Employment in Freezones

Employment in UAE Freezones

In UAE each free zone has its own employment law and these free zones are not governed by the UAE Labour Law. Free zones, are subject to the rules and regulations of the free zone concerned authorities and maintain their own employment contracts. However, Labour Law will still apply and the provisions on the employment contract must be in accordance with the Law.

All free zone employees are sponsored by the respective free zone authority and not by their employers. The free zone authority sponsoring the employees, refer them directly to the immigration authorities and not to the Ministry of Labour.

This means they do not require Labour department approval. Any disputes between employees and their employers in the free zones will not first be heard at the Ministry of Labour but by the respective authority.

Employers are required to keep a bank guarantee which is required to secure the employees’ dues and any end of service benefits which may be payable on termination of their employment contracts.

Contracts in Freezone

Labour contracts in Free Zones are usually for limited to two years. In case, if the employee terminates the contract before the expiry, and if it is written in your employment contract about reimbursement of visa and other expenses, then the employer has the right to claim the reimbursement.

Such an amount shall be determined according to the employee’s position as well as salary. Usually, an employer cannot ask employee to reimburse visa cost and other expenses. It is considered contrary to the Labour Law.

If the free zone authority does not approve the transfer of sponsorship, the free zone authority shall cancel the sponsorship of the employee and the employee shall not be permitted to work for a new employer unless a valid entry permit and residence visa have been obtained. This may require exiting and re-entering the country.

Labour ban in Freezones

The Employer has the right to ask the JAFZA authority to put a work ban for a year as such a work ban is applicable for JAFZA only. In other Free Zones in general, an employer may make a recommendation to the Free Zone Authority to impose a ban on the employee, but it is at the sole discretion of the Free Zone Authority to issue the ban or not.

About Deepak 505 Articles
Deepak is a passionate blogger with interests in bitcoin, online marketing, and writing.
  • what is the consequence if an Employee from the Free Zone, do not report to work and leave the country without cancelling the visa and does not comes back to work.
    Again if the same person would like to comes back after the gap of 1 years and above – shall he can work and get the employment visa as regular or he faces any penalty. If yes then how to remove the ban if any.

    • it depends on case. If he left the country without informing and cancelling visa he may have the chances of getting life long ban which will not allow him to come to dubai. if he has got only one year ban then he can enter uae after completing the ban. There is no way to remove ban.

      • Dear Deepak,

        I’m working in dubai since six months. i want to change my current job. can u please tell me if i leave this job does any ban for me.
        and if i transfer to any freezone in uae, is any ban will be applicable me or not.

        kindly reply me.
        Mohammed

          • Hii deepak

            My visa is technopark visa, and am workng from septmber 2014 till date. As per my contract my salary was 1800 and after probation period of six months 500 will be increment. And accomndstion is free. But after 8 months they gave me latter of 500 incrment. And at the same time they are strted to dedect 700 in my salary as a accomndstion charge. Now present salry is 1600. And am working as a accounts assistent. Now my savings is nothing. And my visa is 3 years visa. So now am not intrested to work here. So I planed to drop this company. If I resign the job will I get ban? and how to contact Technopark labour, and how to complaint and how to move please advice me.

            Kaindly reply me

            Dikshith

  • I am working ina freezone company abudhabi(higher zone corporation).I resigned from company and they gave me resignation acceptance letter stating that my last working date wil be aug31st.But after that they are not cancelling my visa telling that I should collect all the dues from customers inorder to get cancelled.
    so I went to file case against employer in zone corporation.They called employer and told them there is no labour rule such that and it should cancel immediately.

    still employer refused and now it has been transferred to court case.But I have an offer from another freezone company in rak and zone corporation told me they can cancel my visa without consent of sponsor.is this true?my passport is with employer only.if I did so will it affect my case regarding 3 month salary and benefits?
    Also will I get visa from new company.please advise

  • GOOD DAY!

