Six Major Changes In The New UAE Labour Law
The UAE government’s new labour law came into existence on February 2nd of 2022. The new set of laws affects the private sector employment-related regulations.
The labour laws make amendments to existing laws on employment contracts and procedures on taking in new employees. The government has given time until February of 2023 for employers to implement the laws. The six major changes to the law are as given below:
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- Leave periods
Under the new law, the maternity leave period has been increased. Now women can take sixty days of maternity leave after pregnancy, within which the first 45 days will be fully paid and the other 15 days half paid. The law also makes it necessary to grant leave in cases of a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant’s death.
Compassion leave has also been added to the new labour law. This allows employees to take leave, if their spouse, parent, child or grandparent dies. In the case of the death of a spouse, it’s five days of paid leave. Whereas, in all other cases, it is three days of paid leave. Another interesting addition is that of study leave. Employees can take up to 10 days of study leave per year if they have been working for two years or more and are affiliated with a UAE approved education institution.
- Overtime and Rest day
The new law is silent on the exemption under the previous law, given to supervisors and managers on working overtime. Companies will have to wait for further instructions from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MHRE) on the matter. The new law does not require companies to give rest days on Friday’s to their employees. It can be given on any day of the week.
- Fixed Term Contracts
This is one of the most critical changes in the new labour law. It requires employers to keep all employees under fixed-term contracts with the maximum duration of the term being three years. Employers may then renew the contracts after their term period is over.
- Contract Termination
The minimum notice period of termination of the contract is 30 days, and the maximum is 90 days. Another important feature of the new law is that redundancy termination is made legally valid grounds for termination of an employee. The employee on notice period is entitled to one unpaid job search leave per week.
- EOSG and End of service payments
The new law has made amendments to the previous system of End Of Service Gratuity(EOSG) procedure. The new law mandates all employees must get full EOSG upon termination, given they have worked with the company for at least one year. The new law also mandates that all end of service payments should be made within 14 days of termination.
- Discrimination and Harassment
Employees are protected under the new labour law from discrimination in the workplace based on sex, gender, race, nationality and disability. The law also states that men and women should be paid equally for the same work. It protects against sexual harassment, bullying, verbal or non-verbal, physical or physiological forms of abuse.
Updating with the current times
The new labour law is seen as a result of the UAE government evolving and keeping up with the current global standards of Labour laws. It came as a response to the new dynamics of the workplace with the pandemic changing the system of the workplace. The law would increase transparency and efficiency in the labour market. All companies and employees are required to update themselves according to the new labour laws. To know more about the labour law, get in touch with the experts in Marque Way.