New UAE labour law: 12 types of work permits, 6 job models from today

Employees can opt for remote work, shared jobs, part-time, temporary and flexible job contracts


Sherouk Zakaria

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Published: Tue 1 Feb 2022, 2:45 PM

Last updated: Wed 2 Feb 2022, 12:25 AM

Starting today, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation will issue 12 work permits and introduce six job models in the UAE's labour market under the new labour law.

Besides the conventional full-time scheme, employees across the UAE can opt for remote work, shared jobs, part-time, temporary and flexible job contracts when applying in the private sector.

To ensure a regulated employment process in the private sector, work permits will be issued for Golden Visa Holders, freelancers, temporary and part-time employees.

Private companies and establishments can now hire and train juveniles aged between 15 and 18, and UAE and GCC nationals, as well as recruit employees from abroad for temporary projects.

The new regulations help put into practice the ground-breaking changes introduced in the new labour law that aims to safeguard employee rights through more leaves, anti-discrimination policies, minimum wage and women empowerment provisions.

Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said the new labour law provides the flexibility for employees and employers to determine the type of contractual agreement that meets the interests of both parties.

“The new law boosts the status of the UAE’s labour market as a key player on the global sphere that promotes flexibility, efficiency, ease of business, talent attraction and retention, while safeguarding the rights of both employees and employers in a balanced manner,” added Al Awar.

It falls under the UAE’s efforts to establish an efficient labour market that adapts to the ever-changing world and attracts talents from all over the world.

The Executive Regulations, recently approved by the UAE cabinet, layout the conditions that govern each of the job models, as well as the responsibilities of both employees and employers.

The law also sets the end-of-service gratuity and annual leaves for employees in each job model in a manner that safeguards the rights of both parties.

Six job models

The new job models provide employees with the flexibility to work on a project or hourly basis for more than one employer, while enabling employers to harness different talents and competencies at lower operational costs.

>> The law enables employees to change their contracts from one job model to another after an agreement with the employer, ensuring that entitlements of the first contract are entirely met.

>> Employees can combine more than one job model as long as they do not work for more than 48 hours a week and 144 hours every three weeks.

>> This means that full-time employees can also obtain part-time jobs without the permission of their main employers, provided that they do not exceed the threshold of hours.

>> Remote work: The scheme enables full-time and part-time employees to work completely or partially outside the office.

>> Shared job model: Splitting the job responsibilities and pay among more than one employee based on an agreement with the employer. The employees’ contracts under this model are governed by part-time job regulations.

>> Full-time: Working for one employee for a full work day.

>> Part-time: Working for one or more employers for a specified number of hours or days scheduled for work.

>> Temporary: Can be a contract for a specific period or on a project basis that ends with the job’s completion.

>> Flexible: Giving employees the freedom to work at different times based on the conditions and requirements of the job. The contract covers hours, days and duties required.


12 work permits

Employers can now hire a diversity of talents and cadres in the workplace under 12 work permits:

>> Temporary work permit: enables employers to hire on a project basis or for work that lasts for a fixed period.

>> One-mission permit: enables companies and establishments to recruit an employee from abroad for temporary work or a specific project to be completed in a certain period of time.

>> Part-time work permit: allows employees to work for more than one employer based on a fixed number of hours or days.

>> Juvenile permit: enables employers to hire juveniles aged between 15 and 18 under the conditions outlined in the law.

>> Student training permit: enables companies and establishments to train and recruit teenagers aged 15 under specific regulations that ensure a healthy work environment.

>> UAE/GCC National permit: issued when hiring UAE and GCC nationals.

>> Golden Visa Holders permit: issued when hiring a Golden Visa holder inside the UAE.

>> National Trainee permit: enables companies and establishments to train UAE nationals based on their qualifications or fields.

>> Freelancer permit: issued for self-sponsored expats wishing to provide a certain service, complete a task or work for a fixed period of time for an individual or a company without sponsorship or existing contracts.

>> A permit to hire a worker from outside the country.

>> A permit to transfer an expatriate worker’s employment from one facility registered in the ministry to another.

>> A permit for expats sponsored by family.

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