Employment Contracts and Duration in the United Arab Emirates

Employment Contracts

The UAE Labour Law defines it as an agreement, either short-term or long-term, reached between an employer and an employee, whereby the employee agrees to work for the employer and under his control in exchange for compensation that the employer would provide him. The employment contracts should specify the starting date, type of employment, location, terms and conditions, duration, and salary. It should be written in Arabic but may also be written in English.

Suppose the (MOHRE) does not issue an employment contract. In that case, the employee may use other legal documents to establish his employment, such as an internal agreement between the parties, an appointment letter, a payroll record, or a book of attendance. The (MOHRE) maintains a copy of the employment contract for future reference. (MOHRE) refers to the archived contract copy in circumstances of employment disputes or end of service.

Employment Contracts Duration

An employer may recruit a worker on a fixed-term employment contract for up to three years under Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Labour Relations in the Private Sector, or the “UAE Labour Law” (which became effective on 2 February 2022). A similar or shorter term may be added to the original one.

The contract is deemed renewed under the same terms and conditions as the original contract if it is not renewed or extended after it expires and the parties continue to fulfill their obligations under it.

When determining an employee’s end-of-service benefits, the employer should take any extension or renewal of the employment contract terms into account.

According to the law, companies must convert unlimited employment contracts into fixed-term employment contracts following this decree-law within a year of the start of the current contract. The Cabinet may also decide to extend the contract for additional periods if necessary and in the public interest. These decree-law provisions will also apply to contracts for limitless employment signed by Federal Law No. 8 of 1980.

Types of work arrangements

The Labour law admits four models of work arrangements as follows:

  • Full time – under this system, an employee works for one employer only on a full-time basis.
  • Part time – under such contract, an employee works for one or more employers for a specific number of hours or days.
  • Temporary work – under this system, an employee works on a specific assignment and the contract ends upon its completion.
  • Flexible working – under this system, working hours or days may change depending on the business needs of the employer.

Experienced Lawyers for UAE Employment Contracts Drafting

Employment contracts are printed word for word and line for line. Employers must carefully design employment contracts specially written for the needs of the business. Thus, they must avoid using pre-made contract forms purchased at office supply stores.

At Marwa Al Reyami Lawyers and Legal Consultants, we work to safeguard businesses by creating thorough yet simple-to-understand employment contracts to prevent things from being misunderstood or misread. Employers in the UAE have relied on our legal drafting team to ensure that employment contracts contain wording that will stand up in court and safeguard their interests.

Decide to start protecting your company right away. Call us to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled Dubai attorneys for the writing of employment contracts.