DIFC simplifies and clarifies employment law in amendments

Out-Law News | 04 Oct 2021 | 11:25 am | 1 min. read

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has enacted changes to its employment law to bring in a number of clarifications and account for working from home arrangements.

The Employment Law Amendment Law clarifies a number of issues. They include that employers and employees can agree the amount of holiday that can be rolled over but, and as a minimum, an employee can carry-over five work days into a subsequent holiday year.

The law confirms that, subject to limited exceptions, employment claims must be brought either within an employee’s employment, or within six months after termination. It also confirms the rights of secondees to file discrimination claims.

Stephen Ruth_Aug 2021

Ruth Stephen

Senior Associate

The added certainty that these changes bring to law should further boost the DIFC as being an international centre of excellence with a sophisticated employment law regime

The probation period for short-term fixed-term contracts cannot exceed half the length of the contract’s term. In addition, for employees employed on successive fixed-term contracts, the aggregate of those contracts will determine their length of service.

The DIFC also issued new Employment Regulations to bring pension scheme rules in line with the Dubai Financial Services Authority Employee Money Purchase Scheme, so that only a single layer of regulation is applied to these schemes.

Employment law expert Ruth Stephen of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “In comparison with the sweeping changes we saw made to the DIFC Employment Law in 2019, these most recent amendments demonstrate the DIFC’s commitment to maintaining a transparent and robust legal and regulatory framework aligned with global best practice.

“The legislator has acted to remove any potential ambiguity and address unintended consequences that were arising under the law. Moving forward, the added certainty that these changes bring to law should further boost the DIFC as being an international centre of excellence with a sophisticated employment law regime; key to facilitating a strong platform for doing business,” Stephen said.