Every person has a dream, to go to the land of immense wealth and riches, a land where fairy tales are nothing but an everyday lifestyle for people. That place is the UAE. Everyone wants to work in the UAE, however, on getting that dream job, ensure that you read the employment contract thoroughly and beware of any pitfalls. Here are a few things that one needs to know about the UAE Labour Laws -
The employment documents are the employment contract which covers all the terms of employment, any specific Variable Pay scheme that you are covered in, the Job Description, Performance Management Process, and the Termination Clause. Pay particular attention to the compensation package and the Basic Salary making sure that the remuneration matches with what has been verbally committed.
Most labour contracts in the UAE are unlimited contracts. These contracts come to an end only when either the employer or the employee wants to end it, after an agreed notice period. This is the contract that you should insist on signing as this works for you as an employee and the employer as well.
As the name suggests, ends at the term of two years. Some people might prefer this over an unlimited contract. However, it must be kept in mind that if due to any reason, the employee wants to leave the organization before the completion of the employee has to pay a penalty for doing so.
Transparency is important in the legal contract that is agreed between the two parties. Training and induction costs are a part of the recruitment cost that an employer normally incurs. Look out for clauses as a candidate that makes you liable to pay any of these costs and lead to deductions in the salary.
However, the reason a job exists is because of the expected job responsibilities to be taken, the stipulated work hours to be maintained and for the employee to comply with the policies and procedures of the company. It is within the right of the employer to deduct ‘Loss of Pay ‘leave for leave within the probation period and the notice period and for leave excess of the allowed leave. An employer also has the right to recover from the employee any financial loss that is because of the negligence of the employee
The probation period is the ‘testing waters’ period for both the employer and the employee. It varies from 3 months to 6 months from one country to the other. In the UAE, the probation period is a maximum of 6 months.
Despite the fact that a candidate is selected based on previous relevant work experience and role assessment during the selection process, there is a lot of hand-holding that the employee needs during the first few months. During this time, the manager closely monitors the performance of the employee and provides guidance for the employee to come up to speed. At the same time, the employee also has the opportunity to gauge if the role and the work culture are as per the understanding. Most importantly, the employee has to determine if his career aspirations are likely to be fulfilled.
Within the probationary time, if an employee chooses to leave the company, the employee is liable to give one month’s notice or one month’s salary in lieu of. The employer, on the other hand, can end the contract with no notice during the first 6 months.
On successful completion of the probationary period, the employee is confirmed in the job, and benefits like leave start kicking in.
God forbid, if you're asked to go or quit anytime after 1 year of service, you don't need to worry since the organization would be giving you a gratuity, which will help you sustain till you get a new job. In the UAE, gratuity is usually calculated on the basis of the basic pay that one receives.
Labour Law is a vast field. When in doubt, refer to an online Legal Expert. For a small fee, ubiHRM can design professional employment contracts for the employer to safeguard against non-compliance with the Labour Law.
Refer to the next article to know about the penalties for common offenses.