EMPLOYMENT LAW DIFC LAW NO. 6 OF 2018
EMPLOYMENT LAW DIFC LAW NO. 6 OF 2018
EMPLOYMENT LAW i TABLE OF CONTENTS PART 1: GENERAL . . 1 1. Title and repeal . . 1 2. Legislative Authority . . 1 3. Purpose of this Law . . 1 4. Application of the Law . . 1 5. Date of enactment . . 2 6. Commencement . . 2 7. Interpretation . . 2 8. Administration of the Law . . 2 9. The power of the DIFCA to make Regulations and impose fines and penalties . . 3 PART 2: HIRING EMPLOYEES . . 4 10. No waiver . . 4 11. No false representations . . 4 12. Hiring children . . 4 13. Right to a written contract . .
4 14. Right to itemised pay statement . . 5 15. Payroll records . . 5 16. Part-Time Employees and Short Term Employees . . 6 PART 3: PROTECTION OF REMUNERATION . . 8 17. Paydays . . 8 18. Payment where the employment is terminated . . 8 19. No unauthorised deductions . . 8 20. No charge for hiring or providing information . . 8 Part 4: WORKING TIME AND LEAVE . . 10 21. Excessive hours . . 10 22. Reduced hours during Ramadan . . 10 23. Daily rest . . 10 24. Weekly rest period . . 10 25. Rest breaks . . 10 26. Vacation Leave . . 10 27. Compensation in lieu of Vacation Leave . . 11 28. Dates on which Vacation Leave is taken .
. 11 29. Vacation Leave during the first year of employment . . 11 30. Entitlements under other provisions . . 11 31. Entitlement to Public Holidays . . 11 32. Special leave . . 12 33. Sick Leave . . 12 34. Sick Leave pay . . 12 35. Termination for excessive Sick Leave . . 12 PART 5: PARENTAL LEAVE AND RELATED RIGHTS . . 13 36. Maternity Leave . . 13 37. Maternity Pay . . 13 38. Paternity Leave and pay . . 13 39. Right to return to work . . 14 PART 6: EMPLOYER'S OBLIGATIONS . . 15 40. General duties of Employers to their Employees . . 15 41. Health and safety duties . . 15
EMPLOYMENT LAW ii 42. Ventilation . . 15 43. Temperature in indoor workplaces . . 15 44. Lighting . . 15 45. Cleanliness . . 15 46. Room dimensions and space . . 15 47. Workstations and seating . . 15 48. Sanitary conveniences . . 16 49. Drinking water . . 16 50. No penalties for preventing health and safety risks . . 16 51. Liability of Employers for Employee’s conduct . . 16 52. Compensation for employment accidents and occupational diseases . . 16 53. Health insurance . . 17 54. Visas and permits . . 17 PART 7: TIME OFF WORK . . 18 55. Right to time off to look for work . . 18 56. Right to time off for ante-natal care and adoption proceedings .
. 18 57. Right to remuneration for time off under Articles 55 and 56 . . 18 PART 8: EMPLOYEE'S OBLIGATIONS . . 19 58. General duties of Employees . . 19 PART 9: NON-DISCRIMINATION . . 20 59. Discrimination . . 20 PART 10: TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT . . 23 60. Rights of Employer and Employee to minimum notice . . 23 61. Termination for cause . . 23 62. Right to written statement of reasons . . 24 63. Pension for UAE and GCC nationals . . 24 64. Gratuity Payment . . 24 PART 11: GENERAL CONTRAVENTIONS . . 26 65. General contraventions provision . . 26 66. Administrative imposition of fines and penalties .
. 26 67. Inspections and access to records . . 27 68. Liability of the DIFCA . . 27 PART 12: WHISTLEBLOWING . . 28 69. Application of the Companies Law . . 28 SCHEDULE 1 – RULES AND INTERPRETATION . . 29 SCHEDULE 2 – PERMANENT DISABILITIES/DISMEMBERMENT/INJURIES . . 34 SCHEDULE 3 – CONTRAVENTIONS AND FINES . . 36
EMPLOYMENT LAW 1 PART 1: GENERAL 1. Title and repeal (1) This Employment Law 2018, repeals and replaces the Employment Law 2005 (DIFC Law No. 4 of 2005) as it was in force immediately prior to the commencement of this Law (the “Previous Law”), and may be cited as the “Employment Law 2018” or “this Law”. (2) Except where otherwise provided in this Law, anything done or omitted to be done pursuant to or for the purposes of the Previous Law is deemed to be done or omitted to be done pursuant to or for the purposes of this Law.
