Littler Global Guide - United Arab Emirates - Q1 2022

Browse through brief employment and labor law updates from around the globe. Contact a Littler attorney for more information or view our global locations.

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United Arab Emirates Enacting an All New Labor Law

New Legislation Enacted

Author: Dr. Luisa Rödemer, Senior Associate – vangard | Littler

On February 2, 2022, Federal Law No. 33 of 2021 came into force within the United Arab Emirates. The new Labor Law fully replaced Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 with its numerous addendums and executive regulations. The new Labor Law applies in all seven Emirates, within the mainland directly and within the numerous free zones amended by the specific free zone’s rules and regulations. However, the Dubai International Financial Center Free Zone in Dubai and the Abu Dhabi Global Market Free Zone in Abu Dhabi continue applying their own Labor Laws.

The new Labor Law includes additional forms of employment, such as part-time employment or temporary and flexible employment relationships. While the former Labor Law permitted both, limited-term and unlimited employment contracts, the new Labor Law limits all employment relationships to a fixed-term not exceeding three years. Employers are bound by the new regulations already, while the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratization grants a one-year period to transfer all existing unlimited employment contracts to fixed-term ones.

First Data Protection Law as Framework for the United Arab Emirates

New Legislation Enacted

Author: Dr. Luisa Rödemer, Senior Associate – vangard | Littler

On January 2, 2022, the first Federal Data Protection Law No. 45 of 2021 for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) came into effect. The Law applies to processing of personal data of data subjects residing in the UAE or having a workplace in the UAE as well as controllers or processor established in the UAE carrying out activities of processing personal data for data subjects in the UAE or abroad and controllers or processors established outside the UAE that carry out such activities within the UAE. The Federal Data Protection Law shall be considered a data protection framework, comparable with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and will be amended by executive regulations in the future.

Mobile Work, Job Sharing and Employment Outsourcing as Accepted Employment Models

New Order or Decree

Author: Dr. Luisa Rödemer, Senior Associate – vangard | Littler

With enacting the new Labor Law, the Cabinet issued its first Resolution No. 1 of 2022 (Executive Regulation). This Executive Regulation specifies the new Labor Law and provides additional work and employment models such as remote work, job sharing or freelance work, while further allowing activities of intermediation, temporary recruitment, and employment outsourcing. Furthermore, the Executive Regulation clarifies the application of noncompetition clauses, especially in which cases a valid noncompetition clause will be exempted. The Regulation also specifies, that companies with more than 50 employees are obligated to implement internal work policies in line with the requirements of the new Labor Law.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.