What You Need to Know About Labor Legislation in the UAE

What You Need to Know About Labor Legislation in the UAE
12 May 2024

Labor legislation in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) represents an important set of norms and rules regulating labor relations between employers and employees. Familiarizing yourself with the key provisions of this legislation is essential for anyone working or planning to work in this country. Let's take a look at the key aspects of labor legislation in the UAE and what you need to know about them.

Employment Contract

One of the most important documents for employees in the UAE is the employment contract. It must be drawn up in writing and contain information about the position, salary, working hours, leave, and other important terms of employment. Such a contract is mandatory for all employees, including foreigners.

Working Hours and Leave

According to UAE labor legislation, the working week is 48 hours, typically over 6 days. The working day may be extended to 9 hours, but the total number of working hours should not exceed 48 hours per week. Every employee is entitled to paid annual leave, which should be provided by the employer. The duration of leave depends on the length of service in the company.

Payment of Wages

An employer is obligated to pay wages on time and not later than 10 days after the end of the paid work period. The amount of wages and allowances should be determined by the employment contract but must comply with the minimum standards set by the UAE government.

Safety and Health

UAE labor legislation requires employers to provide safe and healthy working conditions for their employees. This includes providing personal protective equipment, safety training, and compliance with all occupational safety standards. Employers must also regularly inspect equipment and workplace infrastructure for safety compliance.

Protection of Women and Young Workers

UAE labor legislation establishes special rules for the protection of women and individuals under 18 years of age. For example, women have the right to maternity leave in connection with pregnancy and childbirth. Employment for individuals under a certain age may be restricted or prohibited, depending on the nature of the work.

What You Need to Know About Labor Legislation in the UAE

Termination Procedure

The termination procedure must be carried out in accordance with the law. An employee is entitled to compensation in case of dismissal without explanation if provided for in the employment contract or by law.

Judicial Disputes and Conflict Resolution

In case of labor disputes between an employee and an employer, it is recommended to seek resolution through the Ministry of Labor or other competent authorities. It is important to remember that legal proceedings can be lengthy and require compliance with all procedures and rules.

Visa and Immigration Rules

To work in the UAE, you need to have the appropriate work visa or work permit. Usually, the employer takes care of obtaining visas for foreign workers, but it is essential to ensure the legality of your status and right to work in the country.

Rules on Bonuses and Allowances

UAE labor legislation also regulates issues related to the payment of bonuses, allowances, and additional compensation for meeting certain work conditions. The employer is obligated to fulfill all obligations regarding payment and compensation specified in the employment contract.

Compliance with Local Customs and Norms

Employees, especially foreigners, must be attentive to compliance with local customs, traditions, and norms of behavior. This applies to both working hours and workplace etiquette, as well as social norms, cultural peculiarities, and religious obligations.


Compliance with labor legislation in the UAE is an important aspect of successful work and good relations between employees and employers. Familiarizing yourself with the basic rules and norms will help avoid misunderstandings and conflicts, ensuring stable and productive labor relations in the country.