UAE jobs: Residents say new labour law to improve work-life balance

Introducing flexible and temporary working models, setting new leaves and regulating working hours, the law comes into effect in 2022.

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Published: Fri 19 Nov 2021, 4:59 PM

Last updated: Mon 13 Feb 2023, 7:48 AM

UAE residents say the new labour law will help achieve work-life balance and enhance wellbeing of staff in the private sector.

Introducing flexible and temporary working models, setting new leaves and regulating working hours, the new law on regulating labour relations aims to increase market competitiveness and efficiency, while empowering workers in a rapidly-evolving world.

Mai Farouq, strategic foundation partnerships manager at Save the Children, said the UAE has responded to the changing post-pandemic world with a law that benefits employees and employers alike.

As an employee in an international organisation with unusual working hours, Farouq said that once the new law comes into effect on February 2022, “it will offer me more flexibility, while maintaining fairness to me and my employer.”

The new law goes a long way in protecting employees against discrimination and harassment. “As a woman, I’m happy to be living in UAE, one of the safest places for women in the world,” said Farouq.

Rawan Al Hussain, associate media director at Mindshare MENA, said the new law is a real milestone that reflects the UAE’s futuristic vision in adapting to a post-pandemic world and the new methods of efficiency it has brought.

The flexible working hours, she said, provides an opportunity for personal development and family time.

“As an employee, it enables me to engage in various activities, perform other tasks and manage schedules better than being constrained in traditional 9-5 shifts.” Al Hussain said. “I see it as a huge evolution in terms of professional wellbeing.”

Lamya Tawfik, UAE-based actress, storyteller and presenter, said the law enables employees to utilise various skills and earn an additional income, which has a positive impact on mental health.

“It is great news for freelancers, especially those who have a large skill-set and who would like to work in many fields,” said Tawfik.

With an opportunity to expand skillsets in an ever-growing workplace, Hanin Hazeem, project manager, said the new regulations will enable her to excel in different areas of interest.

“I graduated as an interior designer, but I ended up working with digital content. The new regulations will help me manage my time and put my skills to better use,” said Hazeem, an interior designer.


Mina Kiwan, consultant, said it is rare to see laws that adapt to the needs of young people.

Besides the flexible working hours, the new law regulates the employment of juveniles aged 15 and above.

The amendments, Kiwan added, will help employees achieve a better work-life balance, which will ultimately increase productivity and enhance public wellbeing and efficiency. “Working overtime or within a traditional 9-5 shift barely gives young people the time to develop their own projects or upgrade their skills in a way that benefits their sectors and communities.”

With the new law, the UAE is leading efforts to provide a flexible and nurturing labor market for youth to grow, thrive, and contribute to their society’s development.

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