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Recently, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation issued Federal Decree Law no. (33) of 2021 to regulate labour relations in the UAE. With the introduction of this law, significant amendments are made in the labour code of UAE to cater to the demands of a rapidly changing environment after the outbreak of Covid-19. The major highlights of this law are discussed below-

  1. Different Work Categories
    The application of labour law has been extended to different kinds of work including full-time, part time, temporary, and flexible work. Further, this new law would also cover freelancing, shared job model and self employment also.
    It also introduced a condensed working model wherein the worker can complete their 40 hours work within 3 days instead of stretching it throughout the week. In the shared job model, two workers can split their work and subsequently the monthly pay, as per their contract with the employer.
    The new law will enable the employees to work for different employees simultaneously on hourly or daily basis. The employer will also stand benefitted as he can appoint different talents at lower operational cost.
  2. Exemption from Judicial Fee
    As per the new law, the worker will be exempted from all kinds of judicial fees at different stages, such as litigation and execution. For availing this benefit, the concerned worker needs to submit a request. However, the essential condition for exemption is that the value of claim should not exceed AED 100,000.
    This law also provides that the employer can’t confiscate the official documents of the employees. Further, they can’t compel the employees to leave the country after the completion of the work contract.
    The fee relating to recruitment and employment of employees shall be borne by the employer itself and he can’t recover it from employees directly or indirectly.
  3. Protection against bullying and sexual harassment
    In the new law, strict provisions have been made to ensure that the employers don’t exercise any sort of force or penal threat on the employees to get something done against their free consent.
    The law also prohibits all forms of sexual harassment, psychological violence and bullying of the worker at the workplace by the employer or by any colleague. Further, to empower women in the workplace, all forms of discrimination relating to age, caste, sex, place of birth, etc are strictly prohibited in the new law.
  4. Concept of 3 year Contract
    This law has introduced a new type of contract which is limited in nature and doesn’t exceed a period of 3 months. This agreement can be renewed for the same period or a lesser period as per the convenience of both the parties.
    The new law will also apply to the unlimited contracts as provided in the Federal Law No. (8) of 1980. As per the new law, an unlimited contract can be converted into a limited one within one year of enforcement.
  5. Provision of Leave in the private sector
    The employees are entitled to get one day off without deducting their salary. In case of any death in the family or in near relatives, the employees can also apply for mourning leave, which may range between 3-5 days, depending upon the degree of the kinship of the deceased. The new law also provides for 5 days parental leave to the employees.
    If the employee is working for more than 2 years and enrolled in an accredited institution within the UAE, then he is entitled to a 10 days study leave per year.
  6. Maternity leave in the private sector
    In the new law, the period of maternity leave can be extended to 60 wherein the first 45 days shall be with full wages and the rest 15 days shall be counted on half wages. In case the mother faces any complications after the delivery of the child, she is also entitled to get an additional 45 days leave. However, the mother will not receive any wages during the period of additional leave.
  7. Employment of teenagers
    As per the new law, the employer can’t recruit a person below the age of 15 years. The persons ranging between the age of 15 to 18 years are allowed to work only after the written consent of their parents or guardians. Further, they can only work for 6 hours a day with a mandatory break of 1 hour.


The new law clearly puts forth the vision of the UAE government to make it a flexible and competitive work destination to attract high level talents and competencies all over the globe. This law would come into effect from February, 2022.

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