(3) Without limiting the generality of Article 1(2), and subject only to Article 1(4), such repeal and replacement shall not affect: (a) any right, privilege, remedy, debt or obligation accrued to or incurred by any person; or (b) any legal proceeding commenced, or to be commenced, in respect of any such right, remedy, privilege, debt or obligation, under the Previous Law, and any such legal proceeding may be instituted, continued or enforced, including any penalty, fine or forfeiture, under this Law.
(4) Where there is no equivalent provision in this Law to a provision in the Previous Law, the relevant provision in the Previous Law is deemed to survive the repeal and replacement under this Article 1, until such time as necessary for the purposes of any legal proceeding specified in Article 1(3)(b).
(5) Unless otherwise provided, any reference to this Law includes a reference to the Regulations made under this Law. 2. Legislative Authority The Law is made by the Ruler. 3. Purpose of this Law The purpose of this Law is to: (a) provide minimum employment standards for Employees; (b) promote the fair treatment of Employees by Employers; and (c) foster employment practices that will contribute to the prosperity of the DIFC. 4. Application of the Law (1) This Law applies to: (a) any establishment or body having a place of business in the DIFC (including an entity established by or pursuant to Dubai Law No.
9 of 2004) who employs one or more individuals; and (b) any individual employed by way of an Employment Contract by an establishment, body or entity referred to in Article 4(1)(a), who either: (i) is based within, or ordinarily works in or from the DIFC;
EMPLOYMENT LAW 2 (ii) agreed in an Employment Contract to be subject to this Law; or (iii) has been determined by the Court to have a sufficiently close connection with the DIFC for it to be appropriate to deal with any right, remedy, privilege, debt or obligation of that individual pursuant to this Law. (2) Subject to Article 4(3), an Employer may conclude an Employment Contract with an Employee subject to any applicable law other than this Law: (a) where an Employee is based within, or ordinarily works in or from the DIFC, on the basis of a Secondment; or (b) where permitted in the Regulations.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 4(2), the following provisions in this Law shall remain to be applicable to an Employer and an Employee relevant to Articles 4(2)(a) and 4(2) (b): (a) Part 1 – all Articles; (b) Part 2 – Articles 11, 12, 13(1), 13(4) and 15; (c) Part 3 – all Articles; (d) Part 4 – Articles 21, 22, 23, 24, 31 and 32; (e) Part 5 – all Articles; (f) Part 6 – all Articles, except for Article 52; (g) Part 9 – Article 59; (h) Part 11 – all Articles, insofar as they relate to Articles (4)(3)(a) to 4(3)(g) above; (i) Part 12 – Article 69; and (j) Schedules 1, 2 and 3 – all Schedules insofar as they relate to any of the Articles referred to in sub-sections (a) to (i) above.
5. Date of enactment The Law is enacted on the date specified in the Enactment Notice in respect of this Law. 6. Commencement The Law comes into force on the date specified in the Enactment Notice in respect of this Law. 7. Interpretation Schedule 1 contains: (a) interpretative provisions that apply to the Law; and (b) a list of defined terms used in the Law. 8. Administration of the Law This Law and any Regulations made under it shall be administered by the DIFCA.
EMPLOYMENT LAW 3 9. The power of the DIFCA to make Regulations and impose fines and penalties (1) The Board of Directors of the DIFCA may: (a) make Regulations in respect of any matter that facilitates the administration of this Law or furthers the purposes of this Law; (b) impose fines or penalties or both for any contraventions of this Law; and (c) impose limits on compensation provided for under this Law.
(2) Any fines or penalties imposed under this Law shall not limit the right of an Employer or an Employee to enforce any rights, remedies, privileges, claims or action under this Law or any other relevant law.
EMPLOYMENT LAW 4 PART 2: HIRING EMPLOYEES 10. No waiver (1) The requirements of this Law are minimum requirements and a provision in an agreement to waive any of those requirements, except where expressly permitted under this Law, is void in all circumstances. (2) Nothing in this Law precludes: (a) an Employer from providing in any Employment Contract, terms and conditions that are more favourable to an Employee than those required by this Law; or (b) an Employer and an Employee entering into an agreement to resolve a dispute to waive any right, remedy, privilege, claim or action under this Law.
