UAE‘s multiple-employer contract system kicks in

ABU DHABI: Skilled workers, both Emirati and expatriates, can now enter a multiple employer contract after obtaining approval of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, according to a new ministerial decision.

Under the decision signed by Naser Bin Thani Al Hameli, Minister of Human Resource and Emiratisation, companies can recruit skilled workers — holder of university degree or higher and those who completed their diploma in any field — from inside the country of overseas under part-time contracts, which allow these workers to take several part-time jobs without approval of the original or other employers.

The new system is implemented alongside with the existing system which allows employers and workers to establish normal business relationship under fixed-term or indefinite contracts.

Al Hameli said the new system will enhance the flexibility of the labour market and meet the needs of the employers from the existing labor market and thus reduce dependence on labour being imported from outside the country.

Under the new part-time contract, workers will put less than the usual eight hours a day or less than 48 hours per week and must receive a weekly rest of not less than one day.

Al Hameli said the “part-time contract” will reducing the operational costs of employers who recruit workers from inside the UAE.

He added the system contributes to attracting and retaining the skills and expertise to enhance the productivity of the labor market in the country.

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The part-time contracts are limited only to specialised professions that require a high degree of scientific, technical and administrative skills and a minimum university qualification as well as  technical jobs that require mental, scientific and technical as well as practical and supervisory skills of workers who completed their two or three year diploma in any field, according to Al Hameli.

Al Hameli stressed that “the part-time contract is subject to the same rules and penalties applicable to the regular employment contracts, either fixed-term or non-fixed-term, out of keenness to protect the rights of the parties to the employment relationship.”

The original employer shall bear the fees levied by the ministry when contracting with a worker under the part-time job contract.

The reduced fees for skilled labor shall be between  Dh150 and Dh2000 according to the category in which the establishment falls within the classification system of companies.

The original employer shall also bear the employee‘s annual leave, the end of service benefits and any other financial obligations in proportion to the number of actual working hours and the amount of the wage paid by the worker.

The decision obliges each employer to provide the worker with the requirements and working environment stipulated in the ministry‘s regulations.

According to the decision, the employer may not require the worker to work more than the hours agreed upon without the written consent of the worker. The employer may not prevent the worker from working in a similar facility to his company under the non-competition clause or for disclosure of the secrets of the work, unless a court ruling has been issued to this effect.

The resolution states that a part-time contract may not be converted into a regular contract until after the end of the part-time employment contract, so that each party may freely contract with the model it accepts.

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