United Arab Emirates: The New Part-time Work Permit In The UAE: Much Ado About Nothing?

Last Updated: 7 March 2012
Article by Carine Souaiby

Cabinet Resolution No. (25) of 2010 concerning Internal Work Permits Applicable in the Ministry of Labour ("Cabinet Resolution") has recently introduced five new types of work permit1 to the private sector2 in the UAE, including the long-awaited part-time work permit. The Cabinet Resolution has been welcomed by both employers and employees as it comes in answer to consistent requests in the private sector for a major revamp in the Labour Law. However, the reality is that the Cabinet Resolution is unlikely to bring significant change to the UAE labour market. This article looks at the practical implications of the Cabinet Resolution on employment in the private sector, by analyzing the provisions governing the issuance of part-time work permits and how they might actually fail to achieve the objectives and advantages usually expected from part-time work.

The standard definition of "part time work"

A definition proposed by the International Labour Organization ILO refers to part-time work as "regular employment in which working time is substantially less than normal". Hence, part-time employees are those who work fewer hours than full-time employees of an organisation.

There are generally three main categories of individuals for which part-time employment is a necessity or preference:

  1. Parents who need a flexible employment arrangement allowing them to spend more time raising their children
  2. Students wishing to earn money whilst continuing their full time education
  3. Retirees who wish to remain in employment. (Note that a part-time work permit for this category is restricted by statutory provisions in the UAE as explained further below).

Statutory provisions for part-time work permits in the UAE

Part-time work permits in the UAE are essentially governed by two main legislations:

  1. Cabinet Resolution
  2. Ministerial Resolution No. (1188) of 2010 Concerning the Regulations and Conditions for Granting Internal Work Permits ("Ministerial Resolution") which sets forth the implementation regulations of Cabinet Resolution and became effective on 1 January 2011.3

The Cabinet Resolution defines a part-time work permit as "the permit whereby a national or non-national is recruited in a job with working hours less than the normal working hours of full-time workers engaged in the same job at any organization."4

The Ministerial Resolution lists four categories of workers who are eligible for a part-time work permit:

1. Workers registered at the Ministry (of Labor) who have valid work IDs.5

2. Persons who meet the requirements for granting work permits at the residence permit of their relations.

3. Students who are above 18 years of age.

4. Government servants.6

The Ministerial Decision also states that part-time work permits cannot be given to non-nationals older than 65 and that a worker may be granted a part-time work permit at more than one organisation at the discretion of the Ministry of Labor.

Failure to achieve the objectives and advantages of part-time work

Recruiting part-time employees has a range of potential benefits, for both employers and employees.

From an employer's perspective, it is an efficient way to save money in areas where full-time employees are not required, by employing highly skilled and experienced people without paying a full-time salary. Part-time employment also helps employers deal with change during times where there is increased workload at peak times, for example during weekends or over the festive season, without having to bear the financial burden of full-time employees.

From an employee's perspective, it allows them to achieve a better work-life balance, by allowing them to dedicate time to family commitments, while benefiting from the same legal protection as full-time employees in relation to, salary, benefits, entitlements, termination and severance pay.

It is arguable that the above legislation does not actually set out detailed provisions dealing specifically with part-time work permits and the mandatory provisions governing part-time employment contracts such as working hours, duration of part-time employment contracts, probation periods, leave and benefits, termination or severance pay.

Indeed, there are only two articles in the Ministerial resolution regulating part-time work in the UAE. The first provision7 states that an employee working in accordance with any of the systems set out in the Ministerial decision shall be entitled to benefits as per the Labour Law, as if they were employed on a full time basis, subject to the period of service and wage. The second provision8 stipulates that part-time work permits granted by the Ministry of Labor will not be renewed once they have expired, meaning new applications need to be submitted if the employee/employer wishes to continue the part-time working relationship for a longer period.

The regulation of part-time work in the UAE remains unclear so far, and the private sector must be eagerly awaiting further ministerial resolutions fleshing out the rules governing part-time employment.9 Meanwhile, employers recruiting part-time employees are bound to abide by the provisions of the Labour Law as it stands, which at the moment limits the advantages of employing part-time employees.

Conclusion

Although the introduction of part-time work permits bridges the way for a more flexible labour law framework in the private sector, the impact and benefits of the new permits will not be felt by the market until legislation is further developed and clarified on the subject.

Footnotes

1 Work transfer permit, temporary work permit, part time work permit, Work Permit for Personnel Sponsored by their Kinship and Juvenile Persons Work Permit.

2 In the public sector, part-time employment is permitted pursuant to Article (10) of Decree by Federal Law No. (11) of 2008 concerning Human Resources in the Federal Government which has been amended by virtue of Decree by Federal Law No. (9) of 2011.

3 Article (13) of Ministerial Decision.

4 Article (2) of Cabinet Resolution.

5 This category of employees will need the approval of their main employer before being provided with a part-time permit to work after hours. This requirement of pre-approval is waived where the employee has filed a labor action with the courts.

6 Article (3) of Ministerial Decision.

7 Article (7) of Ministerial Decision.

8 Article (11) of Ministerial Decision.

9 For instance, in the public sector Articles (11) and (12) of Cabinet Decision No. (13) of 2010 concerning the Implementation Regulation of Decree by Federal Law No. (11) of 2008 concerning Human Resources in the Federal Government contain elaborated provisions regulating part-time employment such as working hours, amount of salary, leaves entitlements, etc.

www.habibalmulla.com

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Carine Souaiby
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
Accounting and Audit
Anti-trust/Competition Law
Consumer Protection
Corporate/Commercial Law
Criminal Law
Employment and HR
Energy and Natural Resources
Environment
Family and Matrimonial
Finance and Banking
Food, Drugs, Healthcare, Life Sciences
Government, Public Sector
Immigration
Insolvency/Bankruptcy, Re-structuring
Insurance
Intellectual Property
International Law
Litigation, Mediation & Arbitration
Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment
Privacy
Real Estate and Construction
Strategy
Tax
Transport
Wealth Management
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.