What are the key labor laws enforced by the UAE Ministry of Labour?

ministry of labour law uae

The Ministry of Labour Law UAE, currently known as MOHRE, is the governmental department that is in charge of overseeing employment. Thus, as an employer, it is necessary to learn about the crucial regulations that you should follow to have a compliant workforce.

In this article, you are going to gain a deep insight into the UAE labour laws. Moreover, you will how the Ministry of Labour Law UAE is useful for ensuring smooth employer-employee relationships.

What are the working hours prescribed by the UAE Ministry of Labour?

ministry of labour law uae

When you plan to expand to the UAE, you have to take into account several factors. In addition to considering a low-cost business setup in Dubai, you also have to think about the local regulations.

As an employer, you need to follow local employment guidelines to ensure you do not face any issues with the law. And, since working hours are a very important part of employment, you need to follow them.

According to the Ministry of Labour Law UAE, the working hours prescribed are the following:

  • Working hours per day (max): 8 hours
  • Working hours per week (max): 8 hours
  • Employees in hotels, trade, security, and other jobs can work 9 hours but they need approval from the Ministry.
  • Employees under strenuous or harmful work can get a reduction in daily working hours per Ministry decision.
  • Ramadan working hours: during the Holy Month, the working hours get reduced to 6 hours per day.
  • Employees cannot work more than 5 consecutive hours without having a break. Thus, this total rest period should be of an hour or more, no less.

Working hours are a key aspect when calculating salaries. In addition, you need to know about overtime calculation in UAE so you can run an accurate payroll.

How does the UAE Ministry of Labour handle labor disputes?

The Ministry of Labour Law UAE has also established regulations to resolve labour disputes. The current law states the following about disputes:

  • Employees can raise a collective labour dispute against an employer in relation to a joint interest.
  • Employers have to write to the respective labour directorate in case a dispute arises, within the same day.
  • Employees can start a dispute for non-payment of due wages.

According to the law, the steps to follow a dispute are the following:

  • First, there should be a direct negotiation.
  • If the dispute is not solved, then the labour directorate can mediate between both parties.
  • If it is not solved, the competent reconciliation committee will act.
  • Lastly, if the dispute is not solved, then arbitration follows to reach a settlement.

What are the rights of employees under UAE labour laws?

The UAE is a place known for welcoming people from different backgrounds who want to work and live in their thriving cities. In this regard, given that employment relations tend to be difficult, the Ministry of Labour Law UAE helps individuals exercise their rights.

Employees in the UAE have rights to the following:

  • 8 working hours per day or 48 hours per week
  • Paid overtime hours
  • Breaks for rest, meals and prayer.
  • Weekly rest day fully paid.
  • Public holidays
  • Annual leave
  • Bereavement leave
  • Parental leave and maternity leave
  • Study leave
  • Labour complaints

Employees have also the right to use ICA Smart Services Dubai, so they can check different documentation such as visa status or residence status.

How can employers and employees stay informed about UAE labour laws?

Regardless if your company is in the Fujairah Free Zone or any other Emirate or Free Zone, you still have to comply with the Ministry of Labour law UAE.

Since the law in the UAE changes constantly, as an employer, you can stay informed by doing the following:

  • Instruct a team of your HR staff to stay always up-to-date with the changes
  • Hire expert lawyers to work for your company to help you simplify legal procedures
  • Contact a service provider that can ensure total compliance

In the case of employees, you also have to be informed regarding the change in regulations, as you need to know your rights. Make sure to check the MOHRE website and read the law.

Where can I lodge a complaint or seek assistance regarding labour issues in the UAE?

In the case an employee wants to submit a complaint, they have to act immediately, within 30 days of the employer’s breach. For instance, if you have a complaint about gratuity law in UAE, you need to know how to file it.

In this case, the worker has the following options:

  • Call the Ministry of Labour Dubai contact number through the Labor Claims and Advisory Center to get advice on how to proceed.
  • Submit a complaint through the MOHRE portal

According to the Ministry, they can solve the dispute in a range of 14 working days or less. Thus, the goal is to reach an amicable settlement, while always protecting worker’s and employer’s rights.

What are the Ministry of Labour Dubai timings?

The Ministry of Labour Dubai timings are the following:

  • Monday to Thursday: From 7:30 am until 3:30 pm
  • Friday: From 7: 30 am until 12:00 pm

During Saturdays and Sundays, the Ministry does not work. Thus, as an employer, you need to organize what you need to do since on weekends you cannot go in person to the Ministry.

