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Employee; Know Your Rights
• You are entitled to keep possession of
all your personal identification documents once your residency
permit is issued
• If you are asked to sign a contract
with different terms and conditions, even if you are advised that
the changes are of advantage to you, report immediately to the
nearest Labour Office, as contract substitution is illegal
• If your employer fails to present you
with a contract or provide you with work, the Labour Office will
assist you in finding alternative employment
• If your employer fails to present you
with a work contract within one week of your arrival, report to the
nearest Labour Office
• To avoid violating the law, do not
accept other employment without first reporting to a Labour Office
• UAE law requires your employer to pay
the costs of your recruitment and deployment including residency
• Your contract must match your job
offer, and you should keep a copy of your signed contract
• You have the right to leave your job
at any time, but be aware of your contractual obligations
• The termination of your contract can
be ended by the employer or the employee, and it can be by mutual
• It is important for employees to
follow the required legal steps for terminating a contract, as the
Labour Office can help recover any dues that are owed to the
employee and arrange placement in alternative employment if eligible
to obtain a new work permit
The relationship between employers and employees is governed by
Federal Act Number 8 of 1980 and its amendments. The Act is applicable
to all employment relationships when engaging an employee, whether a
UAE citizen or a foreigner. It is not
applicable in the case of employment by a government authority.
work permit is issued by the Ministry for two years, subject to renewal
for similar periods. Employment contracts may be for a limited period
specified in the contract or for an unlimited period, in which case
the employee will continue working with his employer until the
contract is terminated.
Working hours are eight hours a day or 48 hours a week. However, for
persons or employees in trade, hotels, and restaurants, the daily
working hours may be increased to nine hours. For overtime work, the
employee is entitled to an amount equivalent to the wage paid for
ordinary working hours, plus 25 per cent. Overtime may not exceed two
hours per day unless necessary. An employee is entitled to an
leave of 30 days, and
maternity leave and sick leave are not part of
the annual leave.
Act Number 8 stipulates certain provisions for the employee’s health
and safety and for workmen’s compensation against
work accident. The
employment contract may be terminated by mutual consent of the parties
or on expiry of its duration. Any dispute arising between the employer
and the employee will be resolved by the Ministry of Labor, which must
make a recommendation within two weeks from the date the application
for a dispute settlement is filed. If the parties fail to settle the
dispute as recommended by the Ministry, the matter should be referred
to the courts. The time limit for a lawsuit relating to an employment
contract is one year from the date on which the amount claimed or
entitlements become due. Employees are exempted from court fees before
the court of first instance and court of appeal.
As per the UAE Labour Law, employers have to bear the
of visa fee of the employee and the health insurance
coverage of the spouse and two dependents below 18 years of age, and
all the other costs, visa fee for children and their other document
processing fees like national identity cards (Emirates
ID), are paid by the employee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Employee can work for sponsor only
I have been working with a company in Dubai for
more than six months on a limited contract. Now, I want to avail power
of attorney of my mother’s company in Sharjah.
Since it’s a family business, my mother wants me to take care of some
parts of the business and for that she is willing to give me power of
attorney to legally run her business. Is it legal to work for my
mother’s company under a power of attorney approved by the Sharjah
Court though I am working for another employer?
A: According to Article 67 in the third
chapter of the federal law number 6 for the year 1973, a sponsored
person is under a duty to not work except for his sponsor. Similarly,
the sponsor is under a duty not to employ who is not sponsored by him.
Hence, if your mother’s entity is not sponsoring you, you cannot take
a role in it and this will be considered as a breach of the law.
Breaching any of these obligations and working in an entity where you
are not sponsored put all the parties in a risk of being prosecuted
and hence, subject to a minimum fine of Dh50,000 each or imprisonment
and the same amount of fine (KT).
Q: How much does a recruitment agency in UAE
charge for job applicant?
A: There should be no charges from the
applicant. The sponsor or employer has to pay the agency for all the
expenses that may occur.
Q: What are the basic rights of foreign
workers in UAE?
A: For professional, skilled and semi-
• The employer
should apply for
Labour Contract and
Resident visa within 60 days from the
date of worker's entry. Visa is valid for two years.
• A copy of the Employment
Contract must be given to the worker.
• There should be one
day-off for the employee.
• The regular hour of work
is 8 except for Hotel, Restaurant and Sales where the working hour is
must be given to the worker beyond 8 hours and 9 hours respectively.
or service benefits should be given to the employee upon completion of
Household Service Workers:
• Household Service
Workers (HSWs) should have Emirates ID, Immigration contract and
residence visa for 2 years. If the sponsor is a foreigner, then the
residence visa is valid for 1 year only, renewable yearly. Medical
test is must for first visa stamping and renewal. Sri Lankan and
Indonesian housemaids should do
Medical test from their home country
• One day day-off should
be given to a domestic helper, as per agreement between the employer
• No overtime pay for HSWs.
Is it legal to take
No. An employee can only work
with his/her sponsor whose name or company’s name is written in the
residence visa. But some categories can apply for
part-time work permit.
Q: What is the meaning
An employee is considered
“overstaying” if her/his residence visa is already expired. A grace
period of one month will be given to the employee after the
cancellation of his/her visa.
Q: What is the
currency of UAE and how much is its equivalent in US$ Dollars?
The currency of UAE is Dirhams (AED)
and equivalent to US$ 3.68.
Q: What is the
dominant language/dialect in UAE?
Arabic is the native language.
