part-time job full time job
Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Want to work part-time but worried about how it might affect your current job? The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) informed workers in the UAE of the terms of a part-time contract, to help them know their labour rights.

“Through this working system, you can work for more than one employer without the approval of your original employer or any other, provided that the working hours are no less than 20 hours weekly after receiving the permit, ensuring performing duties as per the Ministry’s employment regulations,” the post read.

For how many hours can I work part-time?

Speaking to Gulf News about part-time work contracts, Dr Ibrahim Al Banna, CEO of Ibrahim Al Banna Advocates and Legal Consultants, said that the part-time employment contract allows a person to work for another employer for fewer hours per week than he or she does at the main place of employment. So, the number of work hours for the part-time should be less than the number of work hours for the full-time one. However, there is no specific number of hours per week that is legally considered in part-time employment, according to Dr Al Banna.

Dr Ibrahim Al Banna, CEO of Ibrahim Al Banna Advocates and Legal Consultants

Dr Ibrahim Al Banna, CEO of Ibrahim Al Banna Advocates and Legal Consultants

“The Ministerial Decree No. (31) of 2018 concerning the introduction of part-time employment contracts determines part time work by [the fact] ‘that work hours shall be less than the normal ones (eight hours per day) and under which the worker can work for more than one employer.’ So the number of hours of work in part-time employment must be determined and agreed by the two parties – the employee and the employer,” he said.

“Article 3 of the UAE Labour Law states that the minimum number of working hours for the main employer is 20 hours per week,” he added. And maximum number of hours is as per the country’s Labour Law.

No approval needed from original employer

As for the fact that you do not need an approval from your original employer to work part-time, Dr Ibrahim reiterated the fact that the law states that an employee can “work for more than one employer at the same time, without the permission of the original employer or any other employer for whom he works”.

However, there are other requirements that need to be met to legally work part-time, according to Dr Al Banna:

1. The employee must fall under the Skill level 1, 2 or 3 jobs, as determined by the Ministry.

2. Also, the employer must obtain a work permit from the Ministry.

“It is very simple to apply for a part-time work permit. This can be done by submitting the signed part-time contract to the Ministry to get the work permit,” he said.

The fee for part-time work permit includes an application fee of Dh100 and an approval fee of Dh500.

Can anyone hold a part-time work permit?

Ahmed Elnaggar, Managing Partner of Elnaggar & Partners, also spoke to Gulf News regarding the part-time work permit, explaining who can get the contract for part-time work.

“Part-time work permit is available for all nationalities. If the employee is above the age of 18, holding a valid passport for more than 6 months, and holding a valid residency,” he said.

Ahmed Elnaggar, Managing Partner of Elnaggar & Partners

Ahmed Elnaggar, Managing Partner of Elnaggar & Partners

Even though the original employer’s approval is not needed, Elnaggar specified that part-time work permits are issued by MOHRE, and are applied for by the second employer, which would be an entity also registered with the Ministry. This ensures that the necessary conditions are met, as set out by the Ministry.

“The main limitation to the part-time work that you can do is the relevance of your education, profession, and experience to the work you are applying to get the permit for as well as the licence of the company you are applying to do the part-time job for. In simple words, the company hiring a part-time employee can only hire someone to do a job within its scope of activity, who has the right and relevant qualifications for the job. In other words, you can work as a part-time salesman for a company, if the company hiring you is a trading or a brokerage company and you have the relevant expertise or education for the job,” Elnaggar said.

Is there a fear of employees working for a competitor?

Elnaggar also spoke about how non-competition concerns are taken care of by the Ministry, which has specific criteria in place for issuing part-time work permit.

“I would say that such fear is not applicable. MOHRE, upon reviewing the application of the employees registered with MOHRE and subject to a part-time job application, will have access to the job title and the business of the employee and his sponsor company. In case there is a situation of competition and/or conflict of interest, in most cases the application would be rejected to protect the main full-time employer,” Elnaggar said.

It is also important to note that any part-time worker hired by a company, without the necessary permit, is punishable by law. As per Federal Decree Law No. 2 of 2007, if an expatriate is caught working for another company without an official permit, then a fine of Dh50,000 will be applied to the hiring company, in addition to other penalties in case of repeating the offence.