Awareness and Guidance

Dear Worker – Know Your Rights

The United Arab Emirates has been giving great attention to regulating labour relations and defining the rights and obligations of the parties within these relations in a balanced manner. The process of regulation takes place in line with the Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 regarding the regulation of labour relations, which provides protection for employers and workers, and ensures their rights stipulated in this Decree-Law, its executive regulations, and decisions issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

At the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, we are committed to achieving the tasks entrusted to the ministry as part of the vision and strategic goals of UAE Government in a country where the world’s multiple cultures coexist under the rule of law and respect for human dignity.

Dear Worker, On this page, we offer you a set of instructions, including rights and obligations that you should know, which contributes to the stability of the working relationship between you and the employer. The issue will be tackled through three main sections:

  • UAE Welcomes You
  • Workers’ Rights and obligations as in Labour market laws
  • Rights stipulated in international  conventions

Workers’ Rights and obligations as in Labour market laws

Dear worker, We are providing you with some basic information about working hours in the private sector. The Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 regulating Labour relations and its executive regulations stipulate that the maximum normal working hours for workers shall be eight hours per day or forty-eight hours per week. The time spent by the worker in moving between his place of residence and work shall not be counted as part of working hours, except for some categories of workers as per the executive regulations of this Decree-Law. During the month of Ramadan, the normal working time is reduced by two hours.

No worker shall work over five hours consecutively without break times not less than one hour in total, provided that these periods are not considered as part of the worker’s working hours. In factories and similar facilities, where work is rotated on night and day shift basis, or for certain categories of workers working hours shall be regulated as per the executive regulations of this Decree-Law

Dear worker, it is important for you to know, that the employer may ask you to work for more than the normal working hours, provided that the additional work does exceed two hours per day. However, you should not work more than these hours except in accordance with the conditions and restrictions specified by the executive regulations of this Decree-Law, and in all cases, the total working hours shall not exceed (144) one hundred and forty-four hours every (3) three weeks.

If circumstances of work necessitate that a worker works more than the normal working hours, the extra time shall be considered overtime, for which the worker shall receive an amount equal to that corresponding to his normal working hours, calculated on his/her basic wage, plus an extra of at least 25 percent of such wage.

If circumstance of work necessitate that a worker works overtime between 10.00 pm and 4.00 am, he/she shall be entitled to normal working hours basic pay plus an increase equal to at least 50% of such pay, this provision does not apply to shift workers.

If exigencies of work necessitate that the worker to work on his/her rest days set forth in the employment contract, or normal holidays, he shall be compensated in lieu thereof with increase in pay by 50% of his basic wage but if he has not been compensated for the same with a leave, the employer shall pay him an increase to his basic wage equivalent to 150% of the days of work.

To learn more about working hours, please click on this link.

Holidays and Leaves

Dear worker, according to Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 regulating Labour relations and its executive regulations, you are entitled to a paid weekly rest for not less than one day, as specified in the work contract or the work regulation. The Council of Ministers may increase the weekly rest day stipulated in this article.

The Decree-Law and its executive regulations also stipulate that you are entitled to an annual leave with full pay as follows:

  1. Thirty days for each year of your extended service.
  2. Two days per month in respect of any employee with more than six months and less than one year of service..
  3. Leave for parts of the last year of your service in case it is terminated before you use your annual leave balance.
  • If you are a part-time worker, then you are entitled to an annual leave according to your actual working hours with the employer, and its duration is determined based on the total working hours converted to working days, divided by the number of working days per year, multiplied by the legally prescribed leaves, at a minimum of five working days per year for annual leave.
  • The employer may grant you leave from your annual leave balance during the probationary period, and you will have the right to be compensated for the remaining annual leave balance, in case you did not pass the probation period.
  • You shall obtain your leave in its entitlement year and the employer may specify the dates of these leaves according to work requirements and in agreement with the worker, or grant them alternately among the establishment’s workers, in order to secure its work progress. The employer shall notify the worker of the specified date for his leave within a sufficient time of not less than a month.
  • You may, with the approval of the employer and in accordance with the applicable regulations at the establishment, carry forward your annual leave balance or days thereof to the following year.
  • You shall be entitled to the wage for the period of his annual leave
  • The holidays prescribed by law or by agreement are included in the calculation of the annual leave period if they fall within the annual leave of the worker and they form a part thereof, unless the employment contract or the regulations in force at the establishment provide for anything that is more useful for the worker.
  • The employer may not prevent you from benefiting from your annual leave accrued for more than two years, unless you wish to carry it forward or receive a cash allowance for it, in accordance with the regulations in force at the establishment and the implementing regulation hereof.
  • You shall be entitled to a wage for the accrued leave days if you quit the work before using them, regardless of the leave duration, with respect to the period for which you did not obtain your leave. You shall also be entitled to receive leave wage for parts of the year in proportion to the period you spent in work, calculated according to the basic wage.

