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New UAE Labour Law: 7 points your employment contract must include

Should you insist on retaining original job offer with you?

Since January 1, 2016, the UAE has implemented sweeping reforms to the old Labour Law, plugging loopholes that now make employees even more content and secure in their workplace.

Primary changes in the new regulations pertain to employment contracts for workers hired from abroad, termination of job contracts, and issuance of new labour permits to resident workers.

According to new regulations, any offer letter made to a foreign worker is legally binding once accepted and signed by both parties.

This means that the employment contract should be based on the offer letter signed by both parties. The contract, however, must include a set of information.

The resolution issued by the Minister of Labour mandates that employers will be required to disclose to the Ministry the terms of the offer made to a foreign worker.

As per law, the following seven points need to be specified in all employment contracts.

These include:

1) Wages/remuneration payable.

2) Date of the employment contract.

3) Date of commencement of the employment contract.

4) Nature of the contract (limited or unlimited).

5) Nature of the work.

6) Duration of the contract (for fixed term contracts).

7) The location of employment.

According to the ministry, it has begun implementing new procedures for issuance of work permits where employers are obliged to provide the job offer and annexes containing a comprehensive description of rights and duties between both parties.

The documents must be signed (or bear the thumbprint, depending on job classification) after which a copy of the job offer should be presented to obtain an authorisation to enter the country followed by the issuance of a work permit and signing of the contract.

The ministry praised the reaction of many companies to the newly launched decrees that have been applied since January.

“Many of the establishments that have applied for new work permits under the new decisions proved their commitment to establishing a transparent working relationship with workers who were brought from abroad, therefore, they proved their sincere commitment to protecting workers through innovating new methods that will monitor the workers’ signature/thumbprint and follow up on all processes,” says Humaid Bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs at the ministry.

“Since the implementation of the new decisions, the ministry cooperated with a number of enterprises that have applied for new work permits in order to determine the procedures followed to brief workers on job offers. Officials in some of these facilities said they dispatched HR employees to a labour-sending country to closely brief the workers on job offers and then signed it followed by a photograph for documentation purposes.”

Who keeps the original job offer contract – you or your employer?

Are you worried about your original job offer not being with you?

If this important document is with the company you are employed with, it is well within the legal rights of your boss and you have nothing to worry about.

The Ministry of Labour has called upon employers to keep the original job offer contracts, signed by both parties, in case of legal disputes.

The ministry’s undersecretary has said that workers may contact the ministry in case they find a false signature on the job offer before signing the employment contract.

In such cases, employers are required to bring the original job offer that will then be referred to the court for further inspection, he said.

courtesy : http://www.emirates247.com/

Revealed: Number of fixed-term and non-fixed term jobs approved in UAE

Ministry of Labour issued over 233,000 labour contracts in January, 75% are non-fixed term

The Ministry of Labour has reviewed over 250,000 job offers presented by private sector firms since the beginning of this year, and has issued 233,000 labour contracts, of which 75 percent are of non-fixed term.

Humaid bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Labour Affairs, said, “The number of job offers printed during the last month confirms the clarity and ease of a working relationship between employers and workers in accordance with the newly launched Decrees, which aims to establish and promote a balanced and productive working relationship between both ends, based on cooperation and transparency, in order to preserve rights.”

He said: “Workers must look into job offers and annexes in their preferred languages before signing the contracts to reach a healthy work relationship between both parties; annexes must be reviewed as they hold a number of labour laws and amendments.”

Al Suwaidi said the ministry has ratified a total of 233,190 new and renewed labour contracts during January, of them 75 percent were non-fixed term, equal to over 175,790, and fixed-term contracts reached 57,400.

“The rise in non-fixed term contract numbers indicates that employers have identified their choice of that type of relationship in accordance with the new Decrees, something contrary to that which prevailed in the labour market previously, as fixed-term contracts are considered the most commonly used by employers back then,” he said.

Bin Deemas believes that the picking fixed-term contracts applies mostly to labourers as it may seem that the nature of their occupations requires that type of contract, which carries both parties agreement to abide by legal responsibilities between each other, especially in the event of a party deciding to violate the terms of the contract or wish to end it without the consent of the other party.

Al Suwaidi said, “Conditions that must be followed in the event that one of the parties decided to end a fixed-term contract during the renewal period, starts by notifying the other party before the date of termination (in a specified period agreed by both ends) not less than one month and not exceeding three months, where those who decided to terminate the contract must complete the notice period then pay agreed dues not exceeding the total remuneration of three months’ salary, and this applies for both sides.”

Ministry tells employers to keep original job contracts

The Ministry of Labour called on employers to keep the original job offer contracts, signed by both parties, in case of legal disputes where the worker may deny the signature or thumbprint on the document.

The ministry has begun implementing new procedures for issuance of work permits where employers are obliged to provide the job offer and annexes containing a comprehensive description of rights and duties between both parties. The documents must be signed (or bear the thumbprint, depending on job classification) after which a copy of the job offer should be presented to obtain an authorization to enter the country followed by the issuance of a work permit and signing of the contract.

The ministry praised the reaction of many companies to the newly launched decrees that have been applied since January, as per the directives of Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Labour.

Humaid Bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, assistant undersecretary for Labour Affairs at the ministry, said; “Many of the establishments that have applied for new work permits under the new decisions proved their commitment to establishing a transparent working relationship with workers who were brought from abroad, therefore, they proved their sincere commitment to protecting workers through innovating new methods that will monitor the workers’ signature/thumbprint and follow up on all processes.”

“Since the implementation of the new decisions, the ministry cooperated with a number of enterprises that have applied for new work permits in order to determine the procedures followed to brief workers on job offers. Officials in some of these facilities said they dispatched HR employees to a labour-sending country to closely brief the workers on job offers and then signed it followed by a photograph for documentation purposes.”

He said: “Others contacted the employment agency in one of the Asian countries that had briefed workers on job offers, watch them sign it upon acceptance and then forwarded the letters to the concerned party to issue a work permit.”

Some employers have gone beyond the normal requirements and documented the employees’ signatures on the contracts by photographing them while they are signing.

Bin Deemas called on workers to contact the ministry in case they find a false signature on the job offer right before signing the labour contract. In such cases, employers are required to bring the original job offer that will then be referred to the court for further inspection.

Employers must keep a close eye on signed job offers and make sure that it has been signed by the worker as the responsibility is the employer’s. However, labour courts are the competent authority to deal with such issues.

The procedures apply to workers residing in the UAE and seek to move from one establishment to another, either by signing the proposed job offer or placing their thumbprint depending on their skill level, all before approaching the ministry to request a work permit.

courtesy : http://www.emirates247.com/

Work permits will not be issued without new contract from 2016

Ministry to refuse work permits without signed unified contracts starting 2016

Dubai: Residents cannot renew their work permits nor will they be issued new permits if an employer fails to provide a signed unified contract starting 2016, the Ministry of Labour revealed on Tuesday.

The unified labour contract, to be implemented from January 1, standardizes employment terms, making them more transparent. The contract is expected to improve regulation and transparency of the UAE labour market.

The contract was drafted by the Ministry as part of the three new decrees, which are aimed at enhancing the UAE labour market conditions and consolidating the contractual nature of labour relations.

All employees across the country will be presented with a unified, standard, employment offer that contains clear and enforceable terms and conditions of employment, prior to the worker’s entry into the UAE.

The contract will need to be signed by both the employer and the worker.

Humaid Bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs, said, “The new measures implement three new decrees issued by Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Labour, recently with regards to regulating the labour market, starting by unifying a contracts model approved by the ministry for all labour relations.”

During a meeting held in Abu Dhabi, attended by 300 employers and government relations representatives, Bin Deemas reviewed the new measures the ministry is implementing to ease the process of extracting work permits for employees coming from outside or those residing in the country, while maintaining rights of both sides.

Labour Mobility

Bin Deemas pointed out that the new procedures of recruiting foreign workers from outside the country on a two-year work visa goes through three stages.

