Since January 1, 2016, the UAE has implemented sweeping reforms to the old Labour Law, plugging loopholes that now make employees even more content and secure in their workplace.
Primary changes in the new regulations pertain to employment contracts for workers hired from abroad, termination of job contracts, and issuance of new labour permits to resident workers.
According to new regulations, any offer letter made to a foreign worker is legally binding once accepted and signed by both parties.
This means that the employment contract should be based on the offer letter signed by both parties. The contract, however, must include a set of information.
The resolution issued by the Minister of Labour mandates that employers will be required to disclose to the Ministry the terms of the offer made to a foreign worker.
As per law, the following seven points need to be specified in all employment contracts.
1) Wages/remuneration payable.
2) Date of the employment contract.
3) Date of commencement of the employment contract.
4) Nature of the contract (limited or unlimited).
5) Nature of the work.
6) Duration of the contract (for fixed term contracts).
7) The location of employment.
According to the ministry, it has begun implementing new procedures for issuance of work permits where employers are obliged to provide the job offer and annexes containing a comprehensive description of rights and duties between both parties.
The documents must be signed (or bear the thumbprint, depending on job classification) after which a copy of the job offer should be presented to obtain an authorisation to enter the country followed by the issuance of a work permit and signing of the contract.
The ministry praised the reaction of many companies to the newly launched decrees that have been applied since January.
“Many of the establishments that have applied for new work permits under the new decisions proved their commitment to establishing a transparent working relationship with workers who were brought from abroad, therefore, they proved their sincere commitment to protecting workers through innovating new methods that will monitor the workers’ signature/thumbprint and follow up on all processes,” says Humaid Bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs at the ministry.
“Since the implementation of the new decisions, the ministry cooperated with a number of enterprises that have applied for new work permits in order to determine the procedures followed to brief workers on job offers. Officials in some of these facilities said they dispatched HR employees to a labour-sending country to closely brief the workers on job offers and then signed it followed by a photograph for documentation purposes.”
Who keeps the original job offer contract – you or your employer?
Are you worried about your original job offer not being with you?
If this important document is with the company you are employed with, it is well within the legal rights of your boss and you have nothing to worry about.
The Ministry of Labour has called upon employers to keep the original job offer contracts, signed by both parties, in case of legal disputes.
The ministry’s undersecretary has said that workers may contact the ministry in case they find a false signature on the job offer before signing the employment contract.
In such cases, employers are required to bring the original job offer that will then be referred to the court for further inspection, he said.