UAE Labour Law

In the private and public sectors, as regulated by the Ministry of Labour, you can find information on the United Arab Emirates Labor Law on this page. This article will be updated to notify you of any new developments to the UAE Labor Law.

The primary objective of our website is to educate both nationals and foreign workers about their rights and advantages as employees in the UAE in order to ensure that they have a consistent work environment.

The following are some of the reasons why companies and employers may find this information beneficial for hiring legal and competent labor in the UAE’s private sector. A thorough grasp of the UAE’s Labor Law can help businesses and employees develop healthier and more productive working relationships.

The UAE’s Labor Law is also addressed on the United Arab Emirates Labor Law website, which contains useful resources for comprehending current economic conditions in the country, migrant rights, and more. The site provides the full-text version of the UAE Labor Law, which includes changes to it.

The Federal Law No. 8 of 1980, commonly known as the Law, is the legal framework for employment issues in the UAE. All changes to the Law have been recorded in official publications of the Law; they are as follows:

Federal Law of 1981, No. 24, dated 07th November 1981

Federal Law of 1985, No. 15, dated 15th December 1985

Federal Law of 1986, No. 12, dated 27th October 1986

Federal Law of 1999, No. 14, dated 17 October 1999

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The UAE, on the other hand, has enacted a number of measures, edicts, and regulations to enhance worker protections and clarify the existing legislation. The following are the most recent changes:

The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization’s Ministerial Decision No. (766) of 2015 on Rules and Conditions for allowing a new employee to work in the country, issued September 27th, 2015, amends and expands the circumstances under which a worker cannot be banned from working in the UAE.

The Ministry of Labor’s Ministerial Decree No. (765) of 2015 on Rules and Conditions for the Termination of Employment Relations, published September 27, 2015, specifies the procedures for terminating both unlimited and limited contracts.

Ministerial Decision No. (764) of 2015, which was issued by the Ministry of Employment on September 27, 2015, establishes a standard employment contract as well as the procedures for modifying it through the Ministry of Labour.

Those who employ deception, fraud, or coercion to deceive or pressure vulnerable people into exploitative work situations are now subject to criminal penalties under the new Federal Law No. 1 of 2015, which amends some provisions of Federal Law No. 51 of 2006 on Combating Human Trafficking Crimes and was signed January 28th, 2015 (Section 4).

A Ministerial Decree No. (788) of 2009 on the Protection of Wages, published on July 20, 2009, establishes a Wage Protection System (WPS) to combat wage nonpayment.

The following is a complete list of all other additional documents, government edicts, and ministerial orders that have been issued to supplement the Labor Law:

Official Language

Administrative Circular No. 2 of 2008, which establishes Arabic as the official language, was issued on May 18, 2008. It stipulates that all contacts with the Ministry must be conducted in Arabic.

Permits and cards for the workforce
  • The 1987 ministerial order that regulates the licensing of mediation and the hiring of non-national labor, as well as supply, was implemented in 1987.
  • The 1988 Labor Act (No. 28) amended the Ministerial Order of 1989 on raising work permit fees and delaying fines thereunder, which was established in 1989.
  • The Ministerial Resolution No. 52 of 1989 on the rules and procedures to be followed in the UAE’s labor permits sections when recruiting non-national laborers for employment, adopted 1989.
  • The Ministerial Order No. 155 of 1993 dealing with higher labor permits and penalty fines was passed in 1993.
  • The Ministerial Order No. 1 of 1994, which allows for higher labor costs, was implemented in 1994.
  • Ministerial Resolution No. 467 of 1995 amends Ministerial Resolution No. 52 of 1989, which was released on August 19, 1995.
  • The Ministerial Resolution No. 951 of 2003 on investors, which was promulgated on December 24, 2003.
  • Administrative Circular No. 77 of 2005, on the employment of foreign nationals on missions, was published on 20 July 2005.
  • The Ministerial Resolution No. 370 of 2005, which concerns the special purpose entry permit and was enacted on May 30, 2005.
  • The Ministerial Resolution No. 92 of 2006, on work permits, was passed on January 25, 2006.
  • On October 21, 2006, the provincial cabinet met to discuss several issues. As a result of this meeting, Ministerial Resolution No. 764 of 2006 was passed in terms of replacement applications, which was dated 19 October 2006.
  • The Ministerial Resolution No. 849 of 2006, on unused work permits, was passed on 21 December 2006 (Ministerial Regulation 556 of 2005).
  • Ministerial Resolution No. 468 of 2007, on granting of work permits, dated 23 July 2007.
  • On August 11, 2010, the Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 25 of 2010 was published on internal work permits applicable in the Ministry of Labour.
  • On 29 November 2010, the Government issued Ministerial Resolution No. 1186 on rules and conditions for issuing a new work permit after termination of employment to an employee who wishes to transfer from one location to another.
  • Ministerial Resolution No. 1188 of 2010 on domestic work permits, which was issued on November 29, 2010.
Certificates and Diplomas for Academic Qualifications (Certified)
  • Ministry of Labor and Employment Ministerial Resolution No. 424 of 2005, which eliminated the need for a high school diploma for simple manual labor, was passed on June 14, 2005.
  • On 20 April 2008, the Ministerial Resolution No. 240 of 2008 was passed with Ministerial Resolution No. 851 of 2005, which authorized the certificates’ approval.
Labor Contract

