New UAE labour rules kick in on January 1, 2016 

More transparency: 3 new rules cover application of ministry-approved contracts, conditions for terminating employees and labour permits to work for new employersUAE Minister of Labour Saqr Ghobash.

The decrees will see the creation of a new unified, standard labour contract.Standard work contract Ministerial 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.No clauses can be added to any contract unless compliant with and approved by the labour ministry.

Terminating work contract Within Ministerial Decree 765 of 2015 on terminating employment, under term contracts of no more than two years, an employee contract is terminated if the term of the contract expires, if an employer and employee mutually agree to end the contract, if either party acts unilaterally to terminate the contract or renewal, but complies with legal consequences of early termination including notification in writing at least one month in advance and no longer than three months.

Non-term contracts can be terminated if both parties consent to termination, one party gives notice of termination at least one month in advance and not exceeding three months or if one party unilaterally acts to terminate but bears consequences of early termination.

Granting a new work permit Under Article 1 of Ministerial Decree 766 of 2015. For both term and non-term contracts, a new permit may be granted upon termination of the workers employment when the term of the contract has expired.A new permit can be granted when both worker and employer mutually consent to terminating the contract during the term provided that the worker has completed at least six months employment or if workers qualify for a skill set series classified by the ministry.

Meanwhile, a worker may be granted a work permit for all term and non-term contracts if it is determined that the employer has failed to meet legal and contractual obligations, including but not limited to when the employer fails to pay the worker’s wages for more than 60 days.