New law to make it easier for workers to switch jobs

UAE labour ruling removes six-month work ban and non-objection letter for most expats
New law to make it easier for workers to switch jobs
SWITCH JOBS: A new UAE law will make it easier for workers to switch jobs without the consent of their sponsor from the beginning of next year (Getty Images)
By Edward Attwood
Sun 19 Dec 2010 10:13 AM

A new UAE law will make it easier for many workers to switch jobs without the consent of their sponsor from the beginning of next year.

The resolution, issued by UAE Minister of Labour Saqr Gobash, allows expatriates with expired contracts to obtain a new work permit without the letter of no objection from their employer, and without the six-month work ban.

The resolution says that a new permit will be granted to the employee if the “contracting parties have ended their relationship cordially” and that the worker should have worked for his employer for two years.

However, if the employer fails to honour legal or contractual obligations to the employer, or when the company is proved to have gone out of business for two months, the worker will also be allowed to switch jobs without the letter.

Gobash said that the new law was aimed at striking a better balance between the employer and worker.

''The Ministry will only interfere in the employer-worker contractual relationship if it detects infringement in obligations stated in the labour contract,'' he said.

''Giving the private sector more freedom of movement will have automatic impact on employers by the way of preserving their interests through creating many options for recruiting skillful workers as per the supply-demand equation.”

The change is part of a package of plans recently announced by the Ministry of Labour.

Earlier this month, the ministry announced that labour card validity will be reduced from three years to two years for all UAE private sector workers from January next year. The move will have a knock-on effect on residence visas, which will also be reduced to two years.

The ministry will also require private-sector firms to have no less than 15 percent Emiratis on their workforce.

 

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