Employment Contracts in the UAE

Posted Mar 4, 2019

Employment laws in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are generally known to be employee-friendly. The relationship between an employer and an employee in the UAE is governed by Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 relating to Labour Relations (UAE Labour Law). The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (formerly Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs) has established a labour department in all the Emirates in the UAE in order to provide easy access for dispute resolution and other labour affairs (Labour Department). The UAE Labour Law does not apply to employees working in the public sector, domestic workers in households and in certain free zones in the UAE which have their own employment laws (for example, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM).

The UAE Labour Law has been amended from time to time to cater to the changing needs in the employment sector. The UAE Labour Law permits employers and employees to enter into two types of employment contracts, namely: (1) Limited Term Contracts; and (2) Unlimited Term Contracts. This article focuses on some of the key features of these two types of employment contracts.

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