    I am currently working for 8 months now as Studio Technician in a FreeZone Media Company with limited contract with a salary of 6,000 dhs. inclusive of everything, No Labor Card, and No Employment contract but only an Appointment Letter. I received an offer from a Semi Government Company which as OSH Nurse with salary of 8,200 dhs. And last December 17, 2013 I sent my resignation letter to our acting PRO/Accountant and at first he ejected my resignation and if I wanted to pursue it he advised me to pay more than 15,000 dhs. for 45 days+Visa and render 30 days work. What he has said to me is unacceptable knowing the fact that we are freezone. December 18, 2013 a representative from Freezone Media Authority advised me to file a complain in the Labor Ministry that handles the freezone issues. December 31, 2013 in the Labor Office with a representative from current company, the legal adviser said to the employer’s representative to verify if it is Limited or Unlimited Contract & they need to show an Employment Contract or Agreement Letter after verifying that the Appointment Letter that I had is not an employment contract and the case was re-scheduled January 6, 2014. The other day January 05, 2014 I was advised my HR Manager of my current employer to close the labor case and he will Offer me a salary of 8,000 dhs salary and promote me as a Store Manager, I was asking for an agreement letter or contract so I can show it to the Labor Ministry but he said he will give it to me within a week after closing the case. January 6, 2014 during the 2nd meeting with the labor legal adviser I told her that I will not close the case and will get back to her again once I have the agreement letter and the legal adviser re-scheduled it again for January 14, 2014. When i said it to my HR Manager he terminated me for not closing the case, I explained to him everything the reason why I did not close the case because i need an assurance or guarantee in a black and white sheet but instead of listening he terminated me but our PRO/Accountant refused to terminate me and he wanted me to continue my resignation and advised me to ask the labor ministry legal department to give them a letter indicating the amount that I need to pay them or the amount that they need to pay me. Do i really need to pay the 45 days? Will I get a ban? Will I get a gratuity and compensation? Please help me.. Thank You and Happy New Year.

    THANKS AND GOD BLESS..

    ROMEO

  • Hi, I am working in Jebel Ali freezone company for over a month, but than I am not happy with the working environment and want to leave for good. Will i get a ban or do i have to pay anything to my employer?
    How would I know the nature of my labor contract. Please advice

    • Since you are working in free zone you will not get an automatic six months labour ban but company may ask you to pay the compensation for visa charges . It will be depend on company and it’s policy.

  • Hi Mr. Deepak,

    I worked in a company under JAFZA and got back here in UAE from exit under that JAFZA Entry permit, with a validity of 60 days upon entry here in UAE. When I started work I felt uncomfortable due to some discussions during the interview was not followed. After 3 weeks or a month I informed the GM that I cannot work with them anymore, and he agreed but I need to pay them the money they spent for my Visa. The Visa was not stamped, there is no medical. In short this Entry permit was cancelled before the expiration. I agreed to pay the DHS3000 as agreement to them that they will not file any cases with me. I was able to pay them 2100 only and my passport is still with them and told me that they will give it only if I complete my payment. But then after a week of my visa cancellation they are pressuring me to exit which is really not possible because I dont have any money to exit anymore. They were calling but I wasnt answering their call but I managed to send them emails and informing them regarding my status. Until there is 1 company who’s willing to give me visa after 5 months of overstay. The Director of the Company had talked to them and assure them that they will issue Visa for me as soon as they received the Investment and funds from the Company’s investors. But they told the new company that I already have an Absconding Case. My concern is, how will I know if they really filed an absconding case for me? And how will I be able to get back my passport from JAFZA? Would I be filed an Absconding Case if my passport is with the Company? Please advise. thank you

    • If you have not answered the call and if you owe any money then for sure company might have put you under absconded list.
      If you want your passport back then it is better to contact your company and solve the issue.

  • Sir Deepak,
    i would like to know how will i get out from my company which is a freezone in Fujairah. My boss is verbally abusing me. He usually use the F… word every time He is mad at us(all his employees). I am a Lady and this is the first time that someone is saying that to me. my contract is limited for two years. as of this date i still have 15 months to finish my contract. another thing is that i recently discovered that our company is not allowed to have an office in dubai since our permit is in fujairah. our office is in dubai right now. can i also used that to get our from this company? please help mr.deepak. this is my first time to work outside my country. Thanks in advance.

    • It is better you address this particular issue with your freezone authority. Employer has no right to abuse the employee.

