Can you work in the UAE if you are 20? I was told that the labour law says a person is not an adult until they are 21, so does that mean they cannot get a job? What is the minimum age that a person can work here and is it different for men and women? RA, Dubai
A person who has reached the age of 20 is deemed to be an adult so is permitted to work in the UAE in accordance with the standard provisions of UAE Labour Law. Various sources give different opinions regarding the age of majority, with some quoting 18 years and others 21 but in respect of undertaking employment the main points of the law apply from age 18.
It is possible for someone, either male or female, to work legally from the age of 15 but specific provisions apply. Per Article 21, proof of age, a medical certificate and permission from a legal guardian must be provided. Article 25 states: “The maximum effective working hours for the youth shall be six hours per day, with one or more intervals for rest, meals or prayer whose total is one hour at least. Such interval(s) shall be set in such a manner that the youth does not work more than four consecutive hours. The youth may not be kept in the work location for more than seven consecutive hours.”
Other articles go on to state that the young person may only work between the hours of 6am and 8pm and is not permitted to undertake any overtime. The employer must keep proper records in a specific register and the young employee may not carry out any activity that may be considered strenuous or harmful in some way.
Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 years’ experience. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE
The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only