The Federal Law No. (8) of 1980, or the UAE Labour Law, is a comprehensive law that regulates all aspects of labour relations between employers and employees. It is an advanced and balanced law that clarifies the rights and duties of all parties concerned and brings numerous benefits to employees and workers.
The Labour Law was developed in 1980 and was amended by Federal Law No. (24) of 1981, Federal Law No. (15) of 1985 and Federal Law No. (12) of 1986. In its 193 articles, the law outlines everything from employee entitlements (working hours, holidays, leaves, end of service gratuity, workers’ compensation, etc.) to employment contracts, labour dispute settlement, disciplinary rules, safety and protection and labour inspection, among others.
Articles of the Law
It contains definitions of certain terms mentioned in the law such as employer, worker, establishment, employment contract, temporary work, agricultural work, continuous service, remuneration, basic remuneration, employment injury and labour department.
Articles 9 and 10
Work is a right of UAE nationals, and in case of non-availability of UAE nationals, the priority in employment will be given to Arab nationals and then workers of other nationalities.
It is not permitted to employ juveniles from both sexes under the age of 15 years.
Juveniles may not be employed in dangerous or physically exhausting or harmful jobs.
Women may not be asked to work at night from 10 PM to 7 AM.
Women shall get the same wage as men if they do the same job.
An employee may be appointed for a probation period of not more than 6 months and the employer can terminate his service during this period without giving a notice and end of service benefits. An employee may not be appointed on more than one probation period with one employer.
The employment contract can be made for a limited period or unlimited period. In case of a limited contract, it shall not exceed 4 years and may be renewed with mutual agreement once or more for a similar or shorter period.
The maximum normal working hours for adult employees is 8 hours per day or 48 hours per week. In case of commercial establishments, hotels, restaurants, watchmen and other similar professions, this period may be extended to nine hours a day by a decision of the Minister of Labour. The normal working hours will be reduced by two hours during the holy month of Ramadan.
If the nature of job demands employing workers beyond normal working hours, the additional time will be considered overtime and will entitle the employee for remuneration corresponding to normal working hours, plus an additional pay of not less than 25% of the remuneration.
If circumstances require that an employee works overtime between 9 PM and 4 AM, he shall be entitled for remuneration of regular working hours pay, plus an increase of not less than 50% of that amount.
Friday is the weekly holiday for all employees except for daily wage workers. If circumstances require that an employee works on this day, he shall be entitled for another day off or paid his basic pay for normal working hours plus an increase of not less than 50% of that pay.
Employees are entitled for an official holiday with full pay on the following days: one day for Hijri New Year, Gregorian New Year, Isra and Miaraj (Accession day), Prophet Mohammad’s birthday and National Day, 2 days for Eid Al-Fitr and 3 days for Arafa Day and Eid Al Adha.
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