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United Arab Emirates – Employment Terms and Conditions

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a popular destination for expats seeking employment opportunities. The country has a thriving economy and offers many benefits to foreign workers. This article will explore the employment terms and conditions in the UAE, including working hours, employment rights and benefits, pensions, and retirement age.

Working Hours in the United Arab Emirates

The working week in the UAE is Sunday to Thursday, with Friday and Saturday being the weekend. According to UAE labor laws, the maximum working hours per week are 48 hours. However, during the month of Ramadan, the maximum working hours are reduced to six hours per day or 36 hours per week.

Employees in the private sector are entitled to at least one day off per week, which is usually Friday. Public sector employees typically work from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday.

Employment Rights and Benefits in the United Arab Emirates

Employees in the UAE are entitled to various employment rights and benefits, including:

1. Employment Contracts

Employment contracts are mandatory in the UAE, and they should be written in Arabic. Contracts should include information about the job title, job description, salary, working hours, annual leave, and other benefits. Employers are required to provide a copy of the contract to the employee.


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2. Annual Leave

Employees in the UAE are entitled to annual leave, which is usually between 22 and 30 days per year depending on the length of service. Employees are also entitled to public holidays, which vary depending on the emirate.

3. Sick Leave

Employees are entitled to sick leave, which is usually between 60 and 90 days per year, depending on the length of service. During this time, the employee is entitled to full pay for the first 15 days, and half pay for the following 30 days.

4. Maternity Leave

Female employees in the UAE are entitled to maternity leave, which is usually between 45 and 90 days, depending on the length of service. During this time, the employee is entitled to full pay.

5. End of Service Gratuity

End of service gratuity is a payment made to employees who complete their contract with the employer. The payment is calculated based on the length of service and the final salary. Employees who have worked for less than a year are not entitled to end of service gratuity.

Pensions in the United Arab Emirates

The UAE operates a mandatory savings scheme called the Emirates Pension System (EPS). Employers are required to contribute 5% of the employee’s basic salary to the scheme, while employees are required to contribute 5% of their basic salary. The EPS is designed to provide retirement benefits to employees in the UAE.

Expats can also choose to contribute to their home country’s pension scheme, if applicable. However, it is important to note that the UAE does not have a social security system, so it is essential to have a pension plan in place.

Retirement Age in the United Arab Emirates

The retirement age in the UAE is not fixed and depends on various factors, such as the employee’s profession, sector, and length of service. In general, the retirement age is between 60 and 65 years. However, some professions have a mandatory retirement age, such as pilots and air traffic controllers, whose retirement age is 65 years.

In conclusion, employment terms and conditions in the United Arab Emirates vary depending on factors such as nationality, occupation, and industry. Expatriates in the UAE are entitled to certain employment rights and benefits, such as annual leave, sick leave, and end-of-service benefits. Additionally, expatriates can participate in a voluntary savings plan to save for their retirement. The retirement age in the UAE is 60 for Emirati citizens, but there is no mandatory retirement age for expatriates.


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