July 23, 2024


The Legal System

The Executive Regulations to the Labour Law

The Federal Law No. 33 of 2021 (the New Law) brought significant changes to the UAE Labour Law and was released well in advance of the effective date, being 2 February 2022. We highlighted some of these changes within our previous post.

The New Law made reference to executive regulations and it was anticipated that these would clarify the mechanics of the New Law. The regulations of the New Law have now been issued under the UAE Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 (the Executive Regulations).

The New Law and the Executive Regulations impact upon both employees and employers in the UAE.  For the avoidance of any doubt, the New Law and associated regulations do not apply to establishments in the DIFC or ADGM which have their own labour laws.

We have provided a summary as to the key factors issued within the Executive Regulations:

  • New Work Permits: The Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MoHRE) shall make available a number of new types of work permits. Interestingly, a new development within the regulations is the introduction of a freelance work permit to work onshore without requiring the sponsorship from an onshore employer.
  • Working Models: The New Law provided four work models: full-time, part-time, temporary and flexible. The Executive Regulations introduce two additional work models: remote working and job sharing.
  • Employment Contract: The Executive Regulations provide the standard terms required to be included within the employment contract. In addition, the MoHRE shall provide standard templates for the new work models. The employment contract templates are awaited.
  • Working Hours: The New Law confirms the maximum working hours and overall cap. The Executive Regulations introduces the exemptions to the maximum working hours and such limit will not apply to board members, individuals holding supervisory position and employees that meet certain requirements set out within the regulations. In addition, the Executive Regulations confirm that the working hours will be reduced by two hours during the holy month of Ramadan.
  • Annual Leave: The Executive Regulations clarify the calculation of annual leave for part-time employees.
  • Non-Compete Clauses: A non-compete clause shall not be enforceable where an employment contract is terminated in light of the employer’s breach of the contractual terms or obligations under the law.
  • Policies & Procedures: Employers with 50 or more employees are required under the New Law and Executive Regulations to implement policies and procedures. The policies must provide information on a number of factors including, for example, working hours, holidays, bonuses and promotions. In addition, employers must provide procedures on disciplinary sanctions, health & safety, grievances and complaints.
  • Disciplinary Sanctions: The Executive Regulations provide the criteria to be considered when imposing a disciplinary sanction as well as the procedure, associated timescales for investigations, notifying the employee of any sanction and the employee’s right to appeal.

If you are an employer or employee who requires assistance with implementing the New Law and Executive Regulations, please contact Joanna Stewart ([email protected]).


February 2022