New UAE labour rules ‘to end disputes’ over unjust contracts

Issuing new work permits and contract renewals to require ‘clear signature’ of employee

PHOTO: Renewing contracts and issuing work permits will from early 2016 require the employee’s signature. Credit: Shutterstock

New regulation to end labour disputes over “unjust” contracts will be introduced in the UAE by early 2016, according to state news agency WAM.

The Ministry of Labour says it will introduce new measures for renewing expired contracts and issuing work permits, previously known as labour cards, with both processes to require the “clear signature” of employees.

That would give workers a say in the process, unlike under the current work-permit renewal procedure, which simply requires a notification from employers.

“The new decrees will end labour disputes caused by unjust labour contract submissions made by employers without referring to the labourers themselves, and getting final approval before issuing a new work permit,” said Humaid bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, assistant under-secretary for Labour Affairs.

“Workers, under the new procedures, will enjoy better options of either accepting renewal of the contract according to marked privileges and stipulated requirements in the new contract, or amend these privileges and conditions upon agreement by both parties, which actively contributes to promoting a strong working relationship.

“It will also enable employees to completely end the relationship, search for alternatives, or return back home.”

The UAE is currently revamping the legislation that regulates its labour market.

Al Suwaidi said measures are in place for private enterprises to issue contracts in the preferred language of labourers, prior to their signing the papers. This will help “overcome any difficulties that both ends may encounter through several employment channels, including employment agencies or by dispatching company representatives to the targeted country.”


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