Recently, there have been several legislative developments related to labour and employment law matters, chief among them:
Federal Decree by Law No. 6 of 2019 introduces amendments to Federal Decree Law No. 8 of 1980 Regulating labour Relations (the Labour Law). The new law, which came into force on 29 September 2019, amends certain provisions of the Labour Law, including the following:
- The terms ‘Minister of Labour and Social Affairs’ and ‘ Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs’ have been replaced with ‘Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation’ and ‘ Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation’;
- A new Article 7bis has been introduced, prohibiting discrimination which prejudices equal opportunity employment and discriminating between those with the same employment duties;
- A new Article 8bis has been introduced, making way for the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation to regulate circumstances in which male and female employees may not be employed to work together;
- Articles 27 and 28 pertaining to female night time work and Article 29 pertaining to the employment of female employees in dangerous, arduous or detrimental to health or morals roles have been repealed;
- A new Article 30bis has been introduced prohibiting employers from terminating or serving a notice of termination to pregnant female employees. Any such termination will be classed as arbitrary dismissal under the law;
- The criminal liability provisions under Article 34 of the Labour Law have been reduced. Criminal liability with respect to enforcement of the provisions of chapter II of the labour Law, pertaining to the employment of workers, young persons and women, will now apply to (i) employers or their representatives and a minor’s guardian or trustee where such individuals have consented to the minor’s employment contrary to the provisions of the Labour Law; and
- Article 42 of the Labour Law pertaining to vocational training has been extended to require establishments to comply with any further regulations, directions, or requirements by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation with respect to the establishment’s training programme, training period and the obligations and rights of the parties.
Federal Decree by Law No. 11 of 2019 introduces amendments to Federal Decree Law No. 2 of 2015 combating discrimination and hatred. The definition of discrimination has been amended to include doctrine and gender. The law came into force on 30 August 2019.