However, the call centre and online services are 24/7 so you can submit your queries and carry out your services through the official site without any issue.

Is there a toll-free number to contact the Ministry of Labour Dubai?

To contact the Ministry of Labour Law UAE you can use any of the 13 channels available, including the Ministry of Labour Dubai toll free number. The call centre allows you to solve your doubts and enquiries related to MOHRE and it is available in 20 languages for your comfort.

How can I check the status of my work permit with the Ministry of Labour Dubai?

You can check the status of your work permit easily by entering the MOHRE Portal. You just have to go through the following basic steps:

  • Visit the official MOHRE website
  • Look for “New Enquiry Service” which is under the “Services” tab in the main menu.
  • On the search bar, enter the words “work permit” to find the service you want to check.
  • Provide the requested information
  • Click on search, and immediately you will see the status of your work permit.

What is the contact number for the Ministry of Labour Dubai?

You can call the Ministry of Labour Law UAE through their local or international call centre, and the numbers are the following:

  • Call center: 600590000
  • International call center: 0091-7168027666

What role does the Ministry of Labour play in the business formation process?

During company formation, employers must follow all the guidelines and steps established so they can ensure a smooth incorporation. While the employer is planning to register the company, they should consider the company size based on the number of employees they want to hire.

This is because the company has to get an employee quota approval from MOHRE. This refers to the maximum number of employees the company can hire. So, MOHRE plays a crucial role according to how large you want your workforce to be.

What labor regulations are enforced by the MOL during business formation?

The Ministry of Labour Law UAE is the governing body of employment, and as such, it contains all the regulations that companies must follow when considering business formation.

Once your company has been registered, you have to do the following:

  • Apply for an establishment card
  • Register at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign affairs

By following these two steps you are ensuring your company is ready to hire employees. And, for each employee, you are obliged to apply for a labour card at MOHRE.

How does the MOL impact the hiring process for businesses?

During the hiring process, employers have to apply for a UAE Employment Visa for their employees once they know they are the perfect fit for the position.

However, before hiring the candidate, employers have to follow the regulations established by the Ministry of Labour Dubai. It is necessary to do the following:

  • Submit a signed contract, both in Arabic and English. The contract should be in accordance with MOHRE’s format.
  • Apply for a labour card (work permit) at MOHRE so the employee is allowed to work legally in the UAE.
  • Obtain the entry permit after the pre-approval of the work permit.

In addition, the Emiratisation policy also affects the hiring process. Companies should aim to hire a diverse workforce and include a percentage of Emiratis.

What resources does the MOL offer to assist businesses with compliance?

On the MOHRE website, there is an entire section with information regarding Laws & Regulations. Here, businesses can check all the laws issued by the Ministry so they can ensure compliance.

In addition, users get access to Ministerial Resolutions and FAQs, and they can also contact MOHRE directly to solve their doubts regarding non-compliance.

What happens if a business fails to comply with labor regulations enforced by the MOL?

ministry of labour law uae

Employers have to comply with the regulations established by MOHRE, otherwise, they can be subject to fines and penalties. For instance, you have to comply with the UAE establishment card.

But if you fail to renew it, the fine can range from AED 500 to AED 2000. Other fines may be the following:

  • Non-payment of salaries to workers: fine from AED 3,000-10,000 and imprisonment for 6 months.
  • Not cancelling the work permit: AED 1000 fine, and imprisonment for 3 months.
  • Failure to report an occupational accident: AED 3000-10,000 fine plus 6 months of imprisonment.

Establishing a business in the UAE involves learning everything about the Ministry of Labour Law UAE so you can stay in compliance. We understand how complex can be to incorporate a company as well as to understand the law.

For this reason, we want to offer you our support so you can have a smooth incorporation in the UAE. Contact us to learn why our team can be the best solution for starting your business in the UAE.

Harneet Bhatia

Harneet-Bhatia-imgHarneet BhatiaShe is a renowned Business Sales and Golden Visa Expert, specializing in facilitating business setups in Dubai. With a comprehensive portfolio of services, she adeptly assists clients in navigating the complexities of corporate bank account creation, addressing fines issues, and managing visa services. Her expertise extends to providing VAT services and obtaining necessary DM approvals, ensuring a seamless and efficient process for her clients.

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