As an employee working in Abu Dhabi, you should be aware of your rights as per the UAE Labour Law
11 June 2017| Last updated on 11 June 2017
Whether you're an expat or not, it's important to be aware of and have an understanding of the UAE's Labour Law that is in place to protect you and your rights while employed.
Developed in 1980, the Federal Law No. (8) - or more commonly known as the UAE Labour Law - is a comprehensive law, which regulates all aspects of labour and working relations between employers and their employees.
It has since been amended by a number of Federal Laws over the years, and today exists as 193 articles that outline everything there is to know about working in Abu Dhabi and the UAE; from your entitlements as an employee, to your contract, labour disputes, disciplinary rules, a labour inspection and so much more.
Here's 13 of those articles that everyone should be aware of while working in Abu Dhabi.
1. Article 1
This contains the definitions of certain terms mentioned in the law, which everyone should know and understand in order to fully comprehend the law itself. This chapter includes the definitions for employer, worker, firm, employment contract and all other relevant terms used throughout.
2. Articles 9 and 10
Useful to know if you are an employer or HR manager; these two articles state that work is an 'inherent right of the Nationals of the United Arab Emirates'. Meaning, job vacancies and opportunities must always be offered first to National workers, and if not available, workers of other Arab nationalities, and then other nationalities.
3. Article 13
This particular article verifies the need for a work permit; anyone who is a non-National seeking employment in the UAE must have prior approval from the Labour Department before obtaining an employment permit. Your HR contact should help you with this if you are currently in the process of securing a new role.
4. Article 20
Companies are prohibited from employing children of both sexes under the age of 15 years.
5. Article 27
As per the UAE Labour Law, no women should work at night, between the hours of 10pm to 7am. Only if a firm is disrupted by a 'force majeure', or if the woman is in an executive managerial and/or technical role, or if the woman works an industry such as health services, should she be allowed to work during these hours.
6. Article 32
This one's important for female workers to know. The UAE Labour Law states that women shall get the same wage as her male colleagues if they do the same job.
7. Article 37
If you've landed a new role, understand that your probation period must not exceed six months. But also be mindful that your employer can terminate your service during these six months without any given notice and end of service benefits.
8. Article 38
An employment contract can be made for a limited or unlimited period, as per the role's requirements by the employer. However, if you are employed on a limited contract, it must not exceed 4 years; but may be renewed with mutual consent from both you and your employer.
9. Article 62
An employer is not allowed to transfer your monthly salary, without your written consent, to a daily, weekly, hourly or piecemeal paid category.
10. Article 65
As per the UAE Labour Law, the maximum number of working hours for an adult employee is 8 hours per day, or 48 hours per week. However, there are certain industries that may increase this; if you work in a commercial establishment, hotel, cafeteria, security service and other similar businesses, the number of hours may be increased to nine hours a day. If you work in a hazardous role, your employer may reduce your daily working hours where necessary.
For the Holy Month of Ramadan, companies must reduce their working hours by two hours for all fasting Muslims AND non-fasting Muslims.
11. Article 67
If the nature of your job requires you to work over the agreed working hours, the additional time worked must be considered overtime and will alter your salary corresponding to your normal working hours, plus an additional pay of not less than 25% of the remuneration.
12. Article 70
Friday is the weekly holiday for all exmployees, except for daily wage workers. If circumstances require than an employee works on this day, they shall be entitled to another day in lieu, or paid his basic pay for normal working hours, plus an increase of not less than 50% of that pay.
13. Article 74
All workers are entitled to leave with full pay on the following occasions and public holidays in the UAE: Hijri New Year, Gregorian New Year, Isra and Miraj, Prophet Mohammed's birthday and UAE National Day. Plus, 2 days for Eid Al Fitr, and 3 days for Arafat Day and Eid Al Adha.