UAE law: Private firms cannot force employees to leave the UAE when their contracts expire

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a new UAE law about regulating labour relations in the private sector in all emirates. 

Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 will come into force on February 2, 2022. The law comprises several clauses aimed at creating a flexible and competitive labor market, attracting top talent, empowering women in the workforce, and balancing the rights of both employers and employees.

Here are some provisions of the new law:

  • The law prohibits employers from confiscating workers’ official documents.
  • Cannot force employees to leave the country after the contract.
  • The employer shall bear the fees and expenses of recruitment and employment.
  •  It also includes new flexible working models (temporary, freelance, condensed work, shared jobs)

The law does not apply to employees in the public sector and domestic workers.

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