New labor law in UAE 2022

The UAE Labor Law is a set of provisions and legislation aimed at regulating the relationship of workers with the employer, which guarantees workers their legal rights and clarifies their duties. The new labor law in UAE 2022 work on everything related to them.

The new Labor Law in UAE 2022

On Wednesday, February 2, 2022, UAE government and private companies began working in accordance with the Federal Law Decree of 2021 regarding the regulation of labor relations between institutions, employers and workers in the private sector, whereby the work of the Federal Law of 1980 regarding the regulation of labor relations ends.

The provisions of the new labor law in UAE 2022 regulating the relationship between the worker and institutions shall apply in all establishments, employers and workers in the private sector working in the state.

Here are the main amendments of the new labor law in UAE 2022:

How many hours are prescribed in the private sector?

The new labor law in UAE 2022 determining working hours in the private sector

The UAE Labor Law has set working hours per day in the private sector at 8 working hours per day, and not to exceed 48 hours per week.

The normal working hours are reduced by two hours during the month of Ramadan.

The new labor law in UAE 2022 in cases of increasing working hours in the private sector

According to Article 65 of the Federal Labor Law, which regulates work in the private sector, the maximum normal working hours for adult workers is 8 hours per day, or 48 hours per week.

Working hours may be increased to nine hours per day in commercial business, hotel business, canteens, guarding, and other businesses that may be added by a decision of the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

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The new labor law in UAE 2022 in cases of reducing working hours

The daily working hours may also be reduced for work that is stressful or harmful to health, by a decision of the competent minister.

The new labor law in UAE 2022 in cases of overtime

According to the law, the daily working hours must be organized so that the worker does not work for more than 5 consecutive hours, without rest, food and prayer time, not less than an hour in total. Also, these periods are not included in working hours.

If the working conditions require the worker to work more than the normal working hours, it considered overtime, for which the worker shall receive an equal salary to the normal working hours. In addition, an increase of not less than 25% of that salary shall be added.

If working conditions require that workers work overtime between 9:00pm and 4:00am the worker must be paid for the overtime set for normal working hours, plus an increase of not less than 50% of that salary.

Government entities are not subjected to the Labor Law, as they are governed by the Human Resources Law in the Federal Government, and the Human Resources Laws for the local governments of each emirate.

The new labor law in UAE 2022 working days per week

In early December, the UAE government announced the adoption of a new system of weekly work to be 4 days and a half a week, with the weekly holiday on Saturday and Sunday, and Friday half a working day until 12 noon. It also decided that the application will be starting from the first of January 2022.

The Emirates News Agency, WAM, said that the decision applies to all entities in the federal government sector in the country. According to the new decision, the official working hours are from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm, from Monday to Thursday.

The report added: “The new system will include the possibility of applying flexible working hours and remote work system on Friday in the federal authorities, provided that the federal authorities approve the implementation mechanisms, as required by the interest of the workflow in these authorities.”

Also, according to the decision, the timing of the Friday sermon and prayers was standardized, to be at 1:15 pm at the state throughout the year.

Work patterns

The new Labor Law in UAE 2022 allows companies to contract based on 6 different patterns of work, including:

  • Full time
  • Part time
  • Temporary work
  • Flexible work
  • Remote working
  • Job sharing pattern

*Note: The law decree and its executive regulations set the amount of the Severance Package “end-of-service gratuity” and annual leave according to the work pattern in a way that guarantees the rights of both parties to the contract.

Employment contract

One thing more covered by the new labor law in UAE 2022 is the conversion of indefinite duration contracts to limited duration work contracts within one year from the date of enforcement of the decree that specified the period not to exceed 3 years, and the agreement of the two parties may extend or renew the contract.

The work contract must basically include the employer’s name and address, the worker’s name, nationality, date of birth, and what is necessary to prove his identity, qualifications, job or profession, in addition to the date of joining work, place of work, working hours, and rest days, and the following is a set of other matters must be provided in the contract:

  • Probationary period
  • Duration of the contract
  • The salary with benefits and allowances
  • Duration of annual leave
  • Procedures for terminating the employment contract.

*Note: It is permissible for the worker and the employer to add new clauses to the contract forms, provided that they are in agreement with the provisions of the decree, regulations and legal systems. The contract may also be changed from one type of work to another, provided the agreement of both the worker and the employer, that all dues arising from the first contract are met, and that the procedures specified by the Ministry are followed.

Leave, Vacations and holidays 

The new labor law in UAE 2022 defines a set of leave days to which the worker is entitled, which include:

Mourning leave

  • 5 days in the event of the death of the husband or wife
  • 3 days in the event of the death of any of the mother, father, sons, brother, sister, grandchildren, grandfather or grandmother

Parental leave

In the event of a newborn is entitled to parental leave for a period of 5 working days and entitled to use it continuously or intermittently within a period of 6 months from the date of the child’s birth.

Studying leave 

The new decisions also include a 10-day study leave if the worker is affiliated at one of the educational institutions approved in the country, provided that the period of service with the employer is not less than two years.


Frequently Asked Questions

How many days of annual leave?

If the employee fulfills all the conditions, he is entitled to an annual leave with full pay, not less than:

  • 30 days for each year of service
  • Two days for each month if his service period is more than six months and less than a year

How many days maternity leave in the UAE?

An employee is entitled to maternity leave with full pay for a period of three months, and a nursing employee is entitled to two hours of leave per day at the beginning or end of working hours for a period of one year from the date of the child’s birth.

What are the rights of the worker in the event of unfair dismissal?

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation is trying to reach an amicable settlement between the worker and the employer in the event of unfair dismissal, and if a solution that satisfies both parties isn’t found, the case is transferred to the competent court, where it orders the employer to pay compensation to the worker if it is proven that he has an unfair dismissal.

With this, we have talked about the details of the new Labor Law in UAE 2022 and the most important amendments it included, in addition to the most frequently asked questions.

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