UAE jobs: Can my employer suddenly revise my role at the firm?

The Employment Law is silent pertaining to change of role or designation of an employee


Ashish Mehta

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Photo: File
Photo: File

Published: Sun 14 Nov 2021, 11:17 AM

Question: I have been working in a Sharjah-based firm for the last six years. I have just been informed that my KPIs would be revised and that I would need to 'upskill' myself accordingly, at my own expense. I have come to know that the new role would be completely different from what I am doing right now.

Can firms do this? Can they suddenly change roles at will and expect employees to cope up?

Answer: Pursuant to your queries, we assume that you are employed in a mainland firm based in Sharjah. Therefore, the provisions of Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 Regulating Employment Relations in the UAE (the ‘Employment Law’) are applicable.

It may be noted that your employment responsibilities to your employer will be in accordance with the designation mentioned in your UAE residence visa and the work permit registered with the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MOHRE).

Accordingly, the designation mentioned shall be your actual one for legal purposes. The Employment Law is silent pertaining to change of role or designation of an employee. However, if your new role is similar to your designation, then you may have to upgrade and get yourself trained by your employer to meet the new skills required. It shall be the responsibility of your employer to train you with new skills.


However, if your new role is completely different to that of your designation, then your employer may have to request you to agree with such changes and enter into a fresh employment contract. The same amended employment contract needs to be registered with the MOHRE.

Therefore, you may refuse to take up the new role if it differs with your current designation — provided you are not keen to step into the new role. Your employer cannot force you to take up the new role as this is not part of your work assignment as agreed.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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