Is UAE Labour Law applicable to everybody?
Being an employer or an employee, all must be aware of their rights as per UAE Labour Law. Although it may seem that UAE Labour Law encompasses everybody in the UAE, all companies, employees do not come under the purview of the UAE Labour Law.
As per the Article 3 of the UAE Labour Law, if you are anyone from the below category, then UAE Labour Law WILL NOT BE APPLICABLE TO YOU:
a) Officials, employees and workers of the Federal Government, Governmental Departments of the Member Emirates of the State, Officials, employees and workers of municipalities as well as other officials, employees and workers, working in Federal and local public Departments and organizations, as well as the officials, employees and workers appointed for Governmental Federal and Local Projects.
b) Members of the Armed Forces of Police and Security.
c) Domestic servants working in Private residences and the like.
d) Workers employed in Agriculture or pastures, other than those persons employed in the agricultural corporations engaged in processing their products or those permanently engaged in operating or repairing mechanical machines required for Agriculture.
This means employees, companies in the Private Sector will be under the purview of UAE Labour Law.
Do Free Zones have to follow UAE Labour Law?
In their recent release MOL mentioned that they are working towards a unifying Employment Law which will encompass Free Zones. Once that is released, Free Zones will be required to adhere to the new UAE Labour Law. As per the current Labour Law, Free Zones are independent of Labour Law and can follow respective free zone laws of employment. If a Free Zone company wants to follow UAE Labour Law, then they usually mention it in their internal policies or in the employment contracts of their employees.