New UAE Labour Law: How to avoid 6-month ban

The Minister of Labour introduced important changes to the UAE labour regulations via decrees issued on September 27, 2015.

The Ministry confirmed that the six-month labour ban on employees switching jobs will be waived beginning January 2016 if the work permit and employment are terminated in mutual agreement.

The lifting of the automatic six-month labour ban is being hailed as a major step in the right direction.

“This amendment should substantially reduce the risk of expatriate workers being placed under a labour ban provided they work for at least six months with their employer and lawfully terminate their employment contract,” Thenji Macanda, Senior Associate at law firm Taylor Wessing told Emirates 24|7.

Nevertheless, there remain clauses in the law which can lead to the ban.

“If the employee is a skilled worker with at least a high-school certificate, then the six-month service is not required,” she said.

The law expert explains the circumstances under which there will be no labour ban.

Unlimited contract

The UAE Ministerial decree 766 of 2015 – issuing of new work permits (unlimited contract) – states that new visas will be granted (i.e., no labour ban) to employees who were employed on an unlimited contract where:

# There is mutual consent between the parties provided six months has been served. The six-month service is not required for employees with high school certificate or higher qualifications.

# One party gives at least 30 days’ notice (1 and 3 months), honours contractual notice and has six months’ service. The six-month service is not required for employees with high school certificate or higher qualifications.

# The employer terminates the employee for no fault of the employee, again provided six-months’ service has elapsed. No length of service for employees with high school certificate and above.

# The employer has failed to meet their contractual obligations. Example, non-payment of wages for 60 days.

# The employer ceases to operate.

An employee has obtained a court judgment against their employer for:

1. Unpaid wages

2. Arbitrary termination or early termination compensation

3. Any other rights that the employer has failed to grant the employee such as dues in respect of end-of service gratuity.

For those on unlimited contract

The UAE Ministerial decree 766 of 2015 – issuing a new work permit (limited contract) – states that new visas will be granted (i.e. no labour ban) to employees who were employed on a limited contract where:

# The fixed term has expired and not renewed.

# There is mutual consent between the parties provided six months has been served. The six months’ service is not required for employees with high school certificate or higher qualifications.

# One party gives at least 30 days’ notice, honours notice and pays agreed compensation. Compensation will be no more than three months’ gross wages.

 

Tags: #UAE #LabourLaw #Ban #Jobs #Employment #Ban

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