New UAE labour rules kick in on January 1, 2016

Dubai: Sweeping new rules by the Ministry of Labour will forge a stronger relationship between employers and workers and enhance the labour market across the country by ensuring transparency and encouraging more flexible labour mobility for workers.The new rules were unveiled on Monday by Minister of Labour, Saqr Ghobash to build upon the latest decisions to the labour policy initiative in 2011 regarding labour mobility.Ministerial Decrees 764, 765 and 766 pave the way for improved labour relations by securing more stable practices governed by regulations that protect workers who are legally sponsored to enter the UAE, the ministry said. “The new rules will also bring greater transparency, clarity and tighter monitoring of labour contract conditions and ensure both employer and employee enter into fully voluntary relationships,” a statement said.The decrees will see the creation of a new unified, standard labour contract.Standard work contractMinisterial Decree 764 of 2015 on ministry-approved standard employment contracts states that a worker must be presented with an employment offer that conforms with the unified contract and then must be signed by the worker.All contract renewals in force beforehand must use the new unified contract which, in addition to the employment offer, the terms of which cannot be altered or substituted unless approved by the ministry.No clauses can be added to any contract unless compliant with and approved by the labour ministry.Terminating work contractWithin Ministerial Decree 765 of 2015 on terminating employment, a series of articles outline conditions when a contract can be terminated for term and non-term contracts.