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:
- A clear coloured photo with a white background
- A written consent signed by the juvenile's guardian or custodian
- A certificate of fitness for the work required, issued by the medical authority
- A copy of the passport and a copy of a valid residence permit
- The employment contract approved by the ministry and containing the signature of the employer and the employee.
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.
- The work should not be such that is forbidden to be carried out by juveniles.
- The work for which the juvenile will be hired, must be in line with the activities of the establishment.
- The establishment's licence must be valid and there must be no violations leading to suspension of the activity in accordance with the legal regulations.
- The application for a permit must be submitted by the legally authorised signatory on behalf of the establishment.
- The juvenile to be employed should not be holding a valid work permit.
- no insurance or bank guarantee is required for the permit to be issued.
- an electronic quota is not required to obtain a juvenile work permit.
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:
Training and employing students
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:
- the areas of training
- duration of the training period
- weekly and other holidays
- the value of the bonus, if any, and any privileges granted to the trainee.
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:
- proof of the ‘student’ status
- a valid UAE residence visa for expatriate students
- a copy of Emirates ID
- in case of training, a ‘no objection’ certificate from the educational institute in which the student is enrolled.
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