2. Employment of Workers and Youth and Women Labour


Article 9

Work is deemed a right of the United Arab Emirates Nationals . Others may only work in the State in accordance with the conditions set forth herein and the decisions issued in application thereof .


Article 10

Should national workers not be available , the priority of employment shall be given to :

  1. Arab workers holding the nationality of an Arab State .
  2. Workers holding other nationalities .


Article 11

A National Employment Section shall be established in the Department of Labor and shall have jurisdiction to :

  1. Find adequate job opportunities for nationals .
  2. Assist employers in fulfilling their need of national workers whenever needed .
  3. Register unemployed nationals or those searching for better job in a special register . Such registry shall be made upon their request , and the applicant shall receive gratis a certificate of such registration on the date of the submission of the application . The registration certificate shall have a serial number and shall contain the name , age , place of residence , profession , qualifications and past experiences of the applicant .


Article 12

Employers may employ any unemployed national , and must in such event notify the Department of Labor thereof in writing , and such within fifteen days from the date of employment thereof . Such notification shall comprise the name and age of the worker , the date of employment thereof , the wage and type of work assigned thereto and the number of the registration certificate .


Article 13

It shall not be permissible to employ non – nationals in the United Arab Emirates without the prior consent of the Department of Labor and the obtainment of a work permit in pursuance of the procedures and rules stipulated by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs .

Such permit shall not be granted unless the following conditions are met :

  1. The worker must possess professional competence or academic qualifications needed in the country .
  2. That the worker has lawfully entered the country and that he satisfied the conditions prescribed in the residence regulations in force in the state .


Article 14

The Department of Labor may not consent to the employment of non – nationals unless it examines the records thereof and ensures that there are no unemployed nationals registered in the employment section , capable of performing the required job .


Article 15

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs may cancel the work card issued to non – nationals in the following cases :

  1. Should the worker remain unemployed for a period exceeding three consecutive months .
  2. Should the worker no longer fulfills one or more conditions on whose basis the card is granted .
  3. Should it show that a national worker is qualified to replace such worker . In such event , the worker shall remain in his position until the end of the contract term or the work card granted thereto , whichever is earlier .


Article 16

A special section for the employment of non – nationals shall be established in the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs for the regulation of the work therein by a ministerial decision .


Article 17

No natural or juridical person may work as a medium for the recruitment or supply of non – national workers without a license therefore .

Such license may only be issued for nationals and in cases where the issuance thereof is deemed necessary . It shall be issued by a decision from the Minister of Labor .

Such license shall be for a period of one renewable year . The licensee shall be subject to the supervision and control of the Ministry . Said licenses may not be granted should there be an employment office affiliated to the Ministry or to the entity approved thereby operating in the region and capable of acting as a mediator in the supply of labor .


Article 18

Licensed labor mediator or supplier may not request or accept from any worker , whether prior or subsequent to his admission to employment , any commission or material reward in return for the acquisition of the work by the worker , or to charge the worker for any expenses unless as it is provided for or approved by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs .

Workers supplied by the employment mediator or supplier shall be deemed , upon their admission to work , workers for the employer . They shall be entitled to all the rights granted to the workers of the establishment where they work , and shall relate directly to their employer without any interference from the employment mediator whose task and relation with such workers shall end upon their supply to the employer and employment thereby .


Article 19

Rules , procedures and forms adopted by the public and private employment offices , the manner of coordination among the activities of such offices and the condition by virtue thereof the license for the establishment of employment offices or for the work as employment mediator or supply is granted , as well as the professional classification schedules adopted as basis of employment operations shall be determined by the decisions of the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs .



Article 20

Youth of both genders under the age of fifteen may not be employed .


Article 21

Prior to the employment of any youth , the employer must obtain therefrom the following documents which he keeps in the youth’s personal file :

  1. A birth certificate or an official extract thereof , or an age estimation certificate issued by a pertinent doctor and authenticated by the competent health authorities .
  2. A certificate of health fitness for the required job issued by a competent doctor and authenticated . 3 – A written consent of the guardian or trustee of the youth .


Article 22

The employer must keep in the work location a special register for the youth comprising the name and age of the youth , the full name of the guardian or trustee thereof , the place of residence , date of employment and the work for which the youth is employed .


Article 23

Youth may not be engaged at night in industrial enterprises . The word ” night ” shall mean a period of twelve consecutive hours at least including the period from 8 p . m . until 6 a . m .


Article 24

The employment of youth in hazardous , strenuous or harmful to the health conditions shall be prohibited . Such conditions are determined by virtue of a decision issued by the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs upon the consultation of the competent authorities .


Article 25

The maximum effective working hours for the youth shall be six hours per day , with one or more intervals for rest , meals or prayer whose total is one hour at least . Such interval ( s ) shall be set in such a manner that the youth does not work more than four consecutive hours .

The youth may not be kept in the work location for more than seven consecutive hours .


Article 26

Youths may not be charged with overtime , regardless of the circumstances , be kept in the work location after their set working hours or be made to work on rest days .



Article 27

Women may not be employed at night . The word ” night ” shall mean a period of eleven consecutive hours at least including the period from 10 p . m . until 7 a . m .


Article 28

The following cases shall be exempt from the prohibition of women labor at night :

  1. When work in the firm ceases by a force majeure .
  2. Work in administrative and technical position .
  3. Work in health services and other jobs determined by virtue of a decision issued by the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs should the working woman not normally practice a manual work .


Article 29

The women labor in hazardous , strenuous or physically or morally harmful jobs , as well as other jobs determined by virtue of a decision issued by the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs upon the consultation of the competent authorities shall be prohibited .


Article 30

The female worker shall be entitled to a maternity leave with full payment of the wage thereof , and such for a period of forty five days that include the pre – and postnatal periods , provided that the continuous service period for the employer is of one year at least . The maternity leave shall be granted with half a wage should the worker not have completed the aforementioned period .

Upon the end of the maternity leave , the worker may remain absent from work without pay for a period of one hundred consecutive or non – consecutive days at most should such absence be caused by an illness hindering her from returning to work . Such illness shall be established by means of a medical certificate issued by the medical entity appointed by the competent health authority or ratified by such authority stating that such illness arises from the pregnancy or the delivery .

The leave referred to in the preceding paragraphs shall not be deducted from other leaves .


Article 31

During the period of eighteen months subsequent to the date of delivery , the nursing worker shall be entitled , in addition to the determined rest period , to a two additional periods per day for such purpose , the duration of each thereof not exceeding half an hour . Such additional periods shall be deemed as part of the working hours and do not entail any deduction of the wage .


Article 32

The female worker shall be granted a wage equal to that of the man should she be performing the same work .



Article 33

The Minister of Labor and Social Affairs , by a decision thereof , may exempt the philanthropic and educational institutions of all or some of the provisions set forth in the preceding two Chapters of the present Title , should such institutions aim at the rehabilitation or professional training of youth or women , provided that the by – laws of such institutions stipulate the nature of the works carried out by youths and women , the working hours , the conditions of work therein in a manner not contradicting with the actual capacity of youths and women .


Article 34

The following shall be partially responsible for the execution of the provision of the preceding second and third Chapters of the present Title :

  1. Employers or representatives thereof .
  2. Guardians or trustees of the youth , spouse or guardian of the woman should she be minor , and such should they agree on the employment of the youth or woman contradictory to the provisions hereof .