Labour Law: new three decrees
Posted on: Tue 29-Sep-2015
The first principle is that an agreement to enter into an employment relation must be predicated on mutual, informed consent.

The second is that the duly registered contract is the ultimate reference in terms of the rights and obligations of each party.

The third is that an employment relation is strictly voluntary, that it can only continue on the basis of the free consent of each of the parties and can, thus, be terminated at any time by either party subject to mutually-agreed to conditions for termination.

Once an employment relation ends, the decision to grant or decline a new permit to the worker is confined to the relevant public authorities.

Accordingly, the first of the new decrees mandates that the worker be presented with a unified, standard, employment offer that contains clear and enforceable terms and conditions of employment, prior to the worker’s entry in the UAE.

The signed offer is to be filed with the MoL, then retrieved from MoL upon the worker’s arrival in the UAE and signed into a standard legal contract without substituting or altering the terms of the initial offer, unless the proposed alterations are accepted by the worker and MoL as enhancing the benefits to the worker.

The unified contract shall contain a termination clause that sets out mutually agreed-to conditions for early termination and asserts that neither party can be made to remain in the employment relation against their individual free will.

The second decree defines how a labour relation may be ended. It ends automatically at the end of the term of a limited-term contract if the contract is not renewed; it also ends by mutual consent or by one party acting to terminate it during the term of a limited-term contractor and in the case an unlimited open contract.

The key objective of this decree is to anticipate the various instances of termination and indicate if and what associated measures must be taken to ensure that termination is lawful.

Accordingly, a non-term contract may be ended by either party at any time subject to an agreed-to requirement of notification. The maximum term for limited-term contracts — and their renewal — is now set at two years; a relation that is subject to a fixed-term contract is automatically terminated at the end of the term of the contract unless it is renewed by mutual consent.

It may be terminated during the term of the contract, either by the mutual consent of both parties without further obligation by either of the two parties, or by one party acting unilaterally to terminate the relation subject to agreed-to requirements of notification and indemnification.

The third decree seeks to make mobility rules more flexible within the bounds of our labour legislation. A worker is eligible to obtain a new work permit in many instances of termination. Hence the worker is eligible when a term contract ends and is not renewed, and when a term contract is terminated early by the employer provided the worker is in compliance with the contract and has completed at least the first six months with the employer.

This six-month minimum period is waived for workers that are classified in skill levels 1, 2 and 3 in accordance with MoL classification.

A worker is also eligible to obtain a new work permit when the worker follows due process in terminating a renewed fixed-term contract, or a non-term contract, provided, in the latter case, the worker has completed the six-month minimum period of employment.

A worker is eligible to obtain a new work permit, irrespective of the time spent with the employer, when termination is caused by the employer’s failure to meet contractual obligations.

Thus, in effect, a worker is denied a new work permit when the said worker acts to unilaterally terminate the employment relation with a compliant employer during the term of the contract and when the worker fails to otherwise terminate the employment relation without following due process.



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