Companies in the UAE can now hire employees on part-time contracts from both inside and outside the country.
A new system implemented by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation allows employees – both Emiratis and foreign workers – to work for more than one employer without having to obtain an approval from their primary employer.
All they need to do is acquire a permit from the ministry. Part-time contract workers – defined as those who work less than eight hours a day – must be given a minimum of one day off per week. Non-competitor clauses do not apply to such employees even if the employer claims conflict of interest related to divulging trade secrets, unless a court issues an order to this effect.
The move is in implementation of a resolution issued by Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation. Al Hamli said the new system would promote flexibility in the labour market and fulfil the needs of employers “based on the availability of employees in the labour market” It would also “reduce dependence on foreign workers”, he added.
He pointed out that the part-time contracts would reduce labour costs, especially when it comes to employees who are already in the country.
The resolution obliges workers to perform their duties according to labour regulations applied by the ministry, except for the number of working hours.
The contracts are aimed at highly specialised professions requiring sophisticated scientific, technical and administrative skill-sets with a minimum qualification requirement of a university degree. Al Hamli said technical professions requiring “intellectually demanding, scientific, technical, supervisory and practical skill-sets must meet qualification requirements of two- or three-year post-secondary institutional training”.
The ministerial fee for the primary employer would range from Dh150 to Dh2,000, while the secondary employer would be required to pay Dh100 (equivalent to fees paid for temporary work permits).
Primary employers are responsible for annual leaves, end of service benefits, and other financial obligations in proportion to the number of actual working hours and wages stipulated in the contract.
The resolution stipulates that a part-time contract cannot be changed into a full-time one unless it is terminated.