Comparison Between UAE Labor Law and DIFC Employment Law

Many people, whether for business or for job hunting, are moving to Dubai owing to its strong economic market and incredible business opportunities. Having said that, moving to a city like Dubai is not as easy as it seems. For an expatriate, the major issue is getting familiar with the laws of the city you live and work in.

Every country has a different set of laws that all citizens are bound to follow. The UAE is not different. Failure to follow the laws results in high penalties or imprisonment. That is why the assistance of lawyers in Dubai is crucial so you can be updated on the latest laws.

Having said that, Dubai international financial centre is a special economic zone in Dubai that offers many job and business opportunities. However, it is a free zone created by seven emirates, and the rules and regulations here are different from the UAE. Furthermore, DIFC has its own laws for employment agreements.

In this article, we will make a comparison of UAE labour law and DIFC employment law.

1. Limited and Unlimited Contract

Under UAE labour law, there are two types of contracts: limited contracts and unlimited contracts. Both contracts work with different conditions and have distinctive rules. Limited contracts cannot exceed the duration of 2-3 years and can be renewed for the same duration.

However, in DIFC, there is no difference in the contract type. Unlike UAE labour law, DIFC employment law has no difference between the two types.

2. Annual Leaves

According to UAE labour law, an employee working for six months or less than a year can get 2 leaves a month. Likewise, an employee working for a year can get 30 days off.

Contrary to that, in DIFC employment law, an employee working for 3 months can get 20 days of annual vacation. Furthermore, employees who are entitled to annual vacation can get it for a period of one or more weeks.

3. Overtime

According to UAE labour law, an employee working overtime between 9 pm to 4 am will get compensation for the extra working hours, which is 150% of the normal working hour.

However, in DIFC employment law, there is no such term defined as overtime which means employees will not get paid for overtime.

4. Working Hours

In UAE law, the working hours for adult workers are 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week. Having said that, their working hours may increase to 9 in the case of caterers, hotels, cafes, and security guards. The Ramadan timings are reduced by 2 hours.

However, in DIFC law, the working hours are fixed at 48 hours for 7 days. It cannot be increased for any commercial establishment. In addition to that, Ramadan timings are fixed to 6 hours only for those fasting.

5. Public Holidays

UAE labour law gives public holidays with full pay on occasions including New Year’s Day (hijra and Christian), Feast of Lesser Bairam, Feast of Greater Bairam and Eve of Greater Bairam, Birthday of the Prophet, and National Day. If the worker is supposed to work on the holiday, he will be given a rest day as compensation with 50% salary. If the compensation day is not possible, the employee will be given 150% of his remuneration for the days worked.

In DIFC law, all employees will get public holidays on the days announced by the UAE.

6. Sick Leaves

As per UAE labor law, an employee in the probation period is not entitled to any sick leave. He/she can get sick leaves of a minimum of 90 days after 6 months with 15 days full lay leave, 30 days half pay, and the rest of the period without pay.

However, under DIFC law, employees get sick leave for the same duration but with full pay, and there are no restrictions on completing the probation period.

7. Probation

In UAE law, during the probation period, the employer can terminate, and the employee can leave the job without notice. However, in DIFC law, there is 1 week’s notice period necessary before terminating or leaving the job. In the case of a 5 years duration, a 3 months notice period is necessary from both parties.

The Takeaway

In all, understanding the laws helps you find a suitable place and enjoy the perks of employment. By being familiar with the laws, you will neither allow employers to get the advantage of your innocence nor do you disobey the set laws. So, get in touch with a well-reputed law firm like Davidson & Co. to be aware of the laws, whether working in freehold zones or under UAE law.

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