By Tyne Hugo
The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has recently implemented a decision, signed by Naser Bin Thani Al Hameli, the Minister of Human Resource and Emiratisation, permitting skilled workers to partake in multiple employer contracts with two or more different employers. The decision applies to both Emiratis and expatriates alike.
The new system is implemented alongside the existing system of fixed-term or indefinite contracts and the part-time contracts are subject to the same rules and penalties applicable to regular employment contracts which is to protect the rights of the parties to the contracts.
Under this decision, companies may now recruit Skilled employees, who are already employed elsewhere, under a part-time contract. A Skilled employee is classified as a holder of a University Degree or higher or those who have successfully obtained a two or three-year Diploma in any field. The kinds of jobs the workers must be employed to do must require a high degree of scientific technical and administrative skills (this is for the university degree holders), alternatively, technical jobs that require mental, scientific, technical, practical and supervisory skills (this is for the diploma holders). This will be discussed later.
Under this new system, the employees will not work more than eight hours per day or forty-eight hours total per week and are obliged to receive at least one rest day per week. The employer cannot require the employee to work more than the agreed hours outlined in the contract unless they obtain written consent from the employee.
The effects for the original employer are quite important. The employer cannot prevent the employee from taking the part-time job, even if the employee will be working in a similar facility to the current job, (provided the employee has Ministry approval). As such the employer will not even be able to rely on a non-competition clause. In fact, the employee doesn’t even require the old or new employers consent, (other than having to agree to employ the employee obviously) to work the new part-time job whilst still working for the original employer. Furthermore, the original employer is still liable for all the fees levied by the Ministry for when contracting with an employee and is further liable for all legally required benefits, such as health insurance and end of service benefits.
Finally, the contract cannot be turned into a full-time contract. Should the employer and employee wish to convert the contract into a full-time contract then they will have to wait for the contract to be finalized or alternatively cancel the current contract.
Who can seek additional part-time employment?
As discussed previously, the decision prescribes that only workers classified as skilled workers level 1 and skilled workers level 2 may seek additional employment. These include but are not limited to:
- Level 1 – CEO’s, General Managers, professional managers, medical professionals such as doctors, veterinarians, and pharmacists, legal professionals including, lawyers, judges and legal researchers, as well as teachers, professors, IT consultants and financial analysts.
- Level 2 – Nurses, physiotherapists, rehabilitation specialists, medical assistants and Real Estate agents.
The decision has been implemented to encourage economic growth within the UAE. It is for the benefit of both employees and employers. It benefits employees with the obvious chance to subsidize their income and end up with more liquid cash at the end of the month. It benefits employees in that a company that requires a specialist for a short period of time or for a limited time each week does not need to concern themselves with finding another employee within the UAE who may not be willing to leave their full-time job, or for finding a full time employee, whether inside or outside of the UAE and having to pay for the employee’s visa and all other required costs associated with a new employee on a full time basis.
For any employment law related queries please contact BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP.