UAE employees allowed to work part-time at another job: MoL

Many employees in the UAE believe that having a part-time job if s/he is employed elsewhere is illegal in the country and those flouting the rules will be penalised. That isn’t entirely true.

Since 2010, the UAE’s Labour Law has provisions that allow an employee to opt for a part-time job along with a full-time one. If certain conditions are met, a person who is already employed by an entity may work for another employer – legally.

What the UAE Ministry of Labour says

As told to Emirates 24|7, the UAE’s Ministry of Labour says that a part-time work permit is valid for one year. This work permit can be issued to local, GCC and expatriate employees to work in another company on a part-time basis, which is less than eight hours and at the same time with their current work.

It is up to the employer to give the no objection certificate (NOC) to the employee. The applicant (18 years) on family sponsorship/ student (male and female more than 18 years) can also work on a part-time work permit with NOC from the sponsor. Such work permits can be issued to employee between 18 and 65 years of age.

The fee for part-time work permit includes an application fee of Dh100 and an approval fee of Dh500, the UAE’s Ministry of Labour said in comments to this website.

“As a result of amendments to the Federal Immigration and Labour Laws in 2010, it is now possible for non-UAE nationals (expatriates) to hold a second job,” Jamie Liddington, Senior Associate at Hadef & Partners, explained to Emirates 24|7.

“The employee must remain employed and sponsored by the first (full-time) employer who must consent in writing to the employee taking on a part-time job,” Liddington told this website. “An application for a part-time work permit should then be submitted to the Ministry of Labour by the second (part-time) employer together with supporting documents (including the first employer’s letter of consent) and payment of a fee which varies according the part-time employer’s status,” he explained.

Sara Khoja, Partner, Middle East Employment Group at Clyde and Co LLP states that all parties should agree amicably and the route to a part-time job can be paved.

“If both employers are registered with the Ministry of Labour, then, it is possible for an employee to be sponsored by one company but to also work part-time for another company, provided the Ministry of Labour issues a temporary work permit for the second employer,” she told this website.

“If the employers are registered with the Department of Immigration only and not with the Ministry of Labour, then there are also temporary work permits which can be obtained,” she explains further.

And, the good news is that many employers are letting their employees go for this option. “In our experience, most employers will allow employees to take on a second job where the employee can show that the part-time work will not interfere with or adversely affect the employee’s performance in the full time role. However, each sector is different and each particular case will depend on the facts,” says the Hadef expert.

Another important thing to consider here is the difference between part-time jobs and freelancing and both should be treated differently.

Freelancing is working for yourself, where you are essentially a company made up of one person, which is perfectly legal as long as you are licensed to do so. If you are a freelancer, then you will need to secure a Trade License pertaining to your business activity from your selected Licensing Authority, and adhere to their stipulations, says Alexandra Tohme, Community Manager at Nabbesh.com, a virtual skills marketplace, especially catering to freelancers in the region.

The add-on part-time jobs may provide a sort of quick-fix solution to those who may have missed payments to banks or are finding it hard to make their ends meet, or simply wish to make more money and are ready to burn the midnight’s oil, proverbially speaking.

Almost 8 out of 10 people in the UAE are indebted to their banks, according to an online poll run by compareit4me.com.

More than half of the respondents of the online poll run by the website said they have a credit card loan (54.7 per cent), followed by personal loans (43.6 per cent), car loans (12.6 per cent) and mortgages (4.1 per cent) and, worse, they are missing on the schedules payments.

If you are in such a sticky situation, financial prudence is the best policy but to get rid of these payments and also to sustain yourself, you could well consider a part-time after you finish your daily obligations with your full time employer. (Read: 8 of 10 UAE residents in debt; 25% defaulters )

It may be a good short-term solution to financial woes, but can be a very exhausting exercise in the long term. Nonetheless, something to fall back on until the next increment at your workplace.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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