Types of Employment Contract in the UAE





Employment contracts in the UAE differ. There are different types and it depends on the agreement between you and your employer. Just like when you got hired in your home country, you will receive a contract where you and your employer need to sign to authenticate and validate what you talked about your employment. The employment contract will state the condition of your employment. The written condition will basically be the basis of the type of employment contract you have with your employer.

Also Read: Terminable Offenses in UAE as per Article 120 UAE Labour Law

Employment contracts are important if you are working in the UAE. This document sets out all the terms and conditions you have agreed with your employer. This also serves as your proof that you are hired and that you have the reason to stay in the UAE.

Without an employment contract, everything about your employment may become invalid for the reason that you don’t have enough evidence that you are working for a certain employer. Thus, it’s not a good thing to keep a copy of your employment contract once you get hired. So, if you want to know more about the types of employment contracts here in the UAE, this article is for you.

What are the different types of contracts in the UAE?

In this article, we will talk about the employment contract under the private and public sectors. Even if you are an expat, there is still a possibility that you will get hired by a public company or under the administration of the government of the UAE.

It’s better to know the types of employment contracts from both sectors so that in case you switch jobs, you already have an idea of what to look forward to when you move from private to the public sector or vice versa.

Also Read: 15 Tips to Avoid UAE Labour and Visa Fraud

Different types of contracts under the private sector

The UAE Labour Law No. 8 of 1980 states that there are two types of employment contracts in the UAE: limited contract and unlimited contract. The difference between these two lies in the conditions for the termination and end of service gratuity pay.

There is also a contract for part-time employees, which was implemented last 2018.

About the LIMITED Contract

The limited contract in the UAE is also known as a fixed-term contract. Generally, the limited contract will state the start and end dates of employment. The contract will automatically be canceled when the dates expired unless it will be renewed.

Limited contracts have a maximum term of 2 years, which is different from the previous provisions with a 4-year expiration date. Limited contracts also have a notice for termination.

The reason why there are limited contracts is that there are employers who need employees for specific projects or specific durations only.




About the UNLIMITED Contract

Unlike the limited contract, unlimited contracts don’t have expiration dates. They are open-ended and more flexible. This is what usually offers in the UAE for expats. These contracts have a notice period of 1 to 3 months depending on the agreement of the employee and the employer. Both parties should recognize their responsibilities even within the notice period.

Since there is no end date, the relationship between an employer and employee may end without due process. Either of parties can terminate the employment without following the legal rules. Therefore, whoever breaks the rule will have to pay the required compensation and the party affected can initiate legal actions.

About Multi-Employer contracts – Those who are Working for More than 1 Employer

Good news to those who want to work with 2 jobs in the UAE! You can now have a multi-employer contract under the new provision implemented by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) in 2018.

Under this new rule, employers can now hire skilled expats from the country or abroad. Note that this is only open to expats who are holding university degrees or higher and those who have two to a three-year diploma in scientific or technical field.




Under multi-employer contracts, those who are seeking part-time jobs can take many part-time jobs without asking for the consent of their original or secondary employers. But, employees need to ask for the permit of the MoHRE.




Once the employee gets his/her part-time contract, it will be subjected to the same rules as a regular employment contract. It should be determined if it’s a limited or unlimited contract. Note that it’s possible for part-time employment to remain as it is until the end of the contract.

What are the responsibilities of the original employer under a multi-employer contract?

The original employer should be the one to bear the part-time contract fees as per the instructions of MoHRE. The employer should also give the employee his/her annual leave, end of service benefits, and other financial obligations related to the number of actual hours and the amount of salary of the employee.




In addition to this, the original employer may or may not require the employee to work more than the hours agreed upon the signing of the contract. Likewise, the employer may ask the employee to not work in the same facility for competition purposes or to avoid the disclosure of confidential matters.

What are the responsibilities of the secondary employers under a multi-employment contract?

The secondary or additional employers will be the ones to pay for the temporary work permits as per the instructions of MoHRE.

Different types of employment contract under the public sector

Like the private sector, public sectors have different types of contracts too. According to the Cabinet Decision No. 13 of 2012, Executive Rules for Decree under Law No. 11 of 2008, and Articles 9 to 16, the following are the employment contracts under the public sector.

  • Full-time employment contract – this covers full time working days or hours.
  • Part-time employment contract – this covers limited hours per working day.
  • Temporary contract – this covers full time working days or hours for 3 months and may be renewed.
  • Special contract – this covers employees who will work for a high position in a government agency or ministry.

Note that in any employment contract under the public sector, employees have the right to receive the compensation and benefits equivalent to their position and the hours they accomplish.

Knowing the different types of employment will save you from issues in the future. As an expat in the UAE, you are responsible to gain your own knowledge regarding this matter.

You need to be aware of how employment works in the country so you won’t be caught up with challenges when it’s time to terminate your relationship with your employer. There are a lot of good things that can happen when you know where you are standing from.

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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