The uae labour law government announced a decree-law last year to safeguard workers’ rights in the private sector in the event of a pandemic.

If you work in the UAE, you should be aware of the employment laws and guidelines, which give employees a variety of benefits such exemptions from paying for some legal fees and paternity leave. Learn more about the changes introduced to the UAE Labour Law 2022 now.

uae labour law


For the purpose of regulating labour laws in the private sector, H.H. Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 was issued by the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the second president of the United Arab Emirates and the ruler of Abu Dhabi (may he rest in peace).

The bill is set to go into effect on February 2, 2022. Some post-COVID-19 workplace rules include the following:

  • Adaptable working hours
  • various work models
  • updated rules protecting employee rights for part-time and temporary labour
  • revised leave regulations
  • probationary period termination policies
  • shorter workweeks
  • Pay parity between men and women

The UAE Labour Laws 2022 are currently being implemented, and according to the Ministry of Human Resource and Emiratization (MOHRE), this is preparing the way for the country’s workforce, which is always changing, to thrive and prosper in the future. In addition to attracting new talent, these policies place a strong emphasis on gender equality in the workplace.

Additionally, businesses are no longer allowed to hold onto any of their employees’ official documents, such as passports. Additionally, they are not allowed to impose hiring fees to employee


This rule specifically forbids any form of workplace harassment against employees. This includes any forms of verbal, physical, or psychological abuse aimed against a worker by an employer, a subordinate, or another employee, including sexual harassment and bullying.


The law forbids discrimination on the grounds of gender, religion, national origin, socioeconomic status, disability, colour, or race that can restrict equal opportunities or prevent the realization of equal rights.

Additionally, it is illegal to fire female employees who are expecting or on maternity leave.


The UAE Labour Law has been amended to emphasize the earlier definition of equal pay for men and women. These amendments emphasise that working women in the UAE must be subject to all employment-related regulations without being subject to any form of discrimination or infringement on their legal rights.
According to UAE labour legislation, women are likewise entitled to the same pay as men when performing similar or equally valuable work, as determined by the Council of Members.


The employment market is divided into six distinct work models under the labour law of 2022, including the following:

  • Employment at Full Time
  • Employment, Part-Time
  • Employment – Temporary
  • Flexible Work Schedules
  • Employer Remote
  • Employment that Combines Jobs


The numerous working models described in the 2022 law are summarized below.

  • Part-time job is defined as work performed for a predetermined number of hours or days under one or more employment contracts.
  • For additional information, see our article about working part-time in the UAE.
  • Work is temporary and terminates after the agreed-upon number of hours or project is completed (s).
  • Flexible employment allows you to change your schedule as needed to accommodate workload and operational demands.
  • Work when multiple employees share responsibilities and tasks is done to meet projects or business needs that have been mutually agreed upon.


It’s also important to keep in mind that the maximum workweek and daytime hours are 48 hours and 8 hours, respectively, in line with Article 17 (1) of Federal Decree-Law No. During the holy month of Ramadan, work hours must be reduced by two hours.

However, Article 7(2) of the New Employment Law also recommends that, on the minister’s recommendation and in consultation with the relevant enterprise, the Cabinet may increase or decrease the work schedules for several economic sectors and demographic groups.

The time spent travelling to and from work is not considered part of the working hours, with a few exceptions as noted in the “Executive Regulations of the Labour Law.”

Employment agreements

A restricted fixed-term contract may not go over three years in length, as per the modified statute. If both parties agree, the agreement may be renewed or extended for a comparable or shorter amount of time.
Employment contracts formed in line with Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 that are for an indeterminate period of time are subject to the decree-terms laws.
According to the revisions, unlimited employment contracts must be converted into fixed-term employment contracts. These contracts shall be subject to the limits, regulations and procedures set forth in the decree within one year after the date of the Agreement.


The following probationary rules are implemented by the labour law of 2022:

  • The probationary term for the UAE employee is limited to six months.
  • If an employee is terminated while on probation, the company is required to provide them two weeks’ notice.
  • If an employee wants to leave while they are on probation, they must give 30 days’ notice.
  • An employee on probation who wants to leave the country must give 14 days’ notice.
  • Let’s assume a worker resigns, leaves the nation, and then returns within 180 days to begin a new employment. In that situation, the old employer is entitled to reimbursement for the purchase of the visa as well as other charges.

In any case, notice terms are limited to three months.

Employers are now allowed to terminate an employee’s employment while they are on leave. However, the notice period won’t start until the worker comes back to work following a leave.


  • The original labour law’s article 120 no longer applies, and employers may now sever employment relationships for any of the 10 mentioned grounds without giving prior notice. This covers abuse of authority or instances in which a person profits personally from their employment.
  • An employee’s employment contract may be terminated in some situations. Such as, those involving a significant change in job responsibilities—without cause or the employee’s approval in writing.

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