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03 October 2023

Know The Law: How new UAE labour rules on job offers will impact you

By Shuchita Kapur

A big step in empowering those in the UAE for employment, the new mandatory employment offer letter from UAE companies will help expats understand what exactly awaits them once they land here.

Thenji Macanda, Senior Associate at law firm Taylor Wessing, says: “The mandatory offer letter should promote transparency or openness between the employer and the employee.”

“This will ensure that expats coming for employment are not in for any unpleasant shocks.

“In the past, [sometimes] expatriates were sent attractive employment offers/terms from the UAE whilst they were in their home country, but when they arrived in the UAE, they realised that those terms would not apply and they were offered less-favourable terms on arrival.

“The employees historically found themselves in a weak position to renegotiate once they had taken all steps to actually relocate to the UAE,” Macanda tells Emirates 24|7. With the new changes, this will be a thing of the past.

“The amendment to the law will benefit employees as it will ensure that the employer is held to the original attractive offer and will be unable to later change the terms and conditions in the employment contract without the consent of the Ministry of Labour, unless of course the terms are more generous in which case the employee benefits anyway,” explains the Taylor Wessing expert.

“We anticipate that the Ministry of Labour’s offer letter will be a simpler version than the standard Ministry of Labour employment contract and set out full details of the compensation, i.e. designation, notice, basic salary and allowances and these terms will need to be adhered to in the employment contract.

“A common cause of complaint amongst expatriate workers, is that the final terms and conditions set out in an official Ministry of Labour contract are often less favourable than the terms and conditions set out in the offer letter used to entice the employee to move to the UAE. This decree should therefore be welcomed and increase stability and transparency,” she adds.

The UAE Ministerial Decree 764 of 2015 introduces a mandatory employment offer and states that an entry permit will not be granted for an expatriate employee until an employment offer has been lodged with the Ministry of Labour.

Also read: Know The Law: 8-hour shifts, overtime, annual leave in UAE Labour Law