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Navigating UAE Employment Law with Al Kabban & Associates: A Comprehensive Guide

Home / Employment Law / Navigating UAE Employment Law with Al Kabban & Associates: A Comprehensive Guide
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Navigating the intricacies of employment law in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is crucial for ensuring a legally compliant and harmonious workplace environment for employers and employees alike. As a thriving business hub attracting talent from across the globe, the UAE faces unique challenges when it comes to managing workplace relationships and ensuring the protection of employee rights. A comprehensive understanding of UAE employment law, coupled with the guidance of a knowledgeable legal partner such as Al Kabban & Associates, empowers employers and employees to establish a fair and legally compliant foundation for their respective work relationships.

This comprehensive guide is designed to offer employers, HR professionals, and employees valuable insights and practical guidance to navigate the complex landscape of employment law in the UAE. By exploring topics such as employment contract essentials, employee rights and benefits, workplace regulations, and dispute resolution mechanisms, the guide provides a holistic understanding of the subject and prepares readers to effectively manage employment law issues in the UAE. Furthermore, this guide highlights Al Kabban & Associates’ expertise in handling employment law matters, showcasing their dedication to delivering tailored and effective legal solutions for clients grappling with employment disputes and workplace challenges.

Armed with a clear understanding of UAE employment law and with an experienced legal partner like Al Kabban & Associates by your side, you can confidently establish and maintain successful employer-employee relationships that are legally compliant and in harmony with best practices in the UAE. As you delve into this guide, you will gain vital knowledge and practical tips to help you mitigate potential legal risks and create a thriving workplace that supports your business goals and the wellbeing of your employees.

Employment Contracts in the UAE

Employment contracts serve as the cornerstone for the employer-employee relationship in the UAE. As outlined in the UAE Labour Law, an employment contract should include essential elements such as:

1. Employee’s full name, nationality, and job title.

2. Employer’s name and address.

3. Date of contract commencement and duration.

4. Job location and description.

5. Salary and compensation details, including allowances and benefits.

6. Working hours, leave entitlements, and probationary period terms (if applicable).

Employment contracts can only be for a fixed term duration, the length of which can vary as agreed to by both the employee and employer. Employers should ensure compliance with the Labour Law when drafting contracts, including adhering to guidelines on non-compete clauses, termination provisions, and confidentiality agreements.

Employee Rights and Benefits in the UAE

The UAE Labour Law outlines various employee rights and benefits, which employers must respect and adhere to:

1. Working hours: The standard working hours should not exceed eight hours per day or 48 hours per week. During the holy month of Ramadan, working hours are reduced to six hours per day for Muslim employees.

2. Overtime: Employees asked to work overtime are entitled to 25% additional pay during normal hours and 50% additional pay between 10PM to 4AM.

3. Annual leave: Employees with a service duration exceeding six months but less than one year are entitled to a minimum of two days paid leave per month. Employees with a service duration of over one year are entitled to a minimum of 30 days of annual leave per year.

4. Public holidays: Employees should receive paid leave on designated public holidays.

5. Sick leave: Employees are entitled to 90 days of sick leave per year but only after completing their probationary period. Of the 90 days, the first 15 are fully paid, the following 30 are half paid and the remaining 45 are unpaid. According to Article 31 of the UAE Labour Law, the employee must notify the employer about their sickness within a maximum of three days and submit a medical report on their condition, issued by the medical entity. Employers can not terminate an employee’s contract while they are on sick leave. 

6. Maternity and paternity leave: Female employees are entitled to 45 days of fully paid maternity leave and 15 days of half paid leave. The leave can be applied for up to 30 days before the expected delivery date. Male employees are entitled to five days of paid paternity leave from the date the child is born up until the age of 6 months.

Employers should also be aware of UAE regulations on end-of-service gratuity payments, employee insurance, and repatriation expenses.

Workplace Regulations and Compliance in the UAE

Employers operating in the UAE must adhere to various workplace regulations to ensure compliance with the Labour Law:

1. Discrimination and harassment: The UAE Labour Law prohibits discrimination based on race, nationality, or religious beliefs. Employers should also have policies in place to prevent harassment, bullying, and other forms of workplace misconduct.

2. Health and safety: Employers have an obligation to ensure the health and safety of their employees in the workplace. This includes providing adequate training, protective equipment, medical facilities, and maintaining safe work environments.

3. Employee records: Employers must maintain and update employee records such as personnel files, payroll records, and employee performance evaluations.

4. Labour inspections: Employers should prepare for periodic visits from UAE labour inspectors, who will verify compliance with the Labour Law and investigate any reported workplace violations.

Resolving Employment Disputes in the UAE

Disputes between employers and employees may arise from disagreements regarding contract terms, salary payments, workplace conditions, or termination matters. To resolve disputes, the parties may consider:

1. Practical resolution: Open discussions and negotiations to settle the matter amicably.

2. Mediation: Engaging a neutral third party to assist in reaching a compromise.

3. Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) intervention: Referring the dispute to MOHRE for conciliation and investigation.

4. Litigation: Filing a case with the UAE Labour Court for resolution through a formal legal process.


Understanding and navigating the complexities of employment law in the UAE is vital for both employers and employees. By staying informed and adopting best practices, parties can establish and maintain legally compliant and harmonious working relationships. 

With the support of Al Kabban & Associates, a reliable and experienced legal partner, clients can confidently address the evolving challenges of employment law in the UAE while promoting a thriving and productive work environment. Schedule an appointment with our trusted business lawyer in Dubai today!


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