Company / Commercial Laws


Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regulating labour relations as amended by Federal Laws Nos. 24 of 1981, 15 of 1985 and 12 of 1986 (the "Law").

1. To whom does the law apply?

According to Article 3 of the Law, the Law applies to all staff and employees working in the United Arab Emirates, whether UAE national or expatriate. However certain categories are exempted from its applicability:

Staff and workers employed by the federal government, government departments of the member-emirates, the municipalities, public bodies, federal and local public institutions and those staff and workers employed in federal and local governmental projects are exempt.

Members of the armed forces, police and security units.

Domestic servants and their like.

Agricultural workers and persons engaged in grazing (this exemption does not include persons who are employed in corporations which process agricultural products and or those who are permanently engaged in the operation of/or repair of machines required for agriculture.

2. What aspects of the employer employee relationship does the law deal with?

The law covers all aspects of employee-employer relationships (Chapter 12). It governs all aspects of employment contracts, restrictions on the employment of juveniles and women, maintenance of records and files, wages, working hours, leave, safety and protection of employees, medical and social care, codes of discipline, termination of employment contracts, end-of-service benefits, compensation for occupational diseases, labour inspections, penalties and employment related accidents, injuries and fatalities.