The Ministry of Labour has recently announced a number of changes to the labour legislation in the UAE. The reported measures are:

  • skilled and professional workers no longer require a no-objection letter from their employers in order to change jobs;
  • a new short-term (6 month) work permit is now available;
  • employees over the age of 60 years may now obtain their work permits for a period of two years;
  • expatriates employed under a full time employment contract may now sponsor family members to work in the UAE; and
  • work permits for children aged between 15 and 18 years old to work for up to 6 hours per day will be available.

It has also been reported that new rules have been introduced on the requirements to employ UAE nationals. The new Emiratisation rules are reported to aim for at least 15% of a company's workforce to be UAE nationals in the private sector. Also, 20% of the workforce should be skilled workers.