Key Considerations for Ministerial Decision no. 31 of 2018 Concerning Developing a New Employment System Under Part-Time Contracts (“Ministerial Resolution”)

The Ministerial Resolution which allows part-time work in the UAE to be conducted without the approval of an employee’s sponsor has recently been published, allowing for greater movement for workers in the UAE. The Ministerial Resolution will be applicable for both national and foreign employees based in the UAE, or overseas, and those who are classed as skilled level 1 and 2 (ie. those holding a diploma certificate, university degree or any other higher education). Although it has yet to be seen how these provisions will be implemented in practice, it will certainly create flexibility and may ease some of the hardships, employees would have faced otherwise in choosing to work on a part-time contract.

Below we have highlighted some of the key considerations of the Ministerial Resolution:

Original Employer vs. Secondary Employer

The original employer has been defined as the employer providing the work permit, or the first employer hiring the resident employee to work under the part-time contract, provided that the employee works for less than 8 hours per day, or less than 48 hours per week. The secondary employer has been defined as the employer other than the original employer whom the employee has an employment relationship with. The Ministerial Resolution will allow the employee to work simultaneously with more than one employer, without having to obtain the permission of the original employer or any other employer he/she is working with.

Obligations of the Employers

The obligations of annual leave, end of service gratuity, and any other financial obligations shall be the responsibility of the original employer, as they will be deemed as the sponsor of the employee. The secondary employer and the employee will agree to the terms and obligations of the secondary employment, and the secondary employer will be responsible for the costs associated with the secondary employment (such as the work permit, etc).

The employer is not allowed to increase the working hours agreed upon, without the consent of the employee. In addition, the employer is prohibited from enacting or enforcing a non-compete provision in the employee’s part-time employment contract, unless a court order has been issued to that effect.

Obligations of the Employee

The employee may not commence working unless he obtains a work permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE). There is an obligation on the employee to notify the employer if he/she chooses to commence employment with a secondary employer, although there is no obligation to obtain the employer’s permission. The MOHRE will notify the employers of the worker’s secondary employment, upon the administration of a new work permit.

The employee is not allowed to change the part time contract to a full-time contract unless the part-time contract is terminated.  Furthermore, the employee must commit to performing his/her duties as per the applicable UAE labour laws, and the terms stipulated in the contract.