Young person
Can youth work in the UAE? Image Credit: Pexels

Are you a young person looking to work in the UAE?

Understanding your employee rights is a very important part of living and working here. Below is the labour law, as published by the UAE Ministry of Labour, with regards to the employment of youth, and the provisions that must be made in case they want to work.

According to Article 20 young people of both genders under the age of 15 may not be employed in the UAE.

If you are between the age of 18 to 21 years, you can start working, however you must adhere to the following rules.

Documents you need

Article 21: You must submit these documents to your future employer if you want to work in the UAE:

1. A birth certificate or an official extract thereof, or an age estimation certificate issued by a pertinent doctor and authenticated by the competent health authorities.

2. A certificate of health fitness for the required job issued by a competent doctor and authenticated.

3 - A written consent of the guardian or trustee of the youth.

Article 22: The employer must keep in the work location a special register for the youth comprising the name and age of the youth, the full name of the guardian or trustee thereof, the place of residence, date of employment and the work for which the youth is employed.

No late night work

Article 23: Youth may not be engaged at night in industrial enterprises. The word " night " shall mean a period of twelve consecutive hours at least including the period from 8pm until 6am.

Type of work?

Article 24: The employment of youth in hazardous, strenuous or harmful to the health conditions shall be prohibited. Such conditions are determined by virtue of a decision issued by the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs upon the consultation of the competent authorities.

Working hours? No longer than 6

Article 25: The maximum effective working hours for the youth shall be six hours per day, with one or more intervals for rest, meals or prayer whose total is one hour at least. Such interval(s) shall be set in such a manner that the youth does not work more than four consecutive hours.

The youth may not be kept in the work location for more than seven consecutive hours.


Article 26: Youths may not be charged with overtime, regardless of the circumstances, be kept in the work location after their set working hours or be made to work on rest days.

Who is responsible?

Article 34: The following shall be partially responsible for the execution of the provision of the preceding second and third Chapters of the present Title:

a - Employers or representatives thereof.

b - Guardians or trustees of the youth should she be minor, and such should they agree on the employment of the youth or woman contradictory to the provisions hereof.

Source UAE Ministry of Labour

Call centre For any Labour issues, call 800 665

Locate your nearest Ministry of Labour office

Gulf News is not responsible for any amendments made to the UAE Labour Law. All labour disputes must go through the Ministry of Labour. This article simply quotes the UAE MOL.

Disclaimer: The following text comes from the UAE Ministry of Labour’s UAE Labour Law.