You shall be entitled, as a worker, to a paid leave in the following cases:

  1. A bereavement leave of (5) five days, in case of death of the husband or wife and (3) three days in case of death of the mother, father, son, brother, sister, grandson, grandfather or grandmother, starting from the date of death
  2. A parental leave for a period of (5) five working days for the worker (either the father or mother), who has a newly born child, in order to take care of their child and the worker is entitled to such leave for a continuous or intermittent period, within (6) six months from the date of birth
  3. Any other leaves specified by the Cabinet.

The worker may be granted a study leave for a period of (10) ten working days per year for the worker who is enrolled or regularly studying at one of the educational institutions approved in the State, in order to sit for exams, provided that the service term at the employer is not less than two years.

A national worker shall be entitled to a sabbatical paid leave to perform the national service, in accordance with the legislation in force in the State.

In order to obtain the leaves referred to in this Article, proof of the same shall be provided from the concerned authorities.

For more information about holidays and leave, including maternity leave and sick leave, click here

Contract Documentation and matching with job offers

Dear Worker, Whether you are inside or outside the UAE, be informed that before establishing the work relationship, you must receive an employment offer from the employer.

The employer must use the contract form approved by the Ministry for such offer in requesting the issuance of the permit. Additional advantages may be included in a worker’s contract to those stated in the job offer.

Appendices may be added to the contract in a way that does not conflict with the provisions of the Decree-Law and its executive regulations and the relevant ministerial decisions.

Note: the job offer forms approved by the Ministry carry serial numbers “barcode”, to facilitate verification of their validity, through the Call Center 600590000 or the Ministry’s website , or through the Smart Application.

Labour complaints

Dear Worker, you can receive Labour Advisory Services by call the Labour Claims And Advisory Center on 80084. You can also submit a complaint to the Ministry within 30 days of the employer’s breach of his legal obligations. The Ministry usually settles such Labour disputes within a period not exceeding 14 days from the date of submission, before referring the same to the competent court for a decision in the event that a friendly settlement between you and the employer is not possible.

Wage Protection System

Dear Worker, Your right to receive your wages on time and in the manner agreed upon in the employment contract, through the wage protection system, is guaranteed as per the Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 regarding Labour relations, its executive regulations and relevant ministerial decisions.

It is worth mentioning that the laws also expressly stipulate that a woman is granted a wage equal to the wages of a man if she performs the same work, or an alternative work of equal value.

Occupational Health and Safety

Dear Worker, The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation applies an integrated system to ensure the protection of your health and safety, as stipulated in Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 regarding the regulation of Labour relations, executive regulations thereof, and related ministerial decisions. The Decree-Law containts a package of preventive measures that must be implemented at your workplace, including appropriate means of protection against work injuries and occupational diseases that may occur during working hours, as well as major fire incidents and other dangers that may result from the use of equipment. The Ministry monitors the proper implementation of these precautionary measures by organizing periodic field visits to workplaces.

The Ministry also monitors these preventive measures in the Labour camps and the employers’ commitment to provide suitable accommodation that met the standards and requirements stipulated by law.

In order to protect your health and safety, and to avoid the risks of direct exposure to sun during your work in the hot summer months, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation prohibits work under the sun and in open places at 12.30 noon to 3.00 pm, from June 15 to September 15 every year.

End of Service Benefits

Dear Worker, It is important for you to know that according to Labour market laws, you are entitled to a gratuity at the end of your service, while the national worker receives his end of service gratuity according to the legislation regulating pensions and social security in the State.

