UAE New Labour Law 2022: Summary

What is the Labour Ban?

The labor ban by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE), legally prohibits the employee from working for another UAE company. The term of a labor ban might range from one year to indefinite. However, with the UAE new labour law, certain employees are exempt from the labor ban. 

The new employment law pertains to businesses and staff in the private sector, including free zones, with the exception of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), which operate under their own rules. However, these rules exclude domestic workers. 

The UAE new labour law came into effect in February of this year. 

Purpose of the New Laws

The new regulations seek to guarantee more freedom for workers in both the public and private sectors in the UAE. 

The recent laws mark the beginning of a process to refresh and further expand the UAE employment landscape. One of the potential changes is probably the creation of a savings or pension program that non-GCC citizens can join in place of gratuity.

Employers typically issue a labor restriction when an employee violates the terms of a limited contract or leaves the company. An employee is not authorized to quit their job without giving advance notice, and they are considered to have absconded from the workplace if they miss more than 20 days in a year without a leave of absence or for more than a week without a plausible reason. 

Below is a list of the minimum notice requirements for termination:

Employment Term Notice Period
Less than 5 years 30 days
5-10 years 60 days
More than 10 years 90 days

Nevertheless, find out below what the employee exceptions are under the UAE new labour law. 

Employees who are exempt from a labor ban: 

If a worker decides to resign during the probationary term, the Ministry may exempt them from not receiving a work permit or from a labor prohibition under the following conditions:

  • The employee possesses the necessary professional, academic, or knowledge in demand.
  • The employee has a golden visa.
  • Any professional categories are established by the Minister’s resolution in accordance with the Cabinet-approved classification of workers and the needs of the national labor market.

The purpose of imposing a labor ban in the UAE is to prevent the compromise of public policies, i.e., violating the terms and conditions of your employment contract or quitting your job without a valid reason. After the time period stated, the restriction is automatically lifted, and the person is then permitted to seek employment again.

Further specific laws have been amended under these certain categories: 

  1. End-of-service gratuity
  2. Probationary periods
  3. Three-year limited-term contracts
  4. Provisions against discrimination and prejudice
  5. Salary and layoff payments
  6. Changes to leave entitlements
  7. Labour market flexibility
  8. Termination of employment
  9. Flexible working
  10. Maximum working hours
  11. Equal pay for men and women
  12. Maternity and Paternity leaves 

Furthermore, compassionate leave is provided under the UAE new labour law in cases of bereavement. Depending on how much of a relative is involved, this will last between three to five days. As of yet, neither sick leave nor the legal provisions governing Covid-related sick leave have undergone any revisions. 

uae new labour law

The UAE labor law 2022 has strengthened policies around family-related, maternity, and paternity leaves, aligning the laws in harmony with international practices. 


The new UAE labor law introduces multiple new work leaves, which include:

Bereavement (Loss) Leave – An employee can receive 5 days of paid leave for the death of a spouse. And three days in the case of the death of a parent, siblings, children, grandchild, or grandparents.

Study Leave – If the employee is a regular student can have up to 10 days of study leave for exams. This is valid only if the employee has been with the same employer for a minimum of two years.

Parental Leave – New parents can receive five days of paid parental leave (maternity or paternity) from the date of the child’s birth. The leaves can be taken continuously or intermittently over a period of six months.

National Service Leave (for Natives) – National workers can take a paid sabbatical to perform the national service in line with the country’s laws.

Working models:

The employment market is divided into six main work models under the new UAE labor law 2022, including the following employment types:

  • Full-time 
  • Part-time
  • Temporary
  • Flexible
  • Remote
  • Job-sharing

Legal age to work in the UAE:

The minimum legal age to start working in the UAE for full-time employment is 18 years, however, students between the age of 15 to 18 can receive a temporary Juvenille Permit, valid for one year.

To know more about the updated UAE labor laws in 2022, you can consult a professional business consultancy, who can assist and guide you to follow the rules and not endanger your work life in the country. They can also assist with PRO services for you to stay on the right kind of visa.

If you have any questions about the new UAE labor laws or are confused about how each law will pertain to you. You can always check in with a professional business setup consultancy, so you are aware of your rights to employment and business in the UAE.