(3) Any agreement entered into pursuant to Article 10(2)(b) may be set aside by the Court to the extent that it is found to be unreasonable in the circumstances. (4) Article 10(3) does not apply where: (a) the Employee received independent legal advice; (b) the Employer can show that the Employee was offered a reasonable opportunity to obtain independent legal advice; or (c) the Employer and Employee took part in mediation proceedings, provided by the Court or a suitably qualified independent third party, prior to entering into an agreement waiving any right, remedy, privilege, claim or action under this Law.
11. No false representations An Employer shall not induce, influence or persuade a person to become an Employee, or to work or to be available for work, by misrepresenting any of the following: (a) the availability of a position; (b) the job description and title; (c) the type of work; (d) the Remuneration or any benefits; or (e) the conditions of work or employment. 12. Hiring children A person shall not employ a child who is under sixteen (16) years of age. 13. Right to a written contract (1) An Employer shall provide an Employee with a written Employment Contract in the English language within seven (7) days after the commencement of employment.
(2) An Employment Contract, shall include as a minimum: (a) the names of the Employer and Employee;
EMPLOYMENT LAW 5 (b) the date of commencement of employment; (c) the Employee’s Wage; (d) the applicable Pay Period; (e) any terms and conditions relating to hours or days of work; (f) any terms and conditions relating to Vacation Leave and Vacation Pay, Public Holidays and pay for Public Holidays, Sick Leave and pay during Sick Leave; (g) the length of notice that the Employee and the Employer is obliged to give and is entitled to receive to terminate the employment; (h) the Employee’s job title and a brief description of work responsibilities; (i) where the employment is not intended to be for an indefinite duration, the period for which it is expected to continue or, if for a fixed term, the Termination Date; (j) the Employee’s place of work; (k) any applicable disciplinary rules and/or grievance procedures; (l) any probation period; (m) any applicable policies and procedures, including any code of conduct and where these can be accessed; and (n) any other matter that may be prescribed under the Regulations.
(3) An Employment Contract shall expressly state which terms thereof, if any, shall be subject to the Employer’s policies and procedures that may be changed at the Employer’s discretion from time to time by way of written notice to the Employee.
(4) Any amendment to an Employment Contract must be in writing and signed by both the Employer and Employee, unless such amendment is of an administrative nature only, in which case the Employer shall be required to record such amendment in writing and to give written notice thereof to the Employee prior to the amendment taking effect. 14. Right to itemised pay statement (1) An Employee is entitled to receive without delay a written itemised pay statement in respect of each Pay Period that includes: (a) the amount of the Wages payable; and (b) the amount of any deduction from that amount and the purpose for which it is made.
(2) An Employer satisfies the requirements in Article 14(1) if it provides electronic access to itemised pay statements to an Employee containing the requisite details and such statements are capable of being printed.
15. Payroll records (1) An Employer shall keep records of the following Employee information: (a) the Employee's name, date of birth, occupation, telephone number and contact address; (b) the date of commencement of employment;
EMPLOYMENT LAW 6 (c) the Employee's Remuneration (gross and net, where applicable), and the applicable Pay Period; (d) the hours worked by the Employee on each day, regardless of whether the Employee is paid on an Hourly Rate or other basis; (e) each deduction made from the Employee's Remuneration and the reason for it; (f) the dates of the Public Holidays taken by the Employee and the Daily Wages paid by the Employer in respect thereof; (g) the dates of Vacation Leave taken by the Employee and the Daily Wages paid by the Employer in respect thereof and the Vacation Leave balance owing; and (h) Sick Leave and other special leave taken.
(2) The records referred to in Article 15(1): (a) shall be in English and the English language shall have precedence over any other language used in the records; (b) shall be kept or be electronically accessible at the Employer's principal place of business in the DIFC; (c) shall be retained by the Employer during an Employee’s employment and until six (6) years after an Employee’s Termination Date; and (d) may be retained in electronic format. 16. Part-Time Employees and Short Term Employees (1) This Law applies to a Part-Time Employee, provided that: (a) the entitlements of a Part-Time Employee under this Law to Vacation Leave, special leave under Article 32 and Sick Leave; and (b) the amount of Sick Leave permitted to be taken by a Part-Time Employee before allowing an Employer the right to terminate a Part-Time Employee’s employment for taking excessive Sick Leave pursuant to Article 35, shall be calculated on a pro rata basis in accordance with the provisions of Articles 16(2), 16(3) or 16(4), whichever is applicable.
