New UAE labour law: Termination rules during probation period revised

Employers cannot extend the six-month probation period

By Sherouk Zakaria

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Photo: File
Photo: File

Published: Tue 16 Nov 2021, 10:08 AM

Last updated: Sun 21 Nov 2021, 10:46 AM

The UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Monday issued a new decree to regulate labour relations in the private sector across different work models, including part-time and temporary work, along with safeguarding employee rights and introducing new leaves policy.

According to the new laws, private sector companies cannot terminate employees during probation without a 14-day written notice, as per the new labour laws that will be effective from February 2, 2022.

Under the Federal Law No. 33 of 2021 regulating labour relations, terminating an employee during probation period, which should not exceed six months, must be done in writing 14 days before termination.

Employers cannot extend the six-month probation period. Once the probation is successfully completed, employees are to work under the conditions of the contract, while including the probation period as part of the overall service.


Employees wishing to change jobs during probation must submit a one-month notice. If they wanted to leave the country during probation, they must submit a 14-day notice.

Leaving the country without notice during probation will render employees a one-year ban from obtaining a work permit.

If any of the parties violated these rules, the breaching party is required to financially compensate the other with a pay equivalent to regular work days of the remaining notice period.

The new law also prohibits employers from confiscating the employee’s official documents or charging workers recruitment costs directly or indirectly.

The new decree law was announced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization on Monday with aims to protect employee rights in the ever-growing labour market and increase flexibility and competitiveness.

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