Firstly, the employer applies for quota regardless of the number of workers recruited, the second demands printing the offer letter handed to the worker containing a comprehensive description of their rights and duties, terms and conditions, through “Tas’heel” service centres or through the ‘MoLApp’ smartphone application.

“Furthermore, within the second phase, employers should electronically sign a job offer, send it to the worker regardless of their location — whether electronically to the worker himself or through an employment agency. If he accepts the terms and conditions, he then signs it (those who fall in the first, second and third occupational levels) or [put a] fingerprint (for workers in lower work levels),” Bin Deemas said.

The offer letter will be in both Arabic and English in addition to a third language that the worker understands, which can be available on the ministry’s website ‘www.mol.gov.ae’ containing comprehensive details of terms, regulations and labour laws. Bin Deemas said that “each worker can review their work contract through the ministry’s website after registering on the site using the passport number, nationality and transaction number as each has its own code.

During the final stage (the work permit extraction), employers attach the signed offers by the worker for initial approval, where the ministry works on reviewing the application to make sure it meets all the requirements and then issues the permit, which allows the worker to come to the country.

“Employers face a 14-day deadline to complete signature procedures following the worker’s entry into the UAE, if the worker complains of any delays then the ministry will allow him to seek a new offer,” he said.

“The electronic system of the ministry will not allow new job offers for workers following the initial approval stages, and replacing work permits will be treated according to specific procedures…,” he said.

Under the new measures, Bin Deemas pointed out that “it’s not mandatory to include a medical report with job offers, especially as today we are electronically linked with the public administrations of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, which does not issue workers with a residence visa with medical report.”

Referring to the contracts renewal process, Bin Deemas said that the worker’s signature is also a prerequisite for the ministry, as it grants workers a free will whether to renew the contract after accepting highlighted privileges and requirements or simply chose to end the relationship and find a better offer or move back home, something that establishes a healthy working relationship ending misunderstanding between both parties.

Courtsey : Gulf News

UAE announces new measures to renew work permits, expired contracts

New measures will come in to effect from early next year

labour court

The UAE Ministry of Labour (MoL) has announced new measures to renew work permits, previously known as labour cards, as well as expired contracts, by early 2016.

Speaking about the new requirements, Humaid bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Labour Affairs, said that from the beginning of next year, new decrees will require the ‘clear signature’ of employees for contract renewal and the issuing of new work permits, which will put an end to the current work permit renewal procedures which simply follow a notification from employers.

He said: “Workers, under the new procedures, will enjoy better options of either accepting renewal of the contract according to marked privileges and stipulated requirements in the new contract, or amend these privileges and conditions upon agreement by both parties, which actively contributes to promoting a strong working relationship. It will also enable employees to completely end the relationship, search for alternatives, or return back home.”

“Based on studies, the new decrees will end labour disputes caused by unjust labour contract submissions made by employers without referring to the labourers themselves, and getting final approval before issuing a new work permit,” he said.

Saqr bin Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Labour, said that the three decrees come within the framework of developing legislation to regulate the labour market, confirming that the MoL is moving to a new phase based on establishing and promoting a balanced and productive business relationship between both sides, based on transparency.

The MoL is currently preparing to implement the new decisions on schedule as an effort to ease procedures between employers and workers, particularly in relation to work offers that employees agree upon, whether outside or inside the country, and ensure the highlighting of wages and breaks, as well as other rights and duties.

Humaid Al Suwaidi went on to say that the ministry had conducted a study examining the hiring processes in private enterprises, and took into account, through its new decrees, the active measures taken to issue a contract in the preferred language of labourers prior to their signature. This he said, will help “overcome any difficulties that both ends may encounter through several employment channels, including employment agencies or by dispatching company representatives to the targeted country or even through employment websites.”

The new decrees are interrelated and frame the relationship between both sides, starting by enabling the worker to review an offer before travelling abroad then signing the new unified contract with the employer upon entry, from which point a contractual relationship is recorded into the ministry’s database highlighting all rights and obligations as per the contract.

