The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a large workforce for foreign companies to tap into. If you are considering setting up a new subsidiary, you will need to find top talent to fill your open positions while following United Arab Emirates employment compliance laws. As you recruit talent for your international team, you’ll also need an understanding of the culture and business etiquette in the UAE.
Globalization Partners can help by giving you access to local talent in days. We hire employees and assign their services to you, while they work on our locally compliant payroll and ensure that we meet all of the UAE’s labor laws.
Recruiting in the UAE
Before you begin staffing in the UAE, you’ll need to ensure that you’re making the most of your time by utilizing the best recruitment channels.
Many employers in the United Arab Emirates rely on recruitment agencies and advertisements posted on their company websites. These methods can be effective. That said, social media is gaining popularity as a way for qualified professionals to connect with prospective employers. You may want to spend some time updating your company’s pages on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media platforms.
Laws Against Discrimination in the UAE
As the employer, your duty to comply with anti-discrimination law begins as soon as you start the recruitment process. The UAE has several laws in place to ensure fair treatment throughout the hiring process and in the workplace. Much of the recent legislation focuses on preventing gender-based discrimination.
In the UAE, employers cannot discriminate against candidates based on:
- Martial status
- Mental or physical disability
Under UAE law, employers are also obliged to give preference in recruitment to UAE nationals followed by nationals of other Arab countries.
You can take a few steps to ensure that your company is compliant with these regulations during the recruitment process. First, you should be mindful of the language you use in your job advertisements, making sure you don’t mention traits you’re looking for in a prospective employee unless they’re legitimate requirements of the job.
You should also avoid asking about protected characteristics during the recruitment process. It’s okay to have a conversation about a candidate’s family, but do not ask about their marital status. Let the candidate lead the discussion when it comes to personal factors.
How to Hire Employees in the United Arab Emirates
If you are going to hire expatriate employees, the UAE requires employers to submit an employment contract before turning in an application for visa sponsorship. The contract you use depends on where your business is located in the UAE, but may be a simple template in Arabic. However, we recommend you add other terms such as benefits, compensation, and termination requirements. A strong employment contract written in both English and Arabic can help ensure both you and the employee agree to specific terms and protect your subsidiary in the event of a termination.
In November 2021, the UAE announced significant changes to its employment laws that will come into effect on February 2nd, 2022. Among these changes is the requirement that all employees be hired under fixed-term contracts less than three years in duration. Existing indefinite contracts will need to be converted into fixed-term agreements within one year of the law’s implementation.
United Arab Emirates employment compliance can prove tricky. Typically, companies establish a branch office or a subsidiary in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, or in a free trade zone to sponsor work permits and hire employees.
If you choose to work with Globalization Partners, we can ensure that you have access to that talent that you need in the UAE.
UAE Employment Laws
Make sure all employees working for your company have the appropriate visas and work permits. If an employee lives and works in the UAE without a visa, he or she will be asked to leave the country. This matter of compliance could lead to both your company and the employee in question to become blacklisted from working in the UAE.
Once you hire United Arab Emirates employees, you will still need to ensure their compliance throughout their employment term. Employees usually work Sunday through Thursday and have a mandated day off on Friday. The typical work hours for government employees are from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., but private companies can vary those hours and remain compliant. Normal working hours must not exceed eight hours per day or 48 per week. Overtime is permitted up to two additional hours per day, paid at 125% their normal hourly rate or 150% when overtime occurs between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. During Ramadan, the UAE’s local laws stipulate reduced working hours by two hours each day.
As of January 1, 2022, the UAE implemented a 4.5-day workweek for government employees, moving its weekend from Friday and Saturday to Saturday and Sunday. Work hours run from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with Friday’s hours shortened to 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. It is expected that private industry will follow this change as well.
Onboarding in the United Arab Emirates
Onboarding employees is a process that differs for every company. You can choose what onboarding procedures are best for your employees, but we recommend going over the employment contract with new workers during their first day or first week. In advance, put together any training or documents employees will need to succeed in their new roles.
Benefits of Hiring Outsourcing in the UAE
Before you can have access to talent in the UAE, you will either have to set up a local subsidiary to hire employees or work with a company whose employees can provide service to you in the UAE. By choosing United Arab Emirates to retain services with Globalization Partners, we can help you start working faster. While setting up a subsidiary on your own could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, Globalization Partners can get your project started within days.
Work With Globalization Partners To Expand Globally
Globalization Partners can hire United Arab Emirates employees who will provide the services your company needs to succeed. Contact us today to learn more.