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UAE: ‘Fixed Term Contract’ is Mandatory; Ministry insists.

The UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Immigration (MoHRE) has issued a clarification on the new labor law, which insists on specifying fixed-term contracts in employment contracts between employers and workers.

According to the new UAE Labor Law, all private sector employers in the country are required to convert their employees from unlimited contracts to fixed-term contracts.

The Ministry confirmed that most employment contracts do not specify the exact duration of the employment relationship between the two parties. This allows them to negotiate terms that suit their needs.

Therefore, the government has extended the deadline till December 31, 2023 for companies to change such employment contracts.
Whereas, depending on the type of renewable work permit, employers are required to renew the work permit upon expiry and there is no need to print a new employment contract if the existing contract is valid and unchanged.

Specifically, the administrative regulations in the new labor law define 12 types of work permits that regulate the employment of citizens and foreigners in all private sector enterprises in the country.

Furthermore, the revised Labor Law sets out nine specific circumstances under which an employment contract may be terminated.

These include mutual agreement, termination of a fixed term without renewal, termination at the request of either party, death of a worker and permanent disability or imprisonment.

And in another important development, the ministry has addressed concerns about unfair dismissals. According to the new regulations, if a worker lodges a serious complaint with the ministry or files a case against the employer and it is proven true, the employee’s dismissal will be considered unfair.

Employers, therefore, should in such cases provide reasonable compensation to the injured workers, based on the type of work, extent of damage and length of service.

Whereas, it is to be noted that the amount of compensation paid to professionals should not exceed the salary of the worker for a period of three months based on the last salary received.

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