English is widely used for business and everyday communication.
Workers' rights stipulated by
the law: UAE
> Remuneration (salary) within first 10 days of a month
> One day of rest every week, including service workers
> Employing a worker less than 18 years is illegal
> 30 days paid annual leave and decent accommodation.
> Medical insurance at the expense of the employer
> A return ticket at the expense of employer once in every two years
> Right to receive treatment and compensation due to occupational
> Non-employment of a worker in an area that is different from the
nature of his work
> Right to keep his or her identity documents including passport and
> Right to obtain a copy of employment contract
> Right to sick leave.
> Right to end of service gratuity
Know the types of visa bans
Here are the dos and don'ts to
If you are working in the UAE, it is crucial for you to know the
different types of visa ban rules that apply to the region.
A visa ban prohibits a person from entering the country or taking up a
new job. It is important to know the dos and don'ts to make sure you
avoid getting a ban.
Permanent residency ban:
This type of ban is applicable to any serious labour offense
considered illegal or absconding. The federal department keeps record
of banned individuals (fingerprint and scanned sample).
Labour ban is only executed under the following situations:
> On the expiry of contract, when on action is taken by the present
employer's end in relation to your employment.
> In case, if no new application is applied by different employer.
> Termination of unlimited labour contract before completing 1 year
> Termination of limited labour contract before date of expiry.
This ban denies the entry of the employee in the UAE. The reason
depends. It may be a criminal offence, bad debt, bounced cheque, rape
violence, rash drinking, drinking, theft, inappropriate relationship,
etc. Immigration ban is also applicable when you have broken
government rules and regulations.
This type of ban is also called work permit ban. You can work in the
UAE for a limited period of time, but can be applicable for 6 months
Candidates who left their job without legally binding reasons may be
given a 6 month ban by the employer. This is imposed by the Labour
ministry on the employee's labour card or work permit.
Howsoever, this ban does not affect your entry in UAE. You can easily
enter UAE on tourist or visit visa.
When you resign any job prior to its completion of limited contract,
this is enforced. When you lose your case filed against labour
ministry, this rule comes to exist. In this case, the employer needs
to start the proceeding of work permit even before the expiry of the
visa. The ban gets automatically activated, if new application is not
forward well before expiry of work permit or visa.
How to avoid getting a visa ban?
First thing that you need to assure is that your current employer has
executed proper action for extension of your employment contract, even
before it expires. The employer needs to go to the Ministry of Labour.
If changing jobs, you need to be sponsored by the new employer or else
your labour card gets banned. Lastly, knowledge is power. Always keep
up to date with the latest rules about Dubai visa and employment
issues, as well as amendment to labour laws.
7 reasons why your UAE visa
application may be rejected
Below are the most common reasons:
1. If you held a residence visa previously and left the country
without cancelling the UAE visa. To get an approval, the PRO will have
to go to the immigration department and clear your previous residency
2. Hand written passports will automatically get rejected by the UAE
3. Visa applicants with previous criminal offence, fraud or misconduct
committed in the UAE.
4. Previously applied for tourist visa but did not enter the country.
In order to get an approval, PRO of the travel agency or sponsor must
go to the immigration to clear the previous UAE visa.
5. Applicants who applied for employment visa via a company
(prospective employer) but did not enter the country. To get an
approval, the PRO of a travel agency or sponsor must go to the UAE
immigration and clear the previous employment visa.
6. Visa application with typo errors of name, passport number, and
profession code will see a delay in getting approval, or result in
rejection of the passport.
7. When photo of the passport copies are not clear or blurred when
applied in the online UAE immigration system, the approval might get
delayed or rejected.
Visa rules are subject to changes. Follow UAE embassy in your country
or the relevant authority in the UAE.
Marital status not criterion
for employment visa
Q: I work for a private company in Dubai, and I am sponsored by
the company. I am not married and I hear there is an age limit for
non-married ladies to get an employment visa. Can you please tell me
up to which age a lady who is not married can work on an employment
visa in UAE?
A: It is understood that you are an unmarried lady working in a
private company at Dubai and your employer provides your employ-ment
visa. Further, you understand that there is an age limit for unmarried
ladies to be under the employment visa provided by the employer.
Pursuant to your question, it may be noted that an individual's
marital status is not the criteria for issuance of employment visa, in
accordance with the prevailing laws of the UAE. It is understood that
since January 2011, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiritisation
(the "Ministry") of the UAE is accept-ing requests for work-permits of
individuals up to the age of 65 years. As per the prevailing
prac-tice, for all employees working at private sector entities, the
retirement age is deemed extended up to 65 years. However, the
upper limit of 65 years on the retirement age may be further
increased in consider-ation of the individual's nature of work, his or
her credentials or ex-pertise which is important for the entity he or
she is working for. Further to this, employment visa may be issued to
an employee annually after the em-ployee attains the age of 65 years,
subject to the approval of the ministry. (KT).
Employee While he is in Service
Changing Employment Visa and Dependents Visa without exit
Employment visa during
Employment visa Renew
Labour Contract FAQs
Labour Contract New (After Entry)
Labour Establishment Card Amendment
Labour Fees Information
Labour Card Fine Calculator
Lost Labour Card
Part-time Work Permit
Permit for relative Sponsored
Ministry of Human Resource and Emiratisation, Qusais, Dubai
Timing: Saturday to Thursday
7:30am to 7:00pm
Call Centre: 800-66473 / 800MOHRE