UAE employee rights; details about them and labour law in the Emirates

Walaa Alaghbar
Published 12 months ago on 25 July, 2023-1483 views
UAE employee rights; details about them and labour law in the Emirates

UAE employee rights, The main reason for which young people flock from everywhere to work and search for a decent job in the UAE is the existence of the UAE Labor Law, which protects all intellectual, physical and economic rights of the employee. When the employee returns to the UAE and obtains a work permit he must be calm in choosing his employer so that he is honest and protects the rights of his employees and defends them from fraud and scam contracts. Learn about UAE employee rights and the new UAE labour law 2023, and what are the employer’s responsibilities towards its employees.


What are the UAE employee rights?

Employee labour rights in the UAE is a set of legislation and laws imposed by the UAE government, through which the intellectual and financial rights of employees working in the UAE can be guaranteed so that they take full rights in return for their work, and to protect them from fraud and deception. The employee is entitled some rights and protections, The UAE employee rights are as follows:

  1. Employment contract:

Workers in the UAE have the right to a written employment contract that outlines their terms and conditions of employment, including salary, working hours, leave entitlements, and notice perio. And its one 9f the most important UAE employee rights.

  1. Working hours: 

The standard working hours in the UAE are 8 hours per day or 48 hours per week. However, during Ramadan or in certain industries, the working hours may be reduced.

  1. Overtime pay: 

If an employee works beyond their normal working hours, they are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of 25% to 50% of their regular hourly wage.

  1. Annual leave: 

Employees are entitled to annual leave after completing one year of continuous service. The minimum annual leave is 30 calendar days for employees who have worked for less than five years and 45 calendar days for those who have worked for more than five years.

  1. Sick leave: 

Employees are entitled to sick leave with full pay for up to 90 days per year if they provide a medical certificate from an authorized medical practitioner.

  1. Maternity leave: 

Female employees are entitled to maternity leave with full pay for a period of 45 days, which includes both pre and postnatal periods. This can be extended up to 100 days if there are any complications.

  1. End of service benefits: 

When an employee completes one year of continuous service, they are entitled to end-of-service benefits (EOSB) which include gratuity payment based on their length of service and final salary.

  1. Termination rights, one of the UAE employee rights:

Both the employer and employee have the right to terminate the employment contract by providing notice as per the agreed terms or as specified in the UAE Labor Law.

  1. Wellness of workers: 

Employers must provide a safe and healthy work environment for their employees and comply with health and safety regulations.

  1. Non-discrimination/UAE employee rights 

Employees should not be discriminated against based on race, nationality, religion, gender, or disability. UAE employee rights may vary depending on the employee’s contract, industry, and position. It is advisable for employees to familiarize themselves with their specific employment contract and consult the UAE Labor Law for more detailed information.

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UAE labour law for employment contract

UAE emplyee rights through labour law
UAE labour law employment

The UAE Labour Law governs the labour rights of employees in the private sector and the employment relationship between employers and employees in the United Arab Emirates. It sets out the rights and obligations of both parties and provides a framework for resolving disputes. Here are 10 important of the UAE Labour Law applies to employment contracts:

  1. Written Contract: 

An employment contract must be in writing and should include essential details such as the names of the employer and employee, job title, salary, working hours, leave entitlements, notice period, etc.

  1. Probation Period: 

The law allows for a probation period not exceeding six months. During this period, either party can terminate the contract without notice or compensation.

  1. Working Hours: 

The standard working hours for employees in the UAE are eight hours per day or 48 hours per week. However, certain industries or positions may have different working hour requirements.

  1. Overtime: 

If an employee works beyond their regular working hours, they are entitled to overtime pay at a rate higher than their normal wage.

  1. Annual Leave: 

Employees are entitled to annual leave after completing one year of continuous service with their employer. The minimum annual leave is 30 calendar days for employees who have worked for less than five years and 45 calendar days for those who have worked for more than five years.

  1. Sick Leave:

Employees are entitled to sick leave with full pay for up to 90 days per year if they provide a medical certificate from an authorized medical practitioner.

  1. Termination: 

Both employees and employers in the UAE have specific notice periods that must be given before terminating an employment contract unless there is a valid reason for immediate termination as defined by the law.

