Disciplinary Rules and Penalties for Workers as per UAE Labour Law





The UAE Labour Law does not only cover your rights and privileges as an expat in the country. To keep every worker disciplined, the government has adopted disciplinary rules and penalties for expats and domestic workers who violate the laws and regulations within and outside their workplaces.

If you are working in the UAE, this is your chance to learn all of these regulations so you can avoid the things that you should not do. Knowing and understanding the regulations we are about to share with you will help you have a harmonious residency in the country.

In the UAE, your life as an expat will be easier if you follow the rules and maintain discipline all the time. Your life and job as an expat may be boring sometimes as it only includes a routine by waking up in the morning to go to work and going home at around to 6:00 PM after your shift — be reminded that this applies to everyone, so you are not alone.

This kind of routine is much easier to control. After all, you don’t want to end up doing something illegal. In the UAE, if you commit grave errors, there will be certain disciplinary actions imposed. Here are some of the major things to consider.

What are the disciplinary penalties at work in the UAE?

Note: Please be advised that the information below is an overview guide of the rules and sanctions imposed. If you are looking for a specific rule, it is best to contact the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) for guidance and updates rules.

As set out in the UAE Labour Law, disciplinary penalties are the following:

Termination from work and exclusion from the total end of service gratuity pay, wholly or partially. The conditions regarding this disciplinary penalty are set out in Article 20 of the labour law.

  • Termination from work with end of service gratuity pay.
  • Disqualification from promotion.
  • Disqualification from periodic bonuses.
  • Suspension with partial pay for a period not beyond 10 days.
  • Fine – the amount of fine depends on the rules that were violated. It can be a portion of the whole salary of the employee for a specific period of time or the whole salary. The total amount of fine should not exceed the total amount of wage in 5 days. To be able to pay the fine, the employer may deduct the total fine from the monthly salary of the employee.
  • Warning

Disciplinary Actions & Things To Consider

Deprivation of periodic allowance – this is only applicable to employees once a year. The employer is not allowed to delay the allowance for more than 6 months as well.

Deprivation of promotion – this is applicable for one promotional cycle only. Thus, the employee should be promoted on the next cycle if he/she meets the conditions of the promotion.

Acts committed outside the workplace – it’s very rare for an employee to receive disciplinary actions if the acts are committed outside the workplace unless the action is towards the manager or the employer of the company. Also, a combination of salary deduction and other disciplinary actions is not permitted according to the law.

Notification of the penalty – the Article 102 of the labour law lists down the sanctions that should not be imposed on the employee but with exceptions after the worker has been notified of the charges against him in writing, after the defense and communication with the employer, and after recording in his personal file. The notification of the disciplinary action should take place after the end of the investigation. It should be in writing stating the type and amount of charges, the cause of the penalty, and the penalties to be charged if the same action is repeated.

Time limitation of the penalty – the employee has a 30-day recovery from the first offense. Thus, an employer may not punish an employee within this grace period. If there is an investigation involved, the recovery period is 60 days if the worker is found guilty. The employer needs to give him 60 days before he can impose another charge again.

Temporary suspension of the employee – a temporary suspension may happen if the employee will receive deliberate commission because of a crime committed against life, honour, property, strike, or honesty. The suspension can happen immediately after the report of the incident to the authorities. With this, the worker will not be entitled to receive compensation during the period of suspension.

If there will be no investigation, the employee can get back to work after the suspension. The employer is responsible to pay the employee with full wages equivalent to the suspension period in case of false suspension.

Also Read: Delay in Salary and Wages Protection for UAE Workers

Standard disciplinary regulation for employers

According to the government of the UAE, employers with 15 employees or above can:

  • Make a disciplinary regulation without violating the provisions of the labour law. These employers and companies may use the disciplinary actions used by the ministerial decision no. 265 of 2010 so that they will have a guideline to set their own rules inside the workplace.
  • After making such regulations, the employers should display the final set of rules approved by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). This should be visible in all areas of the workplace so employees can see it. The regulation should be in Arabic and other languages understandable by employees.

Also Read: Why Keeping the Passport of Employee is Illegal

If an employer wants to make his own regulations, MoHRE passed a resolution for them to have guidelines. The disciplinary actions should likewise state the penalties involved so to make everything clear. The regulations should be applicable to all employees in the workplace and they must be approved by the authorities before the employer can successfully implement them.

Disciplinary actions are a way for both the government and employers to regulate every happening in the workplace. Employees are mandated to abide or else, they will face penalties and charges that will affect their employment in the UAE.

If you are an expat here in the country and you are relying solely on your wage, you wouldn’t want to get involved in any of this. To prevent receiving such penalties, you can simply follow what the employer wants you to do. Understand the laws and regulations before you do anything that will harm your employment in the country.

Disclaimer: UAELabour.org is an informational site only and should serve as a guide. For updated details and policies, always contact proper authorities for assistance. If you are facing challenges at your work, please contact the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) or previously known as UAE Ministry of Labour for guidance. You may also seek help from a lawyer regarding your case.

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