Ultimate Guide to UAE Probation Period

The probation period may be the most important part of the start of your job in the UAE. The probation period works as an assessment of the employee’s performance. The main aim of the probation period is to allow the employer to know the new hire is suitable for the respective job or not. When you are hired in UAE you must go under probation period.

You may have several questions in your mind regarding the UAE probation period :

  • What is UAE probation period?
  • How long is probation period in UAE?
  • Can I leave job in probation period in UAE?
  • Can I be terminated during the probation period?
  • Can the employer extend the probation period?
  • What is the new Law on Probation period in UAE and what are my rights during the probation period under New Law?
  • What are my rights during probation period?

The below article clearly explains your questions regarding the UAE probation period.

What is UAE Probation Period?

A probation period is when your employer scrutinises your on the job performance. Usually, this period is in between 3-6 months. But as per UAE Labour Law, the probation period is for 6 months. During the probation period, you may be terminated from employment usually with a day’s notice. The employee would also not be entitled to end-of-service benefits if the service is terminated during probation. However, if the employee continues his or her service, the probation period will be counted as part of the complete term of service. The labour law of UAE has a provision for employers to assess their performance and judge whether it is up to the standards expected.

Once you are confirmed in the employment, your employment is secured according to the Federal Labor Laws of the UAE and then you can only be terminated upon the expiry of your contract or as per Article 121 of UAE Labour Law.

Article 37 of the UAE Labour Law:

The employee may be appointed for a probationary period not to exceed six months, and the employer may terminate the services of the employee during this period without giving a notice or end of service remuneration. Appointment of the employee on probation basis in the service of one particular employer may not be made more than once. However if the employee passed the probationary period satisfactorily, and remained in service, such period of service shall be computed in the period of his service.

UAE Labour Law
article 37 uae labour law probation

How long is probation period in UAE?

Usually, the probation period is in between 3-6 months. But as per UAE Labour Law, the probation period is for 6 months. It usually starts from the beginning of the date of your new employment relationship.

Can I leave job in probation period in UAE?

If you are planning to terminate your contract during the probation period due to the switching of job you would be required to serve a one-month written notice to the first employer, notifying him that he wants to end his contract and work for another employer and would also need to pay some compensation as per Article 116 of Labour Law. I would suggest you carefully read your employment contract before submitting your resignation during your probation period.

Article 116 of the UAE Labour Law:

Should the contract be rescinded by the worker for causes not set forth in Article 121, the worker shall be bound to compensate the employer for the loss incurred thereto by reason of the rescission of the contract, provided that the amount of compensation does not exceed the wage of half a month for the period of three months, or for the remaining period of the contract, whichever is shorter, unless otherwise stipulated in the contract.

article 16 of uae labour law

Article 121 of the UAE Labour Law exempts an employee from serving a notice period before resigning in certain cases.

Article 121

The worker may leave work without notice in the following cases:

  1. Should the employer breach his obligations towards the worker, as set forth in the contract or the law.
  2. Should the employer or the legal representative thereof assault the worker.
article 121 of uae labour law

Can I be terminated during the probation period?

As per the provisions of the UAE Labour Law, you can be terminated at any time while you are on a probation period. If you are underperforming during the probation period employer has the right to terminate your employment contract by giving one day notice in writing before the date specified for ending the contract and will not be entitled to severance pay and other compensation and benefits. Termination of an employee’s employment during the probationary period falls under Article 120 of the UAE Labour Law.

Can the employer extend the probation period?

The employer cannot extend your probation period more than six months. Any extension in the probation period that exceeds six months is unlawful. Also, you cannot be placed under a probation period more than once by the same employer.

What you need to know about Probation Period?

  • You can not be placed under probation more than once by the same employer and if the worker passes the probation period successfully and continues to work, the employment contract becomes valid according to the agreed terms, and that period must be calculated within the tenure of service.
  • Your employer can terminate your services at any time during the probationary period with one day notice .
  • The probationary period is included in calculating your service years for purposes of gratuity calculation and other pay calculations.
  • You are not legally entitled to any paid sick leaves during the probationary period. However, if emergency arises, you can discuss with your manager, in this case your leaves will be treated as unpaid leave.
  • You do not have to reimburse or compensate your employer for visa expenses

What is the new Law on Probation period in UAE in 2021 and what are my rights during the probation period under New Law?

In order to protect employee rights, increase the labour market’s productivity, flexibility and competitiveness UAE has announced a new decree on the rights of an employer and an employee during the probation period.

According to the new laws, private sector companies cannot terminate employees during probation without a 14-day written notice, as per the new labour laws that will be effective from February 2, 2022.

  • Under the Federal Law No. 33 of 2021 regulating labour relations, terminating an employee during probation period, which should not exceed six months, must be done in writing 14 days before termination.
  • Employees cannot be placed under probation more than once by the same employer.
  • Employers cannot extend the six-month probation period. Once the probation is successfully completed, employees are to work under the conditions of the contract, while including the probation period as part of the overall service.
  • Employees wants to change jobs during probation must submit a one-month notice.
  • Employee wants to leave the country during probation, must submit a 14-day notice. In the event that he wishes to return to the country and obtain a new work permit within three months from the date of departure, the new employer shall pay the compensation if any unless there is an agreement between the worker and the employer stating otherwise.
  • Employee leaves the country without notice during probation will render employees a one-year ban from obtaining a work permit.
  • If any of the parties violated these rules, the breaching party is required to financially compensate the other with a pay equivalent to regular work days of the remaining notice period.

To conclude, in UAE every employee has to go undergo a mandatory probation period before achieving permanent employment.


Human Resource professional and writer.

2 thoughts on “Ultimate Guide to UAE Probation Period

  1. When exactly does the probation period start? From the day the “contract” started or from the day the “card” was issued? I have two different dates within the same month but a week apart. I need to make a complain against my employer but was advised to wait till my probation is up. So I’m confused as to which day would be the exact date.

    1. It is usually starts from the beginning of date of your new employment relationship.

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