8 January 2013| Last updated on 7 July 2015
Until recently expatriates were only permitted to have one full-time job with the employer who sponsored and provided them a residence visa.
The Cabinet Resolution No. 25 of 2010 concerning Internal Work Permits Applicable in the Ministry of Labour (MOL) introduced the following five new categories of work permits which provided more flexibility to both employers and employees.
1. Worker Transfer Permit
Under Ministerial Resolution No. (1186) of 2010 on the Rules and Conditions of Granting a New Work Permit to an Employee, expatriate employees who have been with their existing employer for at least two years may transfer to another employer without the six month ban, the previous legal requirement, if the termination was consensual.
The termination need not be consensual if:
(a) the employer breached any of its legal or contractual obligations;
(b) the employee has filed a complaint with the MOL due to the employer’s closure;
(c) the employee has filed a labour claim with the Dubai Courts; or
d) the employer unilaterally terminated the employment contract.
The mandatory two-year working period is waived if:
(a) the employee earns a minimum of AED12,000, AED7,000 or AED5,000 depending on which of the three professional classes (s)he belongs to;
(b) the employer has breached its legal obligations towards the employee or the employee is not the cause of the termination; or
(c) the employee moves to an establishment which is owned by the first employer or if the employer is a shareholder in that establishment.
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2. Temporary Work Permit
This is a temporary work permit for those on a project or job function for a period of no more than six months.
3. Part-Time Work Permit
This permit is for those in a job with less than the normal full-time working hours of other employees in the same job. This would also allow those with a full-time job to take up a second part-time job if they have the consent of their main employer and the part-time permit is to work after hours.
Part-time workers are entitled to all the labour rights under the UAE Labour Law.
4. Work Permit for Personnel Sponsored by their Kinship
This means that those who are currently dependent on their spouse (or other kin) for a residence visa can now get a job which would give housewives/husbands and students over the age of 18 more flexibility in moving between jobs since they would not be tied to their employers, but their spouse.
5. Juvenile Persons Work Permit
Teenagers between the ages of 15-18 may now be legally entitled to work although there are special working conditions required in accordance with Ministerial Resolution No. (1189) of 2010 concerning the Regulations and Conditions of Issuing Work Permits to Minors.
The procedures for applying for and issuing these internal work permits have yet to be released from the MOL at the time of writing (March 2011).