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Mon 21 Mar 2016 01:57 PM

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UAE's labour market sees big shift, reducing risk of disputes

Senior official says major move away from fixed-term contracts reduces likelihood of job disputes

UAE's labour market sees big shift, reducing risk of disputes

The UAE's labour market is seeing a major shift away from fixed-term contracts, reducing the likelihood of job disputes between employers and employees, a senior official has said.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has said that non-fixed term contracts now make up three-quarters of the total issued.

This change follows the establishment of three new decrees issued by Saqr bin Ghubash Saeed Ghubash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, which were launched at the beginning of 2016.

Humaid bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Labour Affairs said: "The number of the job offers printed during the last month confirms clarity and ease to issue a working relation between employers and workers in accordance with the newly launched decrees, which aim to establish and promote a balanced and productive working relation between both ends based on cooperation and transparency in order to preserve and maintain legal rights".

Al Suwaidi added: "Selecting more non-fixed term contracts indicates that employers have identified the benefits of selecting such contracts following the launch of the new decrees, something contrary to what prevailed in the labour market previously, as fixed-term contracts were commonly used by employers back then.

"Both contracts preserve rights similarly, but the later tends to uphold some financial obligations when both side come to an end.

During the past two months, the total of new non-fixed contracts reached 151,056 with fixed-term contracts at 60,153.

Al Suwaidi said he considers it a "developmental impact in the UAE labour market", especially as this type of contract allows the parties more freedom in ending the contractual relationship when compared to the fixed-term type.

He added that they contribute to "raising the productivity and performance of the labour market and improve working conditions and wages".

He said: "Non-fixed contracts has positively reduced labour disputes, as our data shows a large proportion of disputes arise between employers and workers abiding to fix-term contracts, due to ending procedures and the subsequent legal obligations."

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