UAE Golden Visa: Job contract exemptions, gratuity calculations explained for employees with the long-term residency

KT reader asks how end-of-service benefits and procedures will differ from regular visa holders

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Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 26 Feb 2023, 10:47 AM

Last updated: Sun 26 Feb 2023, 10:10 PM

Question: I am a Golden Visa holder who is about to take a job in a mainland Dubai company. What are my employer's obligations towards me when it comes to the job contract, and identity/visa-related and other documents? Also, how will my end-of-service benefits/procedure differ from regular visa holders?

Response: Pursuant to your queries, the provisions of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations (the 'Employment Law') and those of Cabinet Resolution No.1 of 2022 on the Implementation of the Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 regarding the Regulation of Employment Relations (the 'Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022') are applicable.

In the UAE, an employer may recruit an individual who holds a Golden Visa issued by the UAE authorities. This is in accordance with Article (6)(1)(j) of the Cabinet Resolution 1 of 2022, which states: "Subject to the provisions of Article 6 of the Employment Law, the types of work permits shall be determined as follows:

Golden Visa holders permit: This type of permit is issued upon the request of an establishment registered with the Ministry that wishes to employ an employee holding a golden visa in the State."

The obligations of an employer and an employee towards each other are similar where a work permit is issued to a Golden Visa holder. The obligations of an employer and an employee are mentioned in Article 13 and Article 16 of the Employment Law, respectively. However, exemptions may apply in case of termination of employment contract during the probation period if an employee is not fulfilling the obligations as mentioned in Article 9 of the Employment Law. An employee who is on a regular work permit may not be granted a new one if he or she terminates the employment contract during the probation period without fulfilling the conditions as laid down in Article 9 of the Employment Law. Such conditions may not be applicable for a Golden Visa holder.

This is in accordance with Article 11(3) of the Cabinet Resolution 1 of 2022, which states: "Subject to the provisions of Clauses (4) and (6) of Article (9) of the Employment Law, the Ministry may exempt some employees for not granting a work permit pursuant to the following rules: the employee is a golden visa holder.”

Further, another exemption available for an employee holding a Golden Visa is that he/she may be granted a new work permit by another employer without facing possible employment ban for one year in the event of termination of an employment contract by such employee without a valid reason. This is in accordance with Article 28(2)(d) of Cabinet Resolution of 1 of 2022, which states: "Subject to the provisions of Article 50 of the Employment Law, If a foreign employee leaves work for an illegitimate reason before the end of the contract term, he shall not be issued another work permit for a period of one year from the date of absence from work, with the exception of Golden Visa holders."

The calculation of gratuity payable to an employee holding a Golden Visa is the same as paid to an employee on a regular employment visa. An employee is entitled to 21 days of basic salary as gratuity on termination or expiry of employment contract if employed continuously for less than five years; and 30 days of basic salary after more than five years of continuous service. This is in accordance with Article 51(2) of the Employment Law.

You, as a holder of a Golden Visa in the UAE, may have to submit the copy of your passport and Emirates ID to your prospective employer. Based on the same, your prospective employer will apply for a work permit and upon approval by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (the ‘MOHRE’), you need to sign it. The MOHRE format contains standard clauses of employment and both you and your employer may agree on clauses such as salary, other entitlements etc which may be included in the said employment contract.

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: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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