  • Dear mr deepak,
    my husband is currently working in semi government company. we have some complaint about the employment contract.since we cannot raise it MOL due that they are employed in semi-government.maybe you could help us where can we raise our concern?the 11 staff wants to complaint about their right.hope you could help us.tnk u

  • Dear Sir,

    I just wanted to clarify below, I recently finished (in December 2013) my 3 year unlimited contract and company has renewed my visa for more 2 years (till Dec 2015), i resigned on February 20th 2014 and my last date will be March 19 2014, my question is whether employer can deduct cost of visa which company renewed recently

    Thanks,
    Himzaan

  • hi i just got my employment visa last january 2014 and started working, my visa was from RAK Free zone, i just started my medical but not finished with the blood test only xray and the emirates id, i have not signed any contract only offer letter. I wanted to leave the company because the management is really not fair with the employees since I am in sales. What advice can you give me? I dont know about the ban and I am afraid maybe they will not give me back my passport and ask me to pay my visa. appreciate your reply. thanks

    • Since it is a free zone labour ban wont applicable. your company may ask you to pay the visa charges. however it is depend on company policy. company has no right to keep the passport of an employee.

  • hi mr. deepak
    how can i know if from which free zone is my visa from? and is that possible that if the limited contract for 2 yrs is terminated by the employee after 1 yr. the employer can ask the employee to pay them 10x of its salary. and give ban for 2 yrs? pls help. thank you

    • if it is limited contract and employee terminates before the expiry then employee should pay 45 days compensation to the company as per the notice clause mentioned in your agreement.

  • Hi,

    I am working in Jafza company for almos 6 month and i am not happy with the company , i found a new job in internet city and i want to resing but Jafza told me that the employer could ask a work ban..

    does that jafza ban have any affect on internet city visa?

    Thanks

  • Hi DeePak,
    please advise,
    1) if im working in dafza under 3 years limited contract and i want to leave after 31 months exactly, also wnated to work in same free zone for another employer-which i know they will never give me NOC for this specific employer. can i jsut give 30 days notice and go!!! will i have to pay 45 days compensation!!

    2) if I will get a visa from new employer( another branch not dafza) will i be able to work in dafza orI will get banned!! plzzzzzzzzz reply

    • since it is a limited contract you may have to pay 45 days compensation
      yes depend on company

  • hi, im working in a jafza company. i started working aug24, 2013. then i exit (visit visa) by sept5 and went back here by sept 12 with my e-visa. i was able to sign the contract by sept. 14… then i received my jafza card by nov. 18… im just wondering out of these dates.. when is the start of the counting of the work period?… im also thinking of leaving the company because of my fathers health condition.. im anxious coz my passport is still in jafza. i dont know why its still in jafza since my co-worker told me it should be delivered together with the card? what can i do to have my passport back? tnx:)

  • Hi Mr. Deepak!

    I am not an employee under Freezone company, but i am planning to apply and work with Freezone company. Currently, I am working in a private company under unlimited contract. My question is, will I have a labour ban just in case i resign and be employed with the new company under freezone? Or can freezone company lift the ban? I am just new here and I am not yet sure with the labour laws here in Dubai. Kindly advise. Thanks.

  • Dear Deepak

    i work for semi government company in dubai for 2 years 10 months, now i have got an offer with a company in TECOM freezone. I dont want to reveal my new employer name , but my management is insisting for same. The new employer requested me initiate visa cancellation from current employer, so that they will process my new visa. I just want to know, can my current employer create any issue in processing my freezone visa ? am serving my notice period in full and pushing for a smooth release. However am worried if my employer can make any fuss after cancelling my visa.

    • I dont think your current company will make any issue regarding cancellation. However it is depends on Manager.

  • Dear Deepak, i work for a semi government company and am planning to join a company in freezone. am not willing to reveal the name of joining company to my curent employer. after cancellation of the visa, can my current employer can create any issue ? the fz company asked me to cancel and process a new visa.

    • to add more, am working under unlimited contract and completed 2 years 10 months of service, willing to serve 30 days notice.

  • I have finished my mba with 6+ years experience in business development,sales/marketing and customer service…And i came to dubai on visit visa 13th march 2014…how can i get a freezone job? eventhough i have much experience i didnt get a job….Plz tell me the right path to land a good job….

