On 2 February the UAE saw a raft of important new labour laws brought into force which we have been focusing on in recent programmes. This is Federal Decree Law No.33 of 2021 which represents the biggest change to the region’s labour laws in the last 40 years.
To update clients, and help them make the necessary changes to employment contracts and policies, our team in Dubai are hosting a series of webinars looking at the implications of the new laws for employers in the region. The first of those was held on 10 March – ‘Employment Contracts, Employment Terminations and Employment Disputes’. The last is on 15 June – Everything else you need to know about the new UAE Labour Law’. In between is the second webinar, to be held on 12 April – ‘Red-flag compliance and statutory changes’ which we will highlight in this programme. It is an hour long session presented by Dubai-based lawyers Luke Tapp and Ruth Stephen.
So, to find out more about it Luke joined me by video-link from Dubai:
Luke Tapp: “Yes, thanks Joe. So it's, as you said, it's the second webinar in our campaign on the new Labour Law. We wanted to give clients some thought leadership, some advice, in relation to the sort of issues they're asking us about on a day to day basis and this is really a key topic for clients. So, you know, ultimately, we'll be getting into the detail around what are the key changes in the legislation in relation to statutory entitlements and red flag compliance issues? So for example, the day to day questions that clients are asking us, you know, what are the changes to maternity leave? What are the changes to annual leave? What are the changes to working hours? And we are going to have answers to all of those questions in the webinar. We are going to talk not just what the law says, but also the practical impact on organisations and how the market is responding to those changes. Then the other side, the red flag compliance issues, so what do we have to do to make sure we complying today in relation to the new Labour Law? So, it might be things like the requirement to add new policies into organisations - that is set out within the executive regulations? Which policies are clients currently adding into their handbooks for the UAE workforce? Then, of course, the big topic, the really interesting topic, around anti-discrimination provisions - what does the law say about anti-discrimination? What do we need to do to put ourselves in the best possible position to make sure the company, the senior management team, the HR team, colleagues are all complying with the provisions in relation to the anti-discrimination legislation?
Joe Glavina: “So can I just ask you about your audience for these webinars. Who are the invites are going out to? Who should be attending?
Luke Tapp: “We want to make it as beneficial as possible to the entire community that's affected and will be overseeing the changes to the new Labour Law and so, certainly, HR professionals, HR directors, HR managers that have responsibility for the UAE workforce, certainly GCS in-house legal teams that have responsibility and oversight for a UAE workforce. We would also say senior managers that have line management responsibility for teams that are operating within the UAE will probably also benefit from our session in April.”
Joe Glavina: “The first webinar, a couple of weeks ago, was looking at employment contracts, terminations and disputes. How did that go?”
Luke Tapp: “Yes that was great, thanks Joe, it was a great session. You know, we had fantastic engagement from our global and also regional clients attending the session. We had really interesting feedback in relation to the poll that we ran in terms of what is the most pressing item for clients at the moment based on new Labour Law and the answer, which we anticipated, but we're still good to get that confirmed, was that over 50% of people said it was employment contracts and policies. So it was great to hear that from our clients and to be able to share that raw data with clients who are attending the call as well, that sort of top of the ‘to do’ list. Also, the Q&As were also really interesting and, again, it show us all the sort of issues that are being thrown up in the market and gives us a great opportunity to hear that, to respond to that, and to give some sort of generic advice to everybody who was attending the call on how to deal with those things that are coming up in practice.”
The forthcoming webinar on 12 April, the second in the series, is called ‘Red-flag compliance and statutory changes’ and will start at 1pm Dubai time, 10am UK time, lasting an hour. You can register for it direct from the website. We have put a link to the relevant page in the transcript of this programme.
- Link to webinar ‘Red-flag compliance and statutory changes’ to be held on 12 April 2022