Jobs in the Emirates: work for several employers

Jobs in the Emirates work for several employers

We recently shared with you all the news concerning the labour law in the Emirates. We now turn our attention to one of the most important points of this law: the possibility of working for several employers. As of 2 February 2022, employees will be able to work for more than one employer in the UAE, according to the new labour legislation announced a few weeks ago.

What are the changes to employment contracts in the UAE?

Under the Federal Law No. 33 of 2021 regulating labour relations, it is now possible for private sector employees to work part-time, temporarily or flexibly.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) has highlighted the benefits of its multi-employer contract, which allows an individual to work for more than one employer in the UAE.

Under the multi-employer contract, the ministry allows you to work for more than one employer after the institution issues your part-time work permit, without the approval of the original employer or other secondary employers,” MOHRE tweeted.

This new system, introduced in 2018, aims to increase the flexibility of the UAE’s labour market and to meet the needs of employers based on the existing labour market, all with the aim of reducing reliance on labour from outside the country.

The addition of these new work formats, in addition to the regular full-time regime with which we are all familiar, preserves the rights of employees, allowing them to work in multiple jobs and to use their skills in different ways.

Workers in the private and public sectors can now combine several work patterns. The rule is that the total working hours do not exceed 48 hours per week (the number of hours mentioned in the law).

These new working models obviously offer flexibility to workers, but not only to workers, but also to employees. Employees can choose the type of contract best suited to the requirements and objectives of their industry.

The different work models

  • Part-time work allows employees to work for one or more employers for a set number of hours or days scheduled for the work.
  • Temporary work can be a contract for a specific period or on a project basis that ends with the completion of the work.
  • Flexible working gives employees the freedom to work at different times according to the conditions and requirements of the job, in addition to the full-time work that currently prevails in the labour market. The contract under the new law covers hours or days of performance that may change depending on the employer’s workload, economic variables and operational variables.

The above new options are not the only ones, other work models, including self-employment and condensed work weeks, are expected to be introduced once executive regulations are established to oversee the implementation of the law.

The law also provides for the possibility for employers to hire people with expired contracts who are still in the territory. The procedure is simple and flexible.

Farewell to permanent contracts in the Emirates

One of the major changes concerns the duration of employment contracts – Article 8 of the new law. Only limited contracts will be used and valid in the UAE.

Deadline of 1 February 2023 for drafting new employment contracts

For the time being, existing permanent contracts are still valid. Only from February next year onwards, it will be mandatory to convert permanent contracts into fixed-term contracts. The UAE labor market will then only use limited contracts, effectively abandoning unlimited contracts.

These fixed-term employment contracts will have a duration of three years, and can be renewed under the same conditions with the consent of both parties for a similar or shorter period.

The Emirates’ policy is clear, they are making every effort to facilitate the hiring of new employees but also to attract talent from around the world.

More information is expected in the coming weeks. The changes introduced by this new law will need to be carefully reviewed once the law is officially published.

Companies will have to comply with the new law and will have until 1/02/2023 to make the necessary changes, including the conversion of any open-ended employment contract to a fixed-term contract.

Do not hesitate to contact our lawyer Joséphine D’Angelo by phone at +971 56 953 7401 or by email at josephinedangelo@merritt-legal.com.