Dubai: The Ministry of Labour will start granting short term work permits for six months starting from January 2.

Dr Ali Bin Abdullah Al Ka'abi, Minister of Labour, has issued a new ministerial decision that allows companies in all sectors to apply for mission work permits for their employees who are in probation period or who are in the country for a short term job.

"Implementing the mission work permit will help solve the problem of people working on visit visa and it will give greater flexibility in the relationship between the employer and employee," said Al Ka'abi.

People working on a visit visa are illegal and are thus not protected by the Labour Law. "Contract that protects the worker's right will be issued together with mission work permit and a bank warranty, which is taken for each worker, will be liquidated in case of non payment of salary," said Al Ka'abi.

Brigadier Mohammad Al Merri, Director General of Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department, said the new type of work permit hopes to limit the misuse of visit visas.

"In the next period we expect to reduce the number of visit visas issued ... as companies will bring their workers on the mission work permit," said Al Merri.

Humaid Bin Deemas, assistant undersecretary at the ministry, said the three-year work permits created a dilemma between the employer and employee, which mission work permits can eliminate.

"Mission work permits will give an opportunity to both companies and employees to test each other before making a long term commitment," said Bin Deemas.

No six-month ban will be applied for workers on mission work permit if they decide to discontinue their work during the probation period, as per the new rule.

"Earlier only the employer had the right to terminate a contract during the probation period, but the new rule also allows the worker to discontinue their work during the probation without facing a year's ban," said Bin Deemas.

Mission work permits will be processed electronically and companies will be notified online.

Companies with less than 500 workers can initially get as much as 50 per cent of their total labour force as quota for the mission work permit, while companies with more than 500 workers can get 100 per cent of their total staff as quota.

Newly established companies with no employees will be given five workers as quota after they pay a bank warranty of Dh24,000.

Permit: Breakup of charges

Fees for issuing mission work permit:

Application fee: Dh100

Work Permit for 90 days: Dh500

Renewing the work permit for another additional 90 days: Dh500

Bank warranty for each work permit: Dh3,000 (Companies who have paid the maximum amount for bank warranty will be exempted)

Additional fees:

Interior Ministry to issue mission visa: Dh600

Medical Test: Dh600

Fines imposed in case of delays

  • If a work permit is not renewed within seven days from the expiry date if the worker is still in duty: Dh500
  • If a work permit has not been used and not been cancelled within 90 days of the issuing date: Dh500
  • If a labour card has not been issued after 30 days from the date the worker entered the country: Dh500 for every five days till the worker leaves