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Dubai: With the upcoming new year, a major change in the UAE’s laws is going to affect workers in the private sector – Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Labour Relations is going to come into effect from February 2, 2022, as the new labour law that governs the private sector.

As part of the new regulations, the decree law provides details of the rights of the employer and employee when an employee either leave the job of his or her own accord, or if the employer terminates the employee’s contract.

Article 43 of the law, titled ‘Notice of termination of employment contract’, stipulates that a notice period of 30 to 90 days needs to be served, regardless of which of the two parties (employer or employee) decides to terminate the work contract. This notice period can be waived off as well, if both the parties mutually agree to do so.

Another interesting clause of the article states that in case the employer is the one who terminates the contract, the employee can take a working day off per week (without pay), to look for other job opportunities.

Here is a detailed look at what you need to know about the notice period that needs to be served:


1. Either party to an employment contract may terminate the contract for good cause, by giving the other a notice in writing. The worker shall perform his duties during the notice period agreed upon in the contract, provided that the notice period is not less than 30 days and not in excess of 90 days.

2. Employment contract shall continue in force throughout the notice period and expires with the expiry of the notice period. The worker shall be entitled to his full wage for such period on the basis of his last wage and shall perform his work if the employer so requests. The parties may agree to waive the notice clause or shorten the notice period, provided that the worker reserves all his entitlements due for the notice period agreed upon in the employment contract. The notice period shall be equal for both parties unless the same is in the interest of the worker.

3. The party in breach of the notice period shall pay the other a compensation called pay in lieu of notice, even if no harm results from the failure of notification. The compensation shall be equal to the wage of the worker for the entire notice period, or the remainder thereof.

4. Notice pay shall be calculated based on the last wage received by the worker, for monthly, weekly, daily or hourly paid workers, and on the basis of the average daily wage referred to herein for piecemeal paid workers.

5. If the employment contract is terminated by the employer, the worker shall be entitled to absent from work during the notice period for one-working day without pay per week, to search for another job. The worker may designate the day of absence provided that the employer is notified at least three days before such day.