Working Part-Time In The UAE

April 01 2019

Working Part-Time In The UAE


In a new development by the UAE’s MOHRE (Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation), the recruitment of part-time workers is now allowed in the country.

This part-time contract will now allow workers the flexibility of employment by more than one company at the same time after obtaining a permit from the ministry.

Traditionally, UAE immigration laws have prohibited employees from working for any UAE entity other than those who sponsor them for UAE residence visa and work permit purpose without the stated approval of the MOHRE, by means of temporary work permit.

In addition to the immigration-related limitations the UAE Federal Law №8 of 1980, as amended, (The Labour Law) does not particularly recognise the notion of part-time working, which has resulted in uncertainties and disputes while calculating a part-time employee’s legal entitlements such as end of service gratuity and holiday pay. However, in an attempt to develop worker mobility in UAE, the Part-Time resolution will potentially allow both Emiratis and expatriates to work legally for 2 or more MOHRE registered employers at the same time.

According to the announcement, professionals who work under this contract will now be able to switch between companies without the consent of the original employer or any other employer.

Minister Nasser Al Hamli has said that the new system would only improve flexibility in the labour market, cut costs and also reduce companies’ dependence on workers who are from outside the country.

It is expected to mainly benefit SME’s and industries that would otherwise have to recruit full-time employees even during seasonal or fluctuating demands to recruit full-time staff even during low periods. The conditions in the contract state that the worker must not exceed 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week under one employer and they must receive a weekly rest day.

If one needs to get a part-time contract, the worker must hold a university degree. They should also be in a specialized profession which requires administrative, technical and scientific skills and must fall within the 1st and 2nd skill levels. Whether the contract is a fixed or non-specific, it will be subject to the same set of rules and penalties of a regular contract during its conclusion, renewal and termination. Depending on the establishment category, the original employer must pay AED 150-2000 to get a part-time worker from within or outside UAE. The first company should also provide the employee’s annual leave, end of service benefits or any other financial obligations which is in line with the number of actual working hours.

Under this new directive, companies cannot prevent the part-time worker from being employed by similar establishments.

According to the announcement, the part-time contract can also be converted into a regular contract once the part-time contract gets terminated.

Part-time jobs can be under constant doubt in the minds of UAE residents. The visa processes and requirements can also be daunting and confusing but we hope you find answers to some of your burning questions out here:

1. Can UAE residents do part-time jobs?

Yes, but only in case the resident has a temporary work permit which is specifically for part-time jobs issued by the Ministry of Labour or by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE)

2. Who all can work under this scheme?

Any UAE resident who is employed or unemployed, above 18 years is eligible to apply for a part-time work permit. Work permit for youngsters aged between 15 to 18 years of age can apply where parents will act as work sponsors.

As for employed residents, the employer must be registered with MOHRE.

3. Is there anyone who cannot avail of this facility?

Any person who is on a visit or a tourist visa cannot work part-time legally since they would not have a legal sponsor (husband/ father/ employer) in the country.

Any resident over the age of 65 years cannot get such work permit.

4. What else is required?

A NOC or a No Objection Certificate is required from your full-time employer who is your sponsor and also who is registered under the MOHRE is required for people who are already employed in UAE. If a family has sponsored a resident, say a father or a husband, a NOC is required from them. Residency permit must be valid for above 6 months at the time of application.

5. What is the prospective employer required to submit?

The prospective part-time employer should issue a NOC to ensure that all parties know the exact work or residency situations of the applicant.

6. Who applies for the work permit?

The prospective employer will collect all the required NOC statements and then applies for the work permit.

7. Is the permit applicable to trading and business?

No. Any trading and business activity has to go through right channels under licensing and government approvals. This permit mainly allows residents to work for companies who are registered under the Ministry of Labour basis part-time or during weekends.

8. What is the validity of this permit?

The validity of the permit is 6 months.

9. What is the cost and who bears them?

The company or the prospective part-time employer has to bear the cost of the application. The application costs around Dhm 100, permit costs Dh 500, both of these are borne by the employer who is recruiting the part-time employee. (Tasheel processing fees may vary)

10. Where can we get more information?

One is required to address all their queries to the Ministry of Labour which is MOHRE. Their site has all the information required and permits can be applied online by the prospective employers or through the Tasheel centers.

At a time when companies are trying to cut costs, working part-time may provide an ideal solution. It can also encourage recruitment and flexibility with the existing laws of the labour market in the UAE. Although the approvals for the part-time permit rests within the laws of MOHRE, the extent to which the concept of part-time work arrangements becomes a prevalent practice remains to be seen.

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