  • I am currently sponsored by my husband who has visa under Sharjah Govt. Now when I tried to obtain work permit from JAFZA, they informed me that I cannot get the work permit since I am holding visa from Sharjah Emirate.

    Please guide me whether I will be able to get the work permit from JAFZA with my Sharjah Residence Visa.

    Regards,
    Divya

  • I would like to know if the semi government employees are allowed to raise complains in labour office ?

    • If you have labour contract then yes you can raise the complaint or you can complaint to the certain authorities from where your visa has been issued

  • i am on visit visa which is still valid more than 15 days,my employement/i entry visa of free zone company is issued.i not submitted any passporr or no medical done uptil now! i got better job opprotunity in non free zone company i want to cancel that free zone visa want to join new company!what will be procedure and maximum fine,

    • sorry i have no idea about the fine. if they cancel the visa no issue you can join the other company on new visa.

  • Hi, I am working in trading company under JAFZA. We have 3 years contract and I worked almost 8 months now but unfortunately I am not happy and contented of the salary, benefits and working environment. No yearly ticket, hopeless salary increase and I am paying my Visa every salary day.
    I am planning to resign and get another job. What will be the effect if I resign?
    Please advise me..

  • Hi sir i am employer a restaurent bur dubai my visa is cook. sir i would like go a freejon company internet city and but other line no foodline i will get a officeboy job. labour ben come on me or no.i not paying visa charg sorry i know english little bit of please give me advise thankyou sir.

  • I’m Working in JAFZA company for 20 months now under a three year contract. My company is no longer wants my services for no specific reason and its making me choose between terminating me or submitting my resignation letter willingly. what should I do?
    looking forward to hearing from you promptly as it is an urgent matter.
    Thanks in advance.

  • Hi Deepak,

    I’m workiing in a DAFZA company for the last 7 months and want to switch my job somewhere else in Dubai. Since I did not complete my one year, will there be any kind of Ban imposed on me which will restrict me from getting new employment.

  • hi sir,

    My name is kumar and i am working for freezone company since 22june 2013, Due to the work environment i wanted to move to another company, i have given resignation My last working day will be 02nd june 2014. Do i need to pay any visa and Medical charges as i am leaving only 20 days before for a year and will i be eligible for Leave Salary,

    kindly guide me

  • Hi Deepak,
    I have been working in a company in JAFZA for 10 days, and I feel down graded. What are the implication if I leave this company and go to another company in JAFZA or outside JAFZA?
    Regards

  • Hi Mr. Deepak is here is my situation

    morning, 10th of June, after having a two days (8-9 June) sick leave because of severe migraine, I express my desire to resign to the company because my boss is always insulting me and is using abusive languages that I cannot accept. After that, they said that there are cash that was received my be that is missing. Here are their accusation’s

    1.On the same day, (June 10) my senior (Mr. Tariq) told me that there is a missing cash(AED 5,545) that was received 29th of May (11 days after) . The companies practice was we need to issue the invoice first followed by the receipt voucher. The invoice was issued by Sir Tariq and the receipt voucher was issued by me, I remember that I received the cash and I remember I put it in the drawer were all cash collections is located. Me and my accounting manager has the key to that said cash drawer. They are using the key when Im on sick leave. And whats bothering me is that, everyday my senior is tallying the cash deposit so how come after 11days they will tell me that it is missing.

    2. The same day (june 10) the accounting manager said there is again another set of cash that is missing (AED 8000 plus and 500 plus) . The invoice for that cash was issued by me 4th of May (more than a month). Unlike the first case, there is no receipt issued so there is no proof that I received or someone received the money. Since I’m the one who issued the invoice they are accusing me that I took the money.

    3. Last case was according to one of my officemate, he handed me one envelope with AED 1360 sometime in the first week of May. Since there is no receipt issued they are saying that I took the money. I was asking my officemate if he has proof that I received the money but according to him there is none.

    The first two issues was raised 10th of June and the last issue was raised 15th of June.

    15th of June The general manager along with the accounting manager and the assistant accounting manager call me to discuss the said issue. They want me to admit that I took the money and the general manager even scolded at me. I was very helpless as they all want me to admit a sin that I did not do, I feel harrased all of them are shouting at me. They are threatening me that they will put a ban on me and I will be deported, they also threatened me that they will call the company that will hire me and give negative comments on me so that they will not hire me. I said to them please call the police as I want to settle this legally but they did not do it.

    Today, June 17, They issued termination letter and they want me to pay AED 5,545 only (first missing cash) because they dont have proof that i received the other missing cash. They will released my passport after paying the said amount and according to them they will put ban one me and I will be deported.

    Mam/Sir,First, I dont want to pay the missing money because I did not took anything from the company. Second, Why they raised such missing cash after a month, Third, I was on my probationary period, I dont even have emirates id, labor card and even visa stamped on my passport so I believe I am under training and under the super vision of my senior, so audits should be done regularly. I am not pointing fingers on anyone, I just want to know where is the cash and to punish who ever is guilty. If the court find me guilty let the police give the punishment not the company.

    I love UAE that I leave my career in the Philippines and work here in Dubai, but Im not expecting this to happen. Im hoping Mam/Sir that you can help me on my case as I am really helpless right now. I want to work still in Dubai because as Ive’d said i love UAE.

    Im hoping Mam/Sir that you can help me because Im really helpless. By the way the company is under Dubai Airport Freezone

    QUESTIONS:

    I want to f\ile a case, do I have a strong case?
    Can I still work while the case in on going?
    How long does it take to solve the case in court?
    Can they put ban one me?
    Can they file absconding case?

  • Hi Depak,

    I worked for a private company in Dubai for almost 8years and due some reasons my employer don’t want to leave me from his company.

    Some how I have resigned and my employer placed MOL banned of 12 month due to limited contract for which I complete 13month only and though I was working on same visa from 8 years in same organisation.

    I have to join a JAFZA private company, will it be possible to get employment in Jafza with MOL ban.?

  • Hi Deepak,
    This topic has been discussed many a times in this forum but still for a confirmation.
    I arrived from India on the 6th of April 2014 under company visa.After I started to work here I realized that the working conditions is exactly the opposite of what i was promised.I am an MBA from University of Pune and here my job is to stand on the road and distribute the company pamphlets whereas in India they told me that they are taking me for corporate marketing.And to top it up am working on a 12 hours shift without weekly offs at a stretch for months.
    My doubt is can i leave the job during the probation month of 6 months, will I receive an employment ban & also when I called the MOL helpline they told me that I will have to pay my company one and a half month salary.Am fine with this but what I am confused is even if i pay the fine will the ban still be enforced on me.And can I also start working in a free zone if i get a job there in spite of a ban ?

    Requests you to kindly advise me.

    • Hi Deepak
      Same situation here for me. I am doing a marketing job (Salary 4000 AED ) for 3 months. My contract is limited and probation period is of 6 months. Now i got a job in Hamriya Freezone yesterday. I want to resign the job. Will the company impose ban on me?
      Please advise

    • Compensation would be 45 days salary
      any additional charges would be depend on the company policy

  • Dear Deepak
    Can you advise me on how much compensation I will have to pay my current employer other than the one & a half months salary clause, if I leave before the completion of my two year contract.The labor Ministry customer care people told me that I will have to pay my employer one & half months of salary, but on my offer letter it is written that I will have to pay the induction charges also (Visa Charges).Only the visa was provided by the company, rest all the cost was borne by me only.
    Kindly Advise.

  • Regarding the cancelation of visa, company is asking for 45 days salary. and says that its as per company policy. But when ever I ask for this documented company policy, there is no such documented company policy. so what should be done?

    • It is depends on your contract whether it is limited or unlimited. If it is limited you need to pay the compensation to the company

      • It is a Limited Period contract of two years.Other than the one & a half month salary will I be required to pay the induction charges.Only the visa was provided by the company.
        Thanking you in anticipation of a reply from your side.

  • i am working in ajman free-zone for almost month now i want to switch my job is there any ban on men for doing this

  • Hi deepak

    I am working in a non free zone company, if i like to move to free zone company will i get a auto ban for 6 months and also will i need to pay the compensation.

