Dubai, UAE: The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently hosted a workshop which highlighted practical aspects and considerations related to recruiting and employing staff, in addition to key issues which often arise during a typical employment cycle.
The workshop, led by UAE-based law firm Afridi & Angell, was held at Dubai Chamber’s premises and attended by Dubai Chamber members, lawyers and legal professionals, general managers, business owners, corporate counsel, human resources managers and contract administrators.
Afridi & Angell Partners Charles S. Laubach and Stuart J. Walker provided participations with a general overview of UAE Labour Law and discussed practical applications and implications of the law, in addition to common areas of ambiguity and challenges faced by professionals and companies.
The speakers covered a wide range of topics and issues related to recruitment and employment relationships, including probationary periods, key differences between full-time and contract employees, termination circumstances and procedures, end-of-service gratuity, voluntary resignation, redundancies, visas extensions and notice periods.
During the workshop, Charles Laubach elaborated on the unique nature of the UAE labour market which is largely represented by expatriates. He pointed out that employers assume several obligations under both the UAE Labour Law and the Immigration Law, including the sponsorship of employees and applying for residency visas.
“It is imperative to understand in detail what is permissible, what is not, what falls into the grey areas, and what the differences are in the many free zones of the UAE. A well-managed workforce can help a company succeed, while a poorly managed workforce can impose numerous undesirable costs and inefficiencies,” said Laubach.
Stuart Walker noted that Article 120 of the UAE Federal Labour Law states that the employer can terminate the employee without notice if the employee commits one or more specified acts of gross misconduct, adding that no gratuity is due to the employee in such circumstances.
“Both employees and employers should keep in mind that it is often quite difficult to actually terminate an employee under Article 120. Unfortunately, some employers abuse this option,” Walker added.
For her part, Ms. Jehad Kazim, Director of Dubai Chamber’s Legal Services Department, said the workshop provided participants with more clarity on the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees under the UAE Labour Law.
She stressed the importance of hosting events that provide the business community with a platform to pose their questions to legal experts and learn about best industry practices.
Dubai Chamber regularly organises training seminars and workshops to raise awareness about key business trends and laws impacting the emirate’s private sector. These events fall in line with its strategic objectives of creating a favourable business environment and supