For The First Time, Employment Offers Become Legally Binding In The UAE

In accordance with the amended UAE Labour Law, effective from 1st January 2016, job offers will become binding and an integral part of employment contracts.

This change to the Labour Law is intended to plug a legal loophole and thereby combat abuses of expatriate employees who are enticed into accepting jobs in the UAE with lucrative offers but upon their arrival to the UAE, are actually presented with employment contracts that are vastly different from the original offers. UAE Labour Minister Saqr Gobash said of the changes:

“These rules will take the labour market to a new stage based on a strong and balanced relationship between all parties and on agreement and transparency in contracting to guarantee the rights of all parties”.

The specific changes to the Labour Law are summarised below:                                  

  • Offer letters to foreign and local workers become legally binding once both parties have signed them.   

  • The Ministry of Labour now requires a comprehensive description of the employee’s rights and duties, as well as an outline of the terms of their employment to be part of any employment offer.

  • Employers must ensure that the future employees have read and understood their employment offers. Job offers must be in a language that the candidate can read and comprehend.

  • Employment offers must be filed with the Ministry of Labour and will be used as the basis for the relevant employment contracts and work permits.                        

  • The revised law will also apply to the expat employees who are already employed in the UAE. Their residency permits will not be renewed until their employment offers are filed with the Ministry of Labour. 

  • The new Labour Law requires employers to review their existing recruitment processes and forms in order to ensure that all job offers and employment contracts are in compliance with the new requirements.