Article 127 of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 was clarified in Administrative Circular No. 1 of 2001, which specifies the conditions for Article 127.

Fees and Deposit Guarantee
  • Ministerial Order No. 70 of 1992, which laid down the employer’s duty to give a bank guarantee to cover air tickets for fleeing laborers immediately upon notification of their absconding, was enacted in 1992.
  • On 25 June 2006, the Ministerial Resolution No. 444 of 2006 outlining the rules and procedures for fee exemption was published.
  • The Ministerial Resolution No. 812 of 2006, on the regulations and procedures for exemption from fines, was issued on December 11, 2012.
  • On September 25, 2007, the Executive Council of Ministers issued Ministerial Resolution No. 604 on adding a case to the rules and procedures of fees exemption.
  • Ministerial Resolution No. 968 of 2009 on the modification of Ministerial Resolution No. 444 for 2006 regarding fee exemption rules and procedures, issued 6 September 2009.
  • The Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 26 for 2010 on regulating labor relations and determining banking guarantees, which was ratified on August 11th, 2010, is an example of such a resolution.
  • The Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 27 for 2010 on the Ministry of Labour’s fees and penalties, published August 11, 2010
Cancellation of Service and Absence from Work
  • On 13 July 2005, Ministerial Resolution No. 500 of 2005, on labor card cancellation and expiration, was issued.
  • The Ministerial Resolution No. 707 of 2006 on the rules and processes for doing business in the state for non-residents, which was issued on September 6, 2006.
  • The above-mentioned Ministerial Resolution No. 721 of 2006 regulates the reporting process for escape reports, which was issued on September 11, 2006.
  • On September 10, 2006, the administrative cancellation of sponsorship was approved by Ministerial Resolution No. 724 of 2006.
  • The Ministerial Resolution No. 636 of 2008 on the amendment of Ministerial Resolution No. 707 of 2006, dated 15 September 2008, was adopted by the Cabinet on 25 November 2016.
Penalties and Punishments
  • Ministerial Resolution No. 42/1 of 1980 on the method of utilizing the sum of fines deducted from employees, adopted in 1980.
  • The Ministerial Resolution No. 51/1 of 1980, which established the criteria for paying financial gains resulting from a demotion or bonus delay, was enacted in 1980.
  • The Honorable Ministerial Regulation No. 28/1 of 1981, which provided for the creation of a model regulation to enable employers to devise sanctions regulations for their workplaces, was enacted in 1981.
  • Ministerial Order No. 851 of 2001, on closing down unlicensed facilities, was issued in 2001.
  • The Ministerial Resolution, No. 589 of 2007, was passed on September 17, 2007.
  • The Ministerial Resolution No. 255 of 2010 for sub-contracting construction contracts, which was issued on March 30, 2010.
  • The Ministerial Resolution No. 256 of 2010, which concerns penalties and statutes and regulations for penalties, was passed on March 30, 2010 (last amended in 2014).
  • Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 10 of 2012, which amends several provisions of Cabinet Minister Resolution No. 27 of 2010 with respect to charges and fines for services provided by the Ministry of Labour, was issued on May 1, 2012.
Recruitment Agencies for the Private Sector

The Ministerial Resolution No. 1283 of 2010 on private recruiting agencies’ licensing and regulation, promulgated on December 23, 2010.

  • The Ministerial Circular No. 2 of 2006, issued on January 25, 2006.
  • The Ministerial Resolution No. 757 of 2006 on the facility card system, issued on October 11, 2006.
  • Ministerial Resolution No. 810 of 2006, issued on December 11, 2006.
  • On 15 September 2008, the Cabinet approved Ministerial Resolution No. 633 of 2008, which amended Ministerial Resolution No. 757 of 2006 (Ministerial Resolution No. 633/2008).
  • The Ministerial Resolution No. 702 of 2008 on electronic facilities, published October 28, 2008.
  • In 1980, the Ministerial Decision No. 50/1 on the creation of divisions for recruiting nationals and establishing rules and procedures was implemented.
  • The initial order was issued pursuant to Ministerial Decision No. 71/2 of 1982, which acceded in January of that year (1982).
  • On January 30, 2005, Ministerial Resolution No. 41 of 2005 concerning occupational quotas in trade industries was passed.
  • Ministerial Resolution No. 42 of 2005 on occupational quota in the insurance sector, issued on January 30, 2005.
  • On 30 January 2005, Ministerial Resolution No. 43 of 2005 on occupational quotas in the banking sector was passed.
  • The Presidential Decree No. 565 of 2005 on the procedures and rules for employment contracts of nationals, issued on 26 December 2005, is referred to as Ministerial Resolution No. 1216 of 2005.
  • Ministerial Resolution No. 275 of 2006, issued on February 25, 2006.
  • The Directors of Human Resources and the Directors and Officials of Employees Affairs in the Private Sector are positioned by ministerial resolution No. 442 of 2006, which was published on 24 June 2006.
  • On 24 June 2006, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security issued Ministerial Resolution No. 443 on secretarial employment in the private sector.
  • On 15 September 2008, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications issued Ministerial Resolution No. 635 of 2008 on public relations officials.
  • The Ministerial Order No. 293 of 2015, which sets out the terms and conditions of employment for UAE national workers, was issued on April 30, 2015.
Labor Disputes
  • The 1980 ministerial order establishing a conciliation board to handle collective conflicts was adopted.
  • The Council of Ministers Order No. 11 of 1982, which regulates proceeding and other rules necessary for the effective conduct of business before Conciliation Boards and the Supreme Arbitration Board for collective disputes resolution, was implemented in 1982.

The Ministerial Resolution No. 307 of 2003, on collective labor conflicts, was issued on May 31, 2003.

Safety and health in the workplace
  • The Ministerial Resolution No. 4/1 of 1981, which defined works that are hazardous or allow for shorter working hours as permitted by law, was passed on January 6, 1981.
  • This refers to ministerial resolution No. 27/1 of 1981, which set out the procedures for determining remote places as specified by law No. 8 of 1980, dated April 19, 1981.
  • Ministerial Resolution No. 37/2 of 1982, on the level of medical care employers are required to give their employees, dated July 17, 1982.
  • The Ministerial Resolution No. 32 of 1982 on determining prevention strategies and methods for protecting workers from work hazards was established in 1982.
The employment of children and women
  • In 1980, the Ministerial Resolution No. 46/1 on defining women’s work periods between 10 PM and 7 AM was adopted.
  • The law organizing the relations pertaining to employing minors and women was passed in 1980. A ministerial resolution No. 47/1 of 1980 exempted some institutions from certain provisions of the legislation.
  • The hazardous, difficult, and harmful works that must not be performed by minors were defined in Ministerial Resolution No. 5/1 of 1981, which was passed on January 6, 1981.
  • The Ministerial Resolution No. 6/1 of 1981 on defining work that is hazardous, unpleasant, or harmful to one’s health and morals, and where women should not be employed therein was passed on January 6, 1981.
  • Ministerial Resolution No. 1189 of 2010, which outlined regulations and conditions for providing work authorizations to minors, was published on November 29, 2010.
Working Hours and Places
  • In 1980, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security passed Resolution No. 49/1 on determining the occupations where work must continue without interruption and how to give workers time off for meals, rest, and religious observance.
  • Ministerial Resolution No. 235 of 1984 amended some of the provisions of Ministerial Resolution No. 7/1 of 1981 with respect to the exempted categories, which were previously excluded from the Working Hours provision (1981).
GCC Nationals
  • On 26 December 2005, Ministerial Resolution No. 1215 of 2005 was passed, establishing the procedures to register the citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries working in the private sector.
  • The Ministerial Circular No. 3 of 2007, dated 20 May 2007, is a follow-up to the 2004 circulars.
  • The Ministerial Resolution No. 4 of 2007, which authorized Gulf Cooperation Council nationals to engage in economic activities and vocations in the country, was released on January 14, 2007.
  • The Ministerial Order No. 292 of 2015, which was published on April 30, 2015 and governs the employment conditions of Gulf Cooperation Council nationals, has been implemented.
Specific Categories of Workers
  • According to the 2012 Federal Law No. 7 of 2012 on regulating expert occupations before the judicial authorities, issued 10 October 2012.
  • Law No. 6 of 2012, the law regulating the profession of translator, was published on October 10, 2012.
  • The 2014 version of the Law on Auditing is a government regulation that was published on November 30, 2014.
  • The Federal Law No. 3 of 2013 on the Founding of Emirates Post Group, adopted on April 3, 2013.
  • A new federal law, No. 2 of 2014 on small and medium enterprises, was published on March 16, 2014.