  1. End of Service Benefits: 

Employees who complete at least one year of continuous service with an employer are entitled to end-of-service benefits upon termination or resignation. These benefits include gratuity payment based on years of service and other allowances as specified by law.

You must know that this is just a summary of some key provisions of the UAE Labour Law. UAE law is comprehensive and covers various other aspects of employment, including health and safety, maternity leave, disciplinary actions, etc. It’s advisable for both employers and employees to familiarize themselves with the full text of the law or seek legal advice when drafting or signing an employment contract in the UAE.

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Employer duties to protect employee rights in the UAE

Employee rights in UAE
Employer responsiblity to his employees

Employers have certain duties and responsibilities to protect their employee rights in the UAE. Through those duties they can have the full trust and respect from their employees. These duties are outlined in various labor laws and regulations, including the UAE Labor Law (Federal Law No. 8 of 1980) and subsequent amendments. Here are some key employer duties to protect employee rights in the UAE:

  • Employment Contracts: Employers must provide written employment contracts to their employees, clearly stating the terms and conditions of employment, including job description, salary, working hours, leave entitlements, and termination provisions.
  • Non-Discrimination: Employers must not discriminate against employees based on their race, nationality, gender, religion, or any other protected characteristic. Equal opportunities should be provided to all employees.
  • Wages and Benefits: Employers must pay employees their agreed-upon wages on time and in full. Deductions from wages can only be made as per legal provisions or with the employee’s consent. Employees are entitled to benefits such as annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave (for female employees), and end-of-service gratuity.
  • Working Hours: Employers must adhere to the maximum working hours set by law (usually 8 hours per day or 48 hours per week). Overtime work should be compensated at a higher rate.
  • Health and Safety: Employers have a duty to provide a safe and healthy working environment for their employees. This includes implementing safety measures, providing necessary protective equipment, conducting regular inspections, and addressing any hazards or risks that may arise.
  • Employee Privacy: Employers must respect the privacy of their employees by not unlawfully accessing personal information or monitoring activities without proper justification.
  • Termination Procedures: When terminating an employee’s contract, employers must follow the legal procedures outlined in the labor laws. This includes providing notice period or payment in lieu of notice, settling any pending dues promptly, and issuing a service certificate.
  • Grievance Handling: Employers should establish a mechanism for employees to raise grievances or complaints and ensure that these are addressed promptly and fairly.
  • Protection against Harassment: Employers must take measures to prevent and address any form of harassment or abuse in the workplace, including sexual harassment.
  • Employee Representation: Employers should respect the rights of employees to form or join labor unions or other representative bodies, as long as they comply with legal requirements.

It is important for both employers and employees to be aware of their rights and obligations under UAE labor laws to ensure a fair and harmonious working relationship.

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What are the working hours in the UAE?

In the UAE, the standard working hours for most businesses and government offices are from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, with a one-hour lunch break usually taken between 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM. However, during the holy month of Ramadan, working hours are typically reduced by two hours per day. It’s important to note that some companies and industries, such as retail and hospitality, may have different working hours and breaks due to their nature of operation.

Is there a minimum wage in the UAE?

Yes, there is a minimum wage in the UAE. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation sets a minimum wage for different sectors and categories of workers. The minimum wage varies depending on factors such as the worker’s skill level, qualifications, and location. It is important to note that the minimum wage may differ for different emirates within the UAE. But one of UAE employee rights is to give the employee the amount he deserve for his work.

Can my employer terminate my contract without notice?

The ability of an employer to terminate an employment contract without notice can depend on various factors such as the terms of the contract, local labor laws, and the reason for termination. In some cases, employers may have the right to terminate a contract without notice if there is just cause, such as serious misconduct or breach of contract by the employee. However, in many jurisdictions, employers are required to provide reasonable notice or pay in lieu of notice unless there are exceptional circumstances. It is advisable to consult with a legal professional or refer to your employment contract and local labor laws for specific guidance in your situation.


In conclusion, we explained to you in this article the UAE employee rights, one of the most important human rights, and the way in which the employer can protect his employees, and the labor and employment law in the United Arab Emirates.

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