Standardized Labour Contract to Come into Effect on January 1

By March 18, 2016 News

Standard work offer, termination of employment conditions and job mobility are covered in the regulations

The new unified labour contract standardizing employment terms and making them more transparent is scheduled to come into effect on January 1, 2016. The Standard Limited-Term Employment Contract was drafted by the Ministry of Labour as part of the three new decrees that are expected to improve regulation and transparency of the labour market. The contract and the decrees were first announced by the ministry on September 28, 2015.

All employees across the country will be presented with a unified, standard employment offer that contains clear and enforceable terms and conditions of employment prior to their entry into the UAE.

The contract, which is divided into 11 clauses, details the obligations and rights of both employer and employee. The contract will explicitly state a worker’s profession, job title, and basic remuneration allowances (all of which should be written in figures and words).

The contract will need to be signed by both the employer and the worker.

One clause stipulates that the duration of the limited-term employment contract may not exceed two years. The contract’s rules will apply even during the notice period ahead of the contract’s termination. The notice period, which can be anywhere between one to three months, must be agreed upon by both parties signing the contract.

All expenses related to enabling an employee to work for an employer must be borne by the latter. This may include travel to the UAE and broker agency fees.

In an earlier interview with Gulf News, Saqr Gobash, Minister of Labour, said 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 into the UAE.

“The signed offer is to be filed with the ministry,” he said, adding it would have to be “then retrieved from the ministry 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.”

Employers are also obliged to provide all occupational health and safety measures, and ensure healthy working environment as specified by the ministry.

After the expiration of the contract, an employer must bear the repatriation expenses of those working for him.

Accommodations provided by the employer must meet the standards of the ministry. If accommodations are in remote areas away from urban areas, employers are required to provide appropriate means of transport, potable water, basic foods and medical, recreation, and sports facilities.

If it is proven than an employer’s obligation has been violated, employees may leave work without notice at any time, and file a duly admissible complaint with the ministry.

Clause 10 of the standard contract details the worker’s obligations, which promises that his basic duties will be carried out in full and by the deadlines, according to the specifications mandated by the nature of the work he is performing. An employer may dismiss him from his work without notice or end-of-service indemnity if he persists in failing to fulfill his basic duties after repeated warnings.

An employee may not work for any other party, even during his leave from work except in certain cases pursuant to the conditions and regulations set forth by the ministry.

A worker also has the right to retain possession of his/her passport.

Employers also have the right to file a complaint or grievance with the ministry, as long as there are reasonable reasons to do so, as listed in the contract.

Employers have the right to temporarily suspend an employee from work if the latter has been charged with a premeditated crime. Employees suspended will not be entitled to remuneration.

Employers may terminate the services of a worker who fails to report to work after exhausting all sick leaves he is entitled to. In this case, an employee shall be paid the indemnity he is entitled to.

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