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.
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.