The full-time foreign worker, who completed a year or more in continuous service, shall be entitled to end of service benefits at the end of his service, calculated according to the basic wage as per the following:

  1. A wage of (21) twenty one days for each year of the first five years of service
  2. A wage of (30) thirty days for each year exceeding such period
  3. The foreign worker shall be entitled to a benefit for parts of the year in proportion to the period spent at work, provided that he completed one year of continuous service.
  4. The unpaid days of absence from work shall not be included in the calculation of the service term.
  5. The end of service benefits shall be calculated according to the last basic wage the worker was entitled to, with respect to those who receive their wages on a monthly, weekly or daily basis and according to the average daily wage stipulated in the provisions hereof for those who receive their wages on a piecework basis.
  6. It is required based on the foregoing that the end of service benefits for the foreign worker in its entirety does not exceed two years’ wage
  7. The employer may deduct from the end of service benefits any amounts payable under the law or a judgment, in accordance with the conditions and procedures specified in the implementing regulation hereof
  • If you work on a part-time or job-sharing basis, your end-of-service gratuity will be calculated according to the following:
  • The number of working hours in the work contract per year divided by the number of working hours in the full-time contract per year multiplied by 100 equals the percentage multiplied by the value of the end-of-service gratuity for the full-time employment contract.
  • The end-of-service gratuity does not apply to temporary workers with less than one year service.

Prohibition of discrimination

To promote the principles of equality, fairness and safety and to maintain a healthy work environment, the Decree-Law expressly stipulates that:

  1. The employer shall not use any means that would oblige or force the worker, threaten him with any penalty to work for it, or compel him to undertake work or provide a service against his will.
  2. Sexual harassment, bullying or any verbal, physical or psychological violence committed against the worker by the employer, his superiors at work, colleagues or the persons who work with him, are prohibited.

The Decree-Law also states that any discrimination on the basis of race, colour, sex, religion, national or social origin or disability which would have the e ect of nullifying or impairing equality of opportunity, or prejudicing equal treatment in the employment, the maintenance of a job and the enjoyment of its benefits. Employers are prohibited to discriminate against workers in jobs involving similar tasks.

However, rules and regulations that aim to enhance the participation of UAE citizens in the labour market shall not constitute discrimination.

General Obligations

Dear Worker, You have to abide by the following obligations:

  1. Performing the work by yourself according to the direction and supervision of the employer or anyone acting on its behalf, and in accordance with the contract, and not outsourcing the work to any worker or any other person
  2. Being committed to good behaviour and morals while undertaking work and adhering to honesty and professional integrity
  3. Preserving the production means and work tools in your custody and maintaining them by taking the necessary actions to preserve them in the places designated for them
  4. Keeping the confidentiality of information and data to which you have access by virtue of your work, not disclosing the work’s secrets and returning the items in your custody to the employer at the end of your service
  5. Not keeping personally any original papers or hard or soft copies of documents related to work secrets without the permission of the employer or its representative
  6. Implementing the occupational safety and health instructions prescribed at the establishment as per the legislation in force or work regulations and instructions
  7. Working during the approved working days and working hours specified in the employment contract, communicating and responding in an efficient manner to complete the duties assigned to you
  8. Continuously and diligently working to develop your functional and professional skills and enhancing your performance
  9. Not working for others, in violation of the provisions hereof and other applicable legislation in this regard
  10. Evacuating the accommodation provided by the employer, within a period not exceeding (30) thirty days from the date of end of his service. However, the worker may stay in the accommodation after the end of the said period, in case of the employer’s approval, and the worker shall bear the cost of stay or as agreed upon in writing with the employer.
  • Rights in international treatiesThe United Arab Emirates has ratified 10 international agreements related to:
    1. Number of working hours in industrial establishments,Equal pay for male and female workers for work of equal value,Abolition of forced Labour and discrimination in employment and occupation,The minimum age for employment of juveniles,Prohibition of forced or compulsory Labour, Labour inspection and women’s work at night, based on the State’s keenness to support international efforts aimed at safeguarding rights and providing a decent work environment.
    These agreements positively impacted the Labour market in the UAE.Dear worker, If you have any inquiries, contact MOHRE via the call center 600590000. You can also contact us on WhatsApp on the same call center number.