The relationship between employers and employees is governed by
Federal Act Number 8 of 1980 and its amendments. The Act is applicable
to all employment relationships when engaging an employee, whether a
UAE citizen or a foreigner. It is not
applicable in the case of employment by a government authority.
work permit is issued by the Ministry for two years, subject to renewal
for similar periods. Employment contracts may be for a limited period
specified in the contract or for an unlimited period, in which case
the employee will continue working with his employer until the
contract is terminated.
Working hours are eight hours a day or 48 hours a week. However, for
persons or employees in trade, hotels, and restaurants, the daily
working hours may be increased to nine hours. For overtime work, the
employee is entitled to an amount equivalent to the wage paid for
ordinary working hours, plus 25 per cent. Overtime may not exceed two
hours per day unless necessary. An employee is entitled to an
leave of 30 days, and
maternity leave and sick leave are not part of
the annual leave.
Act Number 8 stipulates certain provisions for the employee’s health
and safety and for workmen’s compensation against
work accident. The
employment contract may be terminated by mutual consent of the parties
or on expiry of its duration. Any dispute arising between the employer
and the employee will be resolved by the Ministry of Labor, which must
make a recommendation within two weeks from the date the application
for a dispute settlement is filed. If the parties fail to settle the
dispute as recommended by the Ministry, the matter should be referred
to the courts. The time limit for a lawsuit relating to an employment
contract is one year from the date on which the amount claimed or
entitlements become due. Employees are exempted from court fees before
the court of first instance and court of appeal.
As per the UAE Labour Law, employers have to bear the
of visa fee of the employee and the health insurance
coverage of the spouse and two dependents below 18 years of age, and
all the other costs, visa fee for children and their other document
processing fees like national identity cards (Emirates
ID), are paid by the employee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Employee can work for sponsor only
I have been working with a company in Dubai for
more than six months on a limited contract. Now, I want to avail power
of attorney of my mother’s company in Sharjah.
Since it’s a family business, my mother wants me to take care of some
parts of the business and for that she is willing to give me power of
attorney to legally run her business. Is it legal to work for my
mother’s company under a power of attorney approved by the Sharjah
Court though I am working for another employer?
A: According to Article 67 in the third
chapter of the federal law number 6 for the year 1973, a sponsored
person is under a duty to not work except for his sponsor. Similarly,
the sponsor is under a duty not to employ who is not sponsored by him.
Hence, if your mother’s entity is not sponsoring you, you cannot take
a role in it and this will be considered as a breach of the law.
Breaching any of these obligations and working in an entity where you
are not sponsored put all the parties in a risk of being prosecuted
and hence, subject to a minimum fine of Dh50,000 each or imprisonment
and the same amount of fine (KT).
Q: How much does a recruitment agency in UAE
charge for job applicant?
A: There should be no charges from the
applicant. The sponsor or employer has to pay the agency for all the
expenses that may occur.
Q: What are the basic rights of foreign
workers in UAE?
A: For professional, skilled and semi-
• The employer
should apply for
Labour Contract and
Resident visa within 60 days from the
date of worker's entry. Visa is valid for two years.
• A copy of the Employment
Contract must be given to the worker.
• There should be one
day-off for the employee.
• The regular hour of work
is 8 except for Hotel, Restaurant and Sales where the working hour is
must be given to the worker beyond 8 hours and 9 hours respectively.
or service benefits should be given to the employee upon completion of
Household Service Workers:
• Household Service
Workers (HSWs) should have Emirates ID, Immigration contract and
residence visa for 2 years. If the sponsor is a foreigner, then the
residence visa is valid for 1 year only, renewable yearly. Medical
test is must for first visa stamping and renewal. Sri Lankan and
Indonesian housemaids should do
Medical test from their home country
• One day day-off should
be given to a domestic helper, as per agreement between the employer
• No overtime pay for HSWs.
Is it legal to take
No. An employee can only work
with his/her sponsor whose name or company’s name is written in the
residence visa. But some categories can apply for
part-time work permit.
Q: What is the meaning
An employee is considered
“overstaying” if her/his residence visa is already expired. A grace
period of one month will be given to the employee after the
cancellation of his/her visa.
Q: What is the
currency of UAE and how much is its equivalent in US$ Dollars?
The currency of UAE is Dirhams (AED)
and equivalent to US$ 3.68.
Q: What is the
dominant language/dialect in UAE?
Arabic is the native language.
English is widely used for business and everyday communication.
Employee While he is in Service
Changing Employment Visa and Dependents Visa without exit
Employment visa during
Employment visa Renew
Labour Contract FAQs
Labour Contract New (After Entry)
Labour Establishment Card Amendment
Labour Fees Information
Labour Card Fine Calculator
Lost Labour Card
Part-time Work Permit
Permit for relative Sponsored
Ministry of Labour, Qusai, Dubai
Timing: Saturday to Thursday
7:30am to 7:00pm
Call Centre: 800 665