If the worker is in the UAE, the worker must duly sign the employment offer, as stipulated by the decree, before the employer applies for tentative approval to employ the worker.

courtesy : Emirates 247

New UAE labour law for terminating employees, new contracts

Law to be enforced in 2016; Aims to regulate relations between employers and workers.

The UAE intends to enforce a new labour law at the start of 2016 to better regulate the relationship between employers and workers and curb violations to ensure both parties will get their rights, the press reported on Tuesday.

The new law includes three main rules governing labour contracts for workers from abroad, terminating contracts between the employers and workers and the issuance of a new work permit to a resident worker.

“These rules will take the labour market to a new stage based on a strong and balanced relationship between all parties and on agreement and transparency in contracting to guarantee the rights of all parties,” Labour Minister Saqr Gobash said.

The first rule in the law, published by the Dubai-based Arabic language daily ‘Emarat Al Youm’, requires the employer to issue a “clear and detailed” contract for the foreign workers to be brought from abroad, including all duties and rights for the two parties, job terms and other requirements in a language understood by the worker.

The contract must be signed by the worker before it is submitted to the labour ministry for the issuance of a work permit, which must not be altered at any stage.

“The same measures apply to workers who reside in the UAE. In this case, the employer must also get the worker’s signature,” it said.

Contract termination

The second rule, which governs contract termination, includes an agreement by the employer and the worker to end their two-year contract.

Another case includes a decision by the employer to terminate the contract before it expires.
In this case, the employer must give at least one month notice to the worker and pay the worker all dues during that period.

“The notice period must also not exceed three months and must be agreed by both parties,” it said.

The new rule also governs cases in which the employer or the worker terminates the contract without abiding by the legal procedures.

Another case involves a decision by the employer to terminate the worker’s services for committing offences including assaulting or insulting the employer.

Regarding unspecified contracts, the employer seeking to terminate a worker’s contract must also give a notice of not less than one month and not exceeding three months.

“In all contract termination cases, any party has the right to go to court to seek compensation and any other rights,” it said.

Under the new rule, the work contract is considered null if the employer is found to have violated the law including failure to pay the worker for two months.

In case a worker could not start his job because of the closure of the company, the labour ministry will send inspectors to check the company’s status before issuing a decision within two months.

As for cases considered by the labour court at the ministry, it will issue a final decision forcing the employer to pay the worker two months’ salary or to compensate him for service termination or depriving workers from end of service benefits.

New job contracts

The new rules also cover new job contracts to workers whose contracts have expired or terminated by an agreement between the employer and the worker provided the worker has completed at last six months with his employer.

According to ‘Emarat Al Youm’, the new law specified three cases involving termination of work contracts.

They include agreement by both parties provided the worker has spent at least six months with the employer, termination of the contract by either party for some reason, and termination of the contract by the employer without reason.

The new law allows the issuance of a new work permit in cases where the employer is found to have violated his commitments, including failure to pay workers for two months, a complaint by the worker that he is not able to start his job because of the company’s closure, and a labour dispute at the ministry’s court.

Ministerial decisions 764, 765 and 766 aim to improve labour relations based on sponsorship.

Source : http://www.emirates247.com/

Labour card replacement fees slashed 95%

Labour CardThe ministry of labour has decided to slash fees for the issuance of labour cards to replace lost or damaged cards by up to 95 per cent but it kept fees for labour recruitment offices unchanged, a local daily said on Monday.

From Dh2,500, the fees now required to issue a replacement for lost or damaged labour card (category 3) have been reduced to Dh200, the Arabic language Emarat Alyoum newspaper said, citing a ministry source.

Fees required for the other card categories have also been cut to Dh200 from Dh500-1,500, the paper said.

As for fees required for issuing licences for labour recruitment offices, the ministry decided to maintain new licence fees at Dh10,000 and renewal of licence at Dh5,000, the report said.

“The ministry took this decision following repeated complaints by applicants about the high fees required for the replacement of their lost or damaged labour cards,” the paper quoted the source as saying.

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