The UAE intends to enforce a new labour law at the start of 2016 to better regulate the relationship between employers and workers and curb violations to ensure both parties will get their rights, the press reported on Tuesday.
The new law includes three main rules governing labour contracts for workers from abroad, terminating contracts between the employers and workers and the issuance of a new work permit to a resident worker.
“These rules will take the labour market to a new stage based on a strong and balanced relationship between all parties and on agreement and transparency in contracting to guarantee the rights of all parties,” Labour Minister Saqr Gobash said.
The first rule in the law, published by the Dubai-based Arabic language daily ‘Emarat Al Youm’, requires the employer to issue a “clear and detailed” contract for the foreign workers to be brought from abroad, including all duties and rights for the two parties, job terms and other requirements in a language understood by the worker.
The contract must be signed by the worker before it is submitted to the labour ministry for the issuance of a work permit, which must not be altered at any stage.
“The same measures apply to workers who reside in the UAE. In this case, the employer must also get the worker’s signature,” it said.
The second rule, which governs contract termination, includes an agreement by the employer and the worker to end their two-year contract.
Another case includes a decision by the employer to terminate the contract before it expires.
In this case, the employer must give at least one month notice to the worker and pay the worker all dues during that period.
“The notice period must also not exceed three months and must be agreed by both parties,” it said.
The new rule also governs cases in which the employer or the worker terminates the contract without abiding by the legal procedures.
Another case involves a decision by the employer to terminate the worker’s services for committing offences including assaulting or insulting the employer.
Regarding unspecified contracts, the employer seeking to terminate a worker’s contract must also give a notice of not less than one month and not exceeding three months.
“In all contract termination cases, any party has the right to go to court to seek compensation and any other rights,” it said.
Under the new rule, the work contract is considered null if the employer is found to have violated the law including failure to pay the worker for two months.
In case a worker could not start his job because of the closure of the company, the labour ministry will send inspectors to check the company’s status before issuing a decision within two months.
As for cases considered by the labour court at the ministry, it will issue a final decision forcing the employer to pay the worker two months’ salary or to compensate him for service termination or depriving workers from end of service benefits.
New job contracts
The new rules also cover new job contracts to workers whose contracts have expired or terminated by an agreement between the employer and the worker provided the worker has completed at last six months with his employer.
According to ‘Emarat Al Youm’, the new law specified three cases involving termination of work contracts.
They include agreement by both parties provided the worker has spent at least six months with the employer, termination of the contract by either party for some reason, and termination of the contract by the employer without reason.
The new law allows the issuance of a new work permit in cases where the employer is found to have violated his commitments, including failure to pay workers for two months, a complaint by the worker that he is not able to start his job because of the company’s closure, and a labour dispute at the ministry’s court.
Ministerial decisions 764, 765 and 766 aim to improve labour relations based on sponsorship.