Tuesday, September 29, 2015

New UAE labour rules effective on January 1, 2016

The new rules were unveiled on Monday by Minister of Labour, Saqr Ghobash to build upon the latest decisions to the labour policy initiative in 2011 regarding labour mobility.Sweeping new rules by the Ministry of Labour will forge a stronger relationship between employers and workers and enhance the labour market across the country by ensuring transparency and encouraging more flexible labour mobility for workers.
The three new rules cover application of ministry-approved contracts, conditions for terminating employees and labour permits to work for new employers

Ministerial Decrees 764, 765 and 766 pave the way for improved labour relations by securing more stable practices governed by regulations that protect workers who are legally sponsored to enter the UAE, the ministry said. “The new rules will also bring greater transparency, clarity and tighter monitoring of labour contract conditions and ensure both employer and employee enter into fully voluntary relationships,” a statement said. The decrees will see the creation of a new unified, standard labour contract.

Three decrees' objectives:

The primary purpose of the decrees is to delink sponsorship and labour relations: the former serves to secure legal entry and temporary residence in the UAE, while the latter is governed by an employment contract the terms of which are compliant with national labour legislation and regulation.
This purpose is achieved by:
  •     Ensuring the transparency of the contracting process in the country of origin;
  •     Ensuring non-substitution of the contract terms post arrival in the UAE;
  •     Defining due processes for terminating labour relations;
  •     Spelling out the rules and conditions for granting a worker whose labour relation has ended a new work permit.
  Highlights of Ministerial Decree (764 ) of 2015 on Ministry of Labour-Approved Standard Employment Contracts
  •     Standard employment offer/contract: terms, rights and obligations;
  •     Informed consent;
  •     Non-substitutionof labour contract;
  •     Filing the offer for eventual capture as a legal contract;
  •     Termination clause;
  •     Commitments by the employer.
    Highlights of Ministerial decree (765) of 2015 on Rules and Conditions for the Termination of Employment Relations

Any employment relation may be terminated, by either party, subject to a due process. One party or the other cannot be made to involuntarily continue the relation. A relation is terminated:

    By mutual consent, at any time
    By one party or the other, subject to certain considerations of notice and/or identification
    A relation is considered to be terminated if:

    - If employer does not meet its contractual obligation to worker;
    - If employer ceases to empower worker to perform his/her employment duties without; complying with due process;
    - If  a worker absconds, without complying with due termination process.

While a relation cannot be sustained except by mutual consent, the way it is terminated has a direct bearing on the status of the worker after termination (the granting or declining of a new work permit)

Highlights of Ministerial Decree (766) of 2015 on Rules and Conditions for granting a permit to a worker for employment by a new employer

    Sets the conditions for granting a new work permit to a worker whose labour relation with an employer has ended as a function of the manner the relation was terminated
    Notably ascertains that the power to determine the status of the worker whose employment has ended is a public authority