New UAE labor laws provide employees with six new work models suited to the flexible labor market

Last: UAE embarks on biggest labor law overhaul in years

Work permits based on the new work models announced last year will be issued by the government from Wednesday.

Twelve types of permits will be available, giving private sector employees the option to choose from six different work models under the new labor laws.

The amended labor laws, which were first outlined by the government in November, provide options not previously available, strengthening employees’ rights.

Diverse work models provide flexibility that meets different needs and attracts talent from around the world

Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratization

The six work models offered are: conventional full-time, remote work, job-sharing, part-time, temporary and flexible employment contracts.

An example of one of the new permits includes one granted to minors between the ages of 15 and 18 to work in an establishment registered with the ministry.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization will start issuing the various permits for these models on Wednesday.


What are the six working templates available?

  • Fulltime: Working for an employer for a full working day.
  • Remote work: The scheme allows full-time and part-time employees to work totally or partially outside the office if the nature of their work allows it.
  • Shared work model: Distribution of work responsibilities and remuneration among several employees on the basis of an agreement with the employer. The contracts of employees under this model are governed by the regulations for part-time work.
  • Part time: Work for one or more employers for a specified number of hours or days.
  • Temporary employment: A contract for a specific period of time or for a project that ends with the completion of the work.
  • Flexible work: Give employees the freedom to work at different times depending on the conditions and requirements of the job based on a contract that covers the hours, days and tasks required.


“The new labor law provides employees and employers with the flexibility to determine the type of contractual arrangement that meets the interests of both parties,” said Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

He said the Executive Regulations, recently approved by the Cabinet, set out the conditions that govern each employment model and outline the responsibilities of employees and employers.

From now on, a student internship authorization can also be requested, to allow the training and employment of adolescents over the age of 15 by approved establishments.

A permit from the ministry will also be required to employ Emirati citizens, citizens of GCC countries and Golden Visa holders.

Residents who wish to work on their own visa without sponsorship or signing a contract with an employer can apply for Independent Business Authorization.

Other permits include one for hiring a worker from outside the country, transferring a worker’s employment from one ministry-registered establishment to another, and one for sponsored non-nationals by a family member.

Also included in the list are a temporary work permit and a “one assignment” permit which allows employers to hire someone from overseas to work on a specific job until it is completed or for a set period of time.

According to the new law, the severance pay and annual leave allocation of each employment model will be defined in a contract that protects the rights of both parties.

The changes will allow employees to combine more than one employment model as long as they do not work more than a maximum of 48 hours per week.

They can also change their contract from one work model to another, with the agreement of their employer.

“The diversity of working models provides flexibility that meets different needs and attracts talent from around the world,” said Dr Al Awar.

Private sector companies have until February 2, 2023 to transform the open-ended employment contracts of their employees into three-year employment contracts. The worker’s period of service will include any extended or renewed contracts.

Contracts should include the nature of the work, including date of arrival, location, hours of work, days off and probationary period, if any, length of contract and agreed salary .

The benefits and allowances, the duration of the annual leave due, the notice period, the terms of termination of the contract and any other data determined by the ministry must also be included in the contract.

Updated: February 2, 2022, 06:48

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