UAE: New labour laws to go into effect in February 2022

Tags: Labour,News

15 Nov, 2021

As published in Khaleej Times
by A Staff Reporter

The new regulations will relate to different work categories, including part-time and condensed working hours, among others

The law — issued by the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan — aims to govern different work categories, including part-time and temporary work, and provide more employee protection.

The Federal Decree Law no. 33 of 2021 concerning the regulation of labour relations will take effect on February 2, 2022. It is the biggest amendment of its kind since the law’s establishment.

Dr Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said in a media briefing that the new decree law comes in response to the rapidly-changing workplace amid technological advancements and the outbreak of Covid-19.

He added that it comes as part of the UAE Government’s efforts to create a flexible and competitive work environment as the country prepares to embark on its journey towards the next 50 years.

What the law will entail

>> Different work categories

The new law will apply to different work categories including full-time, part-time, temporary and flexible work among other categories.

The executive regulations of the law, which the ministry is currently working on, will lay out the responsibilities of both parties in each category.

This article of the law aims to attract talents and competencies from all over the world.

>> Judicial fee exemptions

The decree law will exempt workers from judicial fees in all stages of litigation and execution, and requests submitted by workers or their heirs with a value that does not exceed Dh100,000.

>> Protection against bullying and sexual harassment

The law stipulates that the employer may not use any means of force against employees or use a penalty threat to provide a service against their will.

It also prohibits sexual harassment, bullying, or any verbal, physical or psychological violence against workers by their superiors or colleagues.

Any type of discrimination on the basis of race, colour, sex, religion, nationality or disability is strictly prohibited under the new decree law, with special aims to empower women in the workplace.

>> 3-year contract

The decree law specifies one type of contract, which is a limited contract that does not exceed a period of three years. The contract is renewable for the same period, or a lesser period, upon the agreement of both parties.

The provisions of the decree law apply to unlimited contracts.