(2) If a Part Time Employee’s Employment Contract provides for working hours that are less than eight (8) hours per Work Day, inclusive of rest breaks, the calculation for purposes of Article 16(1) shall be determined as follows: (a) the number of working hours stated in a Part-Time Employee’s Employment Contract to be worked during a Work Day, inclusive of rest breaks, shall be calculated as a percentage of an eight (8) hour Work Day; and (b) the percentage derived from the calculation in Article 16(2)(a) shall be applied, where applicable, to the entitlement periods referred to in Articles 26, 32, 33 and the sixty (60) Work Days limit referred to in Article 35, to determine the applicable pro rata portion thereof applicable to a Part-Time Employee.
(3) If a Part Time Employee’s Employment Contract provides for less than five (5) Work Days per Work Week, the calculation for purposes of Article 16(1) shall be determined as follows:
EMPLOYMENT LAW 7 (a) the number of Work Days stated in a Part-Time Employee’s Employment Contract to be worked during a Work Week shall be calculated as a percentage of a five (5) day Work Week; and (b) the percentage derived from the calculation in Article 16(3)(a) shall be applied, where applicable, to the entitlement periods referred to in Articles 26, 32, 33 and the sixty (60) Work Days limit referred to in Article 35, to determine the applicable pro rata portion thereof applicable to a Part-Time Employee.
(4) If a Part-Time Employee is employed on any other basis than the manner set out in Articles 16(2) or 16(3), the number of working hours or Work Days during a Work Week of the Part-Time Employee for purposes of this Article 16 shall be determined by: (a) calculating the average number of working hours, inclusive of rest breaks, or Work Days worked by an Employee during a Work Week over course of a Relevant Calculation Period and using that number to calculate what percentage it comprises of a Work Week; and (b) applying, where applicable, such percentage to the entitlement periods referred to in Articles 26, 32, 33 and the sixty (60) Work Days limit referred to in Article 35, to determine the applicable pro rata portion thereof applicable to a Part-Time Employee.
(5) This Law applies to a Short Term Employee, except for: (a) Articles 13(2), 13(3), 14, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, Part 5, Part 7, Part 9 and Part 10 of this Law which shall be excluded; (b) Article 53 shall only apply to the extent that health insurance is required for a Short Term Employee pursuant to Federal Law or Dubai Law.
EMPLOYMENT LAW 8 PART 3: PROTECTION OF REMUNERATION 17. Paydays (1) Subject to Articles 17(2) and 19, an Employer shall pay to an Employee all Remuneration earned by the Employee in a Pay Period within seven (7) days after the end of the Pay Period. (2) Any Additional Payments owing to an Employee may be deferred by prior written agreement between the Employer and Employee. 18. Payment where the employment is terminated (1) An Employer shall pay to an Employee all Remuneration, the Gratuity Payment and all accrued Vacation Leave not taken within fourteen (14) days after the Termination Date, provided that where the Termination Date falls during a Pay Period, an Employer shall be permitted to pro rate an Employee’s Wages accordingly.
(2) Subject to the provisions of Article 18(3), an Employee shall be entitled to and the Employer shall pay a penalty equal to an Employee’s Daily Wage for each day the Employer is in arrears with its payment obligations under Article 18(1). (3) A penalty pursuant to Article 18(2): (a) may only be claimed by an Employee if the amount due and not paid is in excess of five percent (5%) of the full amount due to the Employee on the Termination Date; (b) will at all times be limited to a maximum of six (6) months’ Wages of the Employee concerned; and (c) may be reduced or waived in circumstances where imposing such penalty is considered by the Court to be unreasonable in the circumstances, including (without limitation): (i) for the duration of the period a dispute is pending in the Courts regarding any amount due to an Employee under Article 18(1); or (ii) where an Employer can prove that the Employee is the cause for the delay in payment.
19. No unauthorised deductions An Employer shall not deduct from an Employee’s Remuneration or accept payment from an Employee, unless: (a) the deduction or payment is permitted under this Law, or agreed to in an Employment Contract not in contravention of this Law; (b) prior written agreement of the Employee has been obtained in respect of the deduction or payment, provided that such deduction or payment is not prohibited under this Law; (c) the deduction or payment is a reimbursement for an overpayment of any Remuneration or expenses, or to recoup benefits utilised by an Employee in excess of what is permitted in an Employment Contract; or (d) the deduction or payment has been ordered by the Court.
20. No charge for hiring or providing information (1) A person shall not request, charge or receive, directly or indirectly, from a person seeking employment a payment for: