Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

UAE deadline for transition to fixed-term employment contracts extended

Out-Law News | 27 Jan 2023 | 4:57 pm |

Employers in the UAE have been given an extended deadline of 31 December 2023 to ensure that their employees have been transitioned onto fixed-term employment contracts.

Dubai-based employment law expert Luke Tapp of Pinsent Masons welcomed the move, announced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, ahead of the imminent expiry of the original deadline of 1 February 2023 for the remediation work to be completed.

“This is a positive development from the authorities and recognises the difficulty some employers were experiencing in converting their employees onto fixed term contracts,” said Tapp. “Although the deadline has been extended to 31 December 2023, we still recommend that clients aim to convert employees onto fixed term contracts as soon as they are able to do so.”

The transition of employees onto fixed-term employment contracts is mandated under UAE’s Labour Law, which was updated last year. The new deadline applies to all businesses operating in the UAE, except those registered in the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) freezones.

The Labour Law, which first came into force in February 2022, required employers to ensure that all private sector employees were given fixed-term contracts of up to three years. However, the law was subsequently updated last October to remove the three-year cap following concerns that it could hinder efforts to attract and retain talent.

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