Working in the private sector
Note: On 2 February 2022, Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Labour Relations in the Private Sector will replace the current Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 and its amendments.
Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, known before as Ministry of Labour is responsible for overseeing the employer-employee relations and maintaining labour rights for the private sector.
Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 also known as the Labour Law as amended governs the labour rights of employees in the private sector.
The Labour Law handles matters related to working hours, vacation and public holidays, sick leave, employing juveniles, maternity leave, employee records, safety standards, termination of employment and end of service gratuity payments. According to Article 3 of the Law, it applies to all employees working in the UAE, whether UAE nationals or expatriates. However, there are certain categories of employees who are exempt from the law and may have to follow another set of regulations.
As amended by Federal Law No. 24 of 1981 and Federal Law No. 12 of 1986, the provisions listed in the law do not apply to the following categories:
- employees and workers of the federal government and the local governmental departments
- employees and workers in public entities and institutions, whether federal or local, and employees and workers appointed for governmental, federal and local projects
- members of armed forces, police and security
- domestic servants in private households and similar occupations
- workers in farms or pastures with the exception of persons working in agricultural institutions processing the products thereof or the persons permanently operating or repairing mechanical machines required for agriculture.
Laws and regulations
Read the laws and regulations that govern the private sector employment in the UAE.