Learning about Labour Rights in the UAE

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The UAE labour law protects both the employer’s and employees’ interests and provides them with many benefits. The law is very clear about it. Those who have recently landed a job in the country should read up and gain knowledge about the UAE labour law so they are aware of what they can do and the benefits given to them.

Today, we are going to cover some basic aspects of the UAE labour law such as the resignation, termination, notice period, etc. All of them vary from one another due to the period of employment along with the type of contract as well.

The End of Contract


It is not legally essential that your employer accept or reject your resignation. The moment you submit your resignation it is acceptable from that date. This means; the contractual notice period usually begins from that date.

In case you were employed on a limited contract, resigning would be considered a violation of the contract. You can quit your job only after completing your contract tenure or if your employer allows.


There can be many reasons for facing termination. That’s why your dues might vary relying on the way you were let go. For example, many people get terminated as a result of downsizing or wrongful termination (arbitrary dismissal). When an employer is guilty of wrongful termination, they are liable to pay gratuity and other funds as compensation to the employee.

Your Responsibilities & Rights as an Employee

Notice Period

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When you resign from your job, you are required to serve the notice period which is normally between 1- 2 months depending on your contract. According to the law, it cannot exceed more than three months. Your employer cannot coerce you to work longer than that.

There is a particular notice period when you are on a limited contract. You cannot resign during the contract period as it will violate the terms of the contract. Talk with your employer if you want to resign urgently. As stated above, your notice period shall start from the day of your resignation or termination. Also, your employer could ask you to work during serving your notice period or pay you the dues for that time.

Employee Experience Certificate

The employee should receive an end-of-service certificate with complete details like joining date, job description and responsibilities, and their performance for the period of their employment.  Article 125 of the UAE Labour Law has this clause.

The employee can ask for this certificate when their contract ends. The employer is responsible for providing this as well as any other certification the employee is liable to receive.

Visa Costs

You are not responsible for reimbursement of visa costs. The employer is solely responsible for this along with your sponsorship as well. Regardless of how and why of your termination. Companies cannot deduct instalments from the wages/salaries of the employees for visa costs.

Air Fare

When it comes to the airfare to your home country, your employer is not liable to pay for it unless it says so on the contract. If you get terminated due to your own fault, then the employer will not pay for the airfare (if an employee can afford it). Regardless of this is mentioned in the contract.

Cancelation of Passport and Visa

Your employer is responsible for visa cancellation and other related procedures. After the cancellation takes place, you can get your passport right away. But, as a guarantee or safekeeping, some employers force the employees to give up their passports. Although this practice is very common, it is illegal.  Only a competent court or federal authority can keep your passport. Some companies are willing to give the passport only when the departure time is close. This is not right either. Your employer cannot keep your passport with them unless a renewal or cancellation is in progress.

For more information regarding the UAE labour law and what it allows or forbids you to do, look for reliable and renowned lawyers in Dubai. This way, you can learn a lot about the prevailing laws and know your rights and duties as an employee while you work there.

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