  • Sir i want to ask u am working I free zone campany from last two year and my visa limit is 3 years if I want to move another campany the ban will bi applied on me

  • HI deepak

    sir im working in jafza free zone since last year march 2013 Now i want go canceeled my visa and go back my country .what is process plz help

  • Sir im in a freezone company and i want to transfer to a private company
    i havent sign any contract and medical…. i only sign for the employment visa.. can i transfer to other company without recieving a ban? pls advice

  • Sir, I was terminated and now my company when I went to sight my finally setelment they didacted form my last salary for visa cost. Is that illegal in free zone. Thanks

  • Dear,

    I am working for a private sector company (under ministry of laboure), and I get an offer to work for company in freezone.
    my question is: if I quit from current company I will get a labour ban for 6 months (from ministry of labour 🙁 baecause I did not complete 2 years), does that affect getting visa from freezone authority ?

    Thanks

  • I have signed agreement with a company for 03 months as a resignation notice, in this case will the employer pay me 03 months salary in case of termination ?

    • if it is written either the party then yes company should give you 3 months notice during termination

  • hello sir.

    i am currently working here in RAK under RAK FZE sponsorship. i am planing to apply for a new and better job in DUBAI.

    my contract says that the company may apply an employment BAN if an employee will resign before 2 years of contract and that i need to pay 1500aed after rendering 1 month before resignation.

    is it possible that an emplyment ban will be applies even though my visa sponsorship is free zone?

    thank you.

  • hello

    i am currently working here in RAK under RAK FZE sponsorship. i am planing to apply for a new and better job in DUBAI.

    my contract says that the company may apply an employment BAN if an employee will resign before 2 years of contract and that i need to pay 1500aed after rendering 1 month before resignation.

    is it possible that an emplyment ban will be applies even though my visa sponsorship is free zone?

    thank you.

  • I have a limited contract which dated July 8 2013-july 7 2015 my father died last july 15 2014 I didn’t went back home because my vacation leave approved on Novembe 2014 now after sometime the Owner cancel my vacation or else she will cacel me if I will pursue my vacation? Can she give me 1 ban? 12 hours duty without overtime pay.

  • Hi Deepak,

    Iam on limited contract and 8 mnths now hv resigned. My employer is threatening me of 1 yr labour ban now at the last minute of cancellation. Will it effect me from joining freezone company.

  • i have an existing 6mos ban from labor due to unfinished contract. I was able to find another job in freezone but the unlimited contract says I have to pay 4500aed if in case I decide to resign before i finish 2 years. Isnt the fine too much for a work that only earns 1200 per month? and can the company really do that?

    thanks!

  • Dear deepak,

    i have worked for an LLC company for the past 2 years and 11 months ,i have completed my first 2 year visa and renewed after 11 months i got a new job at jabel ali freezone ,my HR told me i will receive a ban of 6 months but there is no stamp on my visa on passport and the company have cancelled my visa , i want to know is that immigration ban or labor ban.will if affect applying of new visa at free zone is there any solution please help.

    • IF you are shifting to freezone, there may be no labour ban. If you have immigration ban, you will not be able to work anywhere in UAE.

      • Dear deepak,

        I have got 1 year ban from MOL(no immigration ban) and now I have got an offer from DIFC freezone company. Can i get work permit there during this labour ban?

        After 1 year I can work in any company?

        • Rijas,
          Yes if you have labour ban you can go into freezone but if it is a immigration ban then you need to wait till your ban gets over

  • Dear Deepak,

    I work in a freezone company under tecom unfortunatelly i got terminated during my probation period and my last day with them is on 30th as written in the termination letter. My question is will I face any ban or problem? Can i still join for another freezone company? Do i need to pay the visa cost etc since they made me sign a company contract stated that if i didnt complete 1 yr I need to pay those, but im confused if its right because I am not the one who terminated the contract. Please advice. Thanks

    • you can join freezone no issue
      i dont think you will have to pay since it is a termination

  • Dear,

    Can DAZ free zone visa it is possible they put me ban.
    i just complete three months.

    i am getting good offer from outside free zone.

  • Please help,
    I worked for 1 LLC company in Dubai for 3 months (April – June’14). than joined a company in August’14 in freezone LLC(Dubai Internet city) and have some insecurity in job due to some immediate changes happened after I joined here.
    Now if I go back to other company in LLC dubai. is there will be visa problem. My graduation degree was already attested from India and UAE embasy, my previous and current visa issued on the basis of same.
    Please reply.
    Regards,
    AM