Standardised labour contract to come into effect on January 1

Dubai: The new unified labour contract standardising employment terms and making them more transparent is scheduled to come into effect on January 1, 2016. The Standard Limited-Term Employment Contract was drafted by the Ministry of Labour as part of the three new decrees that are expected to improve regulation and transparency of the labour market.

The contract and the decrees were first announced by the ministry on September 28, 2015.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 their entry into the UAE.The contract, which is divided into 11 clauses, details the obligations and rights of both employer and employee.

The contract will explicitly state a worker’s profession, job title, and basic remuneration allowances (all of which should be written in figures and words).The contract will need to be signed by both the employer and the worker.

One clause stipulates that the duration of the limited-term employment contract may not exceed two years. The contract’s rules will apply even during the notice period ahead of the contract’s termination. The notice period, which can be anywhere between one to three months, must be agreed upon by both parties signing the contract.All expenses related to enabling an employee to work for an employer must be borne by the latter. This may include travel to the UAE and broker agency fees.

In an earlier interview with Gulf News, Saqr Gobash, Minister of Labour, said the first of the new decrees mandates that the worker 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 signed offer is to be filed with the ministry,” he said, adding it would have to be “then retrieved from the ministry upon the worker’s arrival in the UAE and signed into a standard legal contract without substituting or altering the terms of the initial offer, unless the proposed alterations are accepted by the worker and MoL as enhancing the benefits to the worker.”

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