visit viza to continue and look for better opportunity ??

    thanks with regards

      • Thanx sir i’ve been waiting since 1 week please update me ASAP….!!!
        Here’s my whatsapp 00918120027626

  • hai, This rafeek,
    i am working as a salesman( visa page stamped sales) last 4years in limited contract, already i have 1 renewel, mar20th/2015 is my labour contract end date, and visa 7th apr/2015, i got other job opertunity, how can i deal in this swicthvation ?

  • hi sir I would like to ask,if its possible that my present company will give me labor ban..I am unlimited contact,my contract will be finish by June 2015,I wanted to resign by April 2015..I’m going to transfer in a company with out’s my case sir?thank u.

    • Nadia,
      If you are at the fag end of your contract why are your resigning?
      You could complete the contract and resign with proper notice period.
      You will not get labour ban if you complete your contract.

  • Hi Deepak,

    Just wanted to say that I salute you.
    Keep it up and you will be deeply appreciated

    I hope there are more of you out there helping other expats too

  • hi sir ,,,i thank you for the enlighting workers on here,,,,,I wnt to ask ,i have be working in a company for a year as machines operator/machnist ,,,now the agreement my employer agree on is not fit to it,,,,i want to resign ,,to seek another better offer ,am i to face labour ban ,and did i entile to any gratuity and wht document i need from my the company