UAE eases job rules for expats

Top Stories

UAE eases job rules for expats

ABU DHABI — In a landmark 
decision aimed at infusing 
broader flexibility in the labour market, Minister of Labour Saqr Gobash said on Saturday a worker with an expired job contract can obtain a new work permit and shift to another employer without facing the legitimate six-month ban period and without the consent of his sponsor.

By (WAM)

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sun 19 Dec 2010, 8:46 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:56 PM

The new regulations on conditions and criteria of issuing new work permit for a worker after the expiry of his service contract and transfer of sponsorship will be effective January 1, 2011, with the implementation of Cabinet Resolution 25 of 2010 regarding internal work permit.

Once operational, the new regulations will replace the current formalities of transfer of sponsorship for expatriate workers.

The resolution says that the new employment permit will only be granted tothe worker after the end of his job relationship with his employer without the legitimate six-month ban period which is usually calculated after the cancellation of the worker’s labour card, but stipulates two must-do conditions: Firstly, the two contracting parties must have ended their job relationship cordially and secondly, the worker should have been with his employer for at least two years — the duration of the new labour card which will be issued by early January.

The resolution defines two cases where the worker can obtain the new work permit after the end of the contractual relationship without the agreement of the two contracting parties:

First, when the employer fails to honour his legally or contractual obligations.

Secondly, in the condition of expiry of work relationship where the worker is not responsible for it, but there is a complaint filed by the worker against his firm. In this case, an inspection report should proof that the firm is out of business for more than two months and that the worker should have reported to the ministry.

The labour dispute should have been referred by the ministry to the court provided that the court hands out a final verdict ordering the employer to pay to the worker salaries of at least two months, compensationfor the arbitrary sacking or terminating the contract prematurely, or any other rights.

The resolution also defines three cases where an employee shall have the right to get a work permit without fulfilling the condition of working two years at least with the employer:

First, when joining his new job, the worker should be classified in the first, second or third professional class and that his new salary should not be less than Dh12,000, Dh7,000 and Dh5,000 if he is in the first, second and third class respectively.

Second, non-compliance of the employer with legal and labour obligations towards the worker or in the case where the worker has no role in terminating the work relationship.

Third, shifting of the worker to another firm the employer owns or has stakes in it.

Minister Gobash said the new measures aim to infuse broader flexibility in the labour market and strike a balance in the contractual relationship between the employer and worker.

“The ministry will only interfere in the employer-worker contractual relationship if it detects infringement in obligations stated in the labour contract,” he explained, affirming the ministry’s determination to guarantee the rights of both parties legally “as we live in the State of law and institutions”.

“Giving the private sector more freedom of movement will have automatic impact on employers by the way of preserving their interests through creating many options for recruiting skillful workers as per the supply-demand equation.

He indicated the new measures were subject to dialogue and consultation with local stakeholders in implementation of directives of the wise leadership for crafting policies and legislations that will fit well into developments in labour market and curb any malpractices.

“The new regulations constitutes key elements of labour reforms, part of which have already been executed and the other parts of which will be in place in the near future,” he said.

These measures, he said, were expected to play a major role in advancing efforts towards creating an efficient labour market and sharpening competitiveness and transformation towards a knowledge-driven economy.

More news from