'Are part-time workers covered by the UAE Labour Law?'

All employees in the private sector are subject to the country's labour law, except for those working in DIFC and ADGM

Even if a visa is not required, the employer must still provide a work permit and register a contract of employment with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. Getty Images
Powered by automated translation
An embedded image that relates to this article

Question: I have been offered a part-time job, working four hours a day. Before accepting the role and signing the contract, there are a couple of issues I would like to check.

I have been told that as it is not a full-time job, most of the UAE Labour Law does not apply and that I will not be eligible for either sick pay or maternity leave, nor will I get a gratuity payment when leaving.

The company won’t be sponsoring me as I am on my husband’s visa. FM, Ras Al Khaimah

Answer: This company is not correct and is not treating part-time employees fairly. All employees in private companies are subject to the provisions of the UAE labour law, except for Dubai International Financial Centre and Abu Dhabi Global Market, which have their own legislation that is broadly similar.

Even if a visa is not required, the employer must still provide a work permit and register a contract of employment with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) in the standard format.

Article 29 of the UAE labour law states: “The part-time worker shall be entitled to an annual leave according to the actual working hours the worker spends working for the employer and its period shall be defined in the employment contract, in accordance with what is stipulated in the Implementing Regulation hereof.”

The standard provisions for sick leave and maternity leave apply to part-time employees in the same way that they apply to full-time employees.

The end-of-service gratuity accrues as it does for all employees, based on final salary and period of service.

While some companies will issue a contract of employment separate to the standard one required by MoHRE, they cannot contract around the UAE labour law and offer any terms that are detrimental to the individual or that attempt to remove any rights as stated in law.

In the event of any dispute, the contract that is lodged with MoHRE is the one that is binding on all parties.

If any employer behaves like that at the outset, I would have reservations about working for them. While the law provides protection, having to register a complaint to obtain what is legally due is far from ideal.

Q: I read your reply to a question in one of your previous columns regarding funding an individual savings account while being a non-tax resident of the UK.

My situation is the same as above except it was a stocks and shares ISA and I have made a profit on selling and buying shares. My question is what will happen in my situation? CT, Abu Dhabi

A: An ISA, an Individual Savings Account, is a tax-efficient investment available to people who are tax resident in the UK.

As advised previously, they can be retained by someone if they leave the UK but no further contributions can be made. The rules are exactly the same whether someone uses the vehicle to save cash or to invest in stocks and shares.

There are restrictions on the amount that UK tax residents can save and invest each year and any profits are not taxable, even if withdrawn from the plan. This means that if CT wishes to encash his holding, he will not be subject to any UK taxes.

New UAE labour laws come into effect

New UAE labour laws come into effect

Q: I will be leaving Abu Dhabi to return to my own country in June. My husband is my sponsor but he will be staying in the UAE for another six months.

I am wondering when is the best time to cancel my visa as I may come back in September to help with his packing.

Is there a grace period after cancellation or do I have to leave straight away? Does it take long to cancel it? UV, Dubai

A: If someone is sponsored as a dependent, they do not need to be in the UAE for their residency visa to be cancelled. Their sponsor, in this case, UV’s husband, can do this at any time and she does not have to be present.

He simply needs to go to a government admin centre with his own passport and provide a copy of her passport, visa and ID card, and the cancellation will be done immediately.

The fee varies on whether a person does this personally at a government office or goes via an agency or public relations officer, but starts at just Dh120 ($32).

Following the cancellation of a residency visa, there is a grace period of 30 days. If the person does not leave the country or obtain a visit visa, fines will accrue.

It is worth noting that if UV’s visa is cancelled and she returns to the UAE, she will be arriving as a tourist and depending on her passport may need to apply for a visit visa.

It could be beneficial not to cancel it until shortly before her husband leaves the UAE.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 30 years’ experience. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.comor at www.financialuae.com

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only

Updated: May 05, 2024, 5:00 AM