Saturday, October 8, 2016

Non-Competition clauses in U.A.E Labour law

U.A.E Labour law permits non-competition clauses to be included in a contract of employment as a way of protecting a business, and while they are legitimate, such post-termination restrictions can be difficult to enforce.
 Article 127 of UAE Labour Law specifically states that where an employee performs a role which allows him to become familiar with confidential information, the employer may put in place an agreement with provisions that prevent an employee from working with a competing business. But there are limitations. Any non-compete clauses must be reasonable and must only limit conduct in a way that is necessary to protect legitimate business and legal interests. The clauses must be limited in duration, geographical scope and the nature of the restriction. Restrictions of more than six months are unlikely to be upheld and the employer would have to prove that they have been disadvantaged in some way.

A non-competition agreement may be signed before or during the term of the employment, but as per the law, it will only come into effect on termination of the employment contract. The employers may include a clause in the labour contract or sign an additional agreement banning the employees from working for competitors for a certain period.

In order to apply non-competition clause certain conditions, have to be fulfilled. The agreement shall be, as far as time, place and nature of work are concerned, limited to what is necessary to protect the legal interests of the employer. If the job assigned to the employee allows him to know the secrets and know-how of the employer’s business dealings, then the employer may impose non-competition clause

To impose a non-competition clause against an employee, the non-competition agreement signed between the parties is to be restricted as per the provisions mentioned in the UAE Civil Code and the labour law. Such a stipulation shall not be valid unless it is clearly restricted to certain time, place and type of work, in a sufficiently determined manner so as to constitute a real protection of the legitimate employer’s interests. If the employer terminates the employee or the employee terminates the contract due to a reason that is ascribed to the employer’s fault, then the non-competition conditions shall not be applied against the employee.