Children below the age of 15 are prohibited from being employed in the UAE. Those between the ages of 15 and 18 years are allowed to work, subject to several conditions and after getting juvenile work permits. Students aged 15 years and above are allowed to work and get trained at operating establishments on the condition of a written contract.
According to Article 5 of the UAE’s Labour Law, it is prohibited to employ juveniles, those between the age of 15 and 18 years. Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation does not issue work permits to juveniles, whether Emiratis or expatriate residents.
On the other hand, the law allows juveniles to work with an official work permit issued by MoHRE, provided that the employer wishing to employ the youth meets certain conditions, which include:
Terms and conditions:
According to the law, juveniles may not be employed at night, in industrial projects, or in work that is dangerous or harmful to health. Read the other terms and conditions for hiring juveniles.
Read more about the UAE’s system for employing minors in Article 4 of the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 on the Implementation of the Regulation of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 Regarding the Regulation of Labour Relations.
The UAE is a party to the following international human rights treaties on children:
Since 2016, the UAE has issued many resolutions enabling students to work and get trained at operating establishments. The latest is Ministerial Decree No. 519 of 2018 on Regulations and Conditions of Training and Employment of Students (PDF, 250 KB).
According to this resolution, any establishment may train students aged 15 years and above, on the condition of a written contract. The contract must include:
Additionally, any establishment may recruit students aged 15 years and above during their academic holidays, for maximum three consecutive months each time. An employment contract must clarify the nature of work, its duration, the wage, weekly holiday and the number of daily working hours.
Conditions for employing or training students
In addition to the general conditions listed in Article 5 of the UAE Labour Law, other conditions include:
The trained or employed student, is not entitled to end-of-service gratuity and any other leaves, except as stipulated in the contract.
* Text provided by MoHRE