The new law will ultimately enhance the ease-of-doing-business, competitiveness and productivity of the labour market.
His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued the Federal Decree-Law No.33 of 2021 on the regulation of labour relations in the private sector that will take effect from February 2, 2022.
The new decree-law seeks to enhance the elasticity, resilience and sustainability of the labour market nationwide, as well as ensure the protection of workers' rights. It places worker welfare and wellbeing at its core, and accordingly, a host of measures have been provided therein to ensure a safe, healthy, and business-conducive environment for all employees in the private sector.
Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said in a media briefing that the new decree-law is the biggest update to the laws regulating labour relations. He added that it comes as part of the UAE Government’s efforts to create a flexible and competitive business environment at a time the nation is about to embark on its journey towards the next 50 years.
"The law comes in response to the rapidly-changing workplace amid technological advancements and the outbreak of Covid-19. It will apply to different work categories including full-time, part-time, temporary and flexy work among other categories. The executive regulations of the law, which the ministry is currently working on, lay out the responsibilities of both parties in each category," he said.
Al Awar elaborated that the new law seeks to ensure efficiency in the labour market and also attract and retain the best talent and skills for employment, in tandem with providing a stimulating and conducive work environment for employees.
Al Awar explained that the new law has developed an advanced mechanism that will ultimately enhance the ease-of-doing-business, competitiveness and productivity of the labour market.
The minister noted that the decree-law guarantees the rights of both the employer and the employee in a balanced manner and ensures protection for both the parties so that they can claim these rights as and when necessary.
He pointed out that the new law ensures the wellbeing of workers in the private sector and emphasizes on international labour obligations agreed upon by the UAE.
The law forbids sexual harassment, bullying or any form of verbal, physical or psychological violence against a worker by the employer, his/her superiors at work or colleagues.
It also prohibits all forms of discrimination based on race, colour, sex, religion, national or social origin or disability that would scale down the possibilities of equal opportunity, prejudice equal access to or continuation of employment and enjoyment of rights.
Among the key amendments provided by the decree-law are also the introduction of new types of work to allow employers to meet their labour requirements and benefit from their energies and productivity at the lowest operational cost through part-time work, temporary work and flexible work, as well as allow employers to hire those whose work contracts have expired, but who are still in the country, through easy and flexible procedures.
You can find more details on the extensive new decree-law here.