Dubai: With the UAE introducing a new labour law for private sector employees across the country, which came into effect earlier this year, there are several changes that have been introduced to bring more flexibility to the workforce and greater rights for employers and employees.
One of the major changes was the introduction of new work models, including one that allows for job sharing. But what does it mean to share a job with another employee? And how does it affect an individual looking to start working in the UAE? Gulf News spoke with legal and recruitment experts in the UAE to find out.
What does the law say?
Article 7 of the new Labour Law – Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on the regulation of labour relations – provides details of various models of work that a worker can be contracted for, including full-time, part-time and temporary work. The Article also left space for more models of work that may be introduced as per subsequent executive regulations.
The job sharing model, then, was introduced as one such model of work in Article 5 (1) (b) of ‘Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 Concerning the Executive Regulations of Federal Decree-Law No. (33) of 2021 on the Regulation of Labour Relations’, in February 2022.
As per the Article, a job sharing model is one wherein “the tasks and duties are divided among more than one worker, as agreed upon in advance, and this is reflected in the wages due to each of them. The workers are dealt with pursuant to the rules of part-time work.”
Better employment opportunities
According to Aaron Portero, Managing Director at Connect Resources, an HR solutions provider in the UAE, while the job-sharing model is still relatively new, it is expected to help job-seekers find options for work in the UAE.
“In effect, the shared job model allows two employees to split the job and pay, based on an agreement with the employer,” he said.
“This area of law is not well explored yet, and there is not much supporting information on the same. However, from the face of it, this working model could leave room for creativity if accepted by employers, as it is dynamic in nature. The job-sharing model will allow more than one person to work for the same job and could possibly generate more employment opportunities for people,” he added.
In effect, the shared job model allows two employees to split the job and pay, based on an agreement with the employer.
Priyasha Corrie, a Partner at Keystone Law Middle East LLP, also highlighted how employees who want to take advantage of this work model should consider the fact that this is not an option for a full-time worker.
“While an employee can request to work on a job-sharing work pattern, note that this model is based on mutual agreement and so both the employee and employer have to agree to this arrangement. Similarly, if an employer wishes to introduce a job-sharing model, it would mean having the employee’s buy-in for the model. This model works best for those who wish to have a more contractor type of role and work with two or more employers,” Corrie said.
Employees under a job-sharing model are treated as part-time employees and receive a salary and allowance in proportion to the work that they do.
The new UAE Labour Law allows workers to work for multiple employers, however when working on a part-time basis you need to ensure that your work permit is applied for accordingly.
“Employees under a job-sharing model are treated as part-time employees and receive a salary and allowance in proportion to the work that they do. Such employees are permitted to work for multiple employers. In addition, the employer will have to apply for a part-time work permit for the employee,” Corrie said.