Overhaul in UAE labour work permit renewal system

The UAE's Ministry of Labour said the new system will require the "clear signature" of employees for contract renewal and the issuance of new work permits

UAE's labour ministry introduced new rules for work permit issuance.
UAE's labour ministry introduced new rules for work permit issuance.

The UAE's Ministry of Labour has announced new measures to renew work permits, previously known as labour cards, as well as expired contracts, by early 2016.

Humaid bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, assistant under-secretary for labour affairs, said the new system will require the "clear signature" of employees for contract renewal and the issuing of new work permits.

He said this will put an end to the current work permit renewal procedures which simply follow a notification from employers.

"Workers, under the new procedures, will enjoy better options of either accepting renewal of the contract according to marked privileges and stipulated requirements in the new contract, or amend these privileges and conditions upon agreement by both parties, which actively contributes to promoting a strong working relationship. 

"It will also enable employees to completely end the relationship, search for alternatives, or return back home."

He claimed the new decrees will end labour disputes caused by unjust labour contract submissions made by employers without referring to the labourers themselves, and getting final approval before issuing a new work permit.

According to Arabian Business, Saqr bin Ghobash, the UAE's minister of labour, said that the new decrees come within the framework of developing legislation to regulate the labour market, confirming that the ministry is moving to a new phase based on establishing and promoting a balanced and productive business relationship between both sides, based on transparency.

The ministry is currently preparing to implement the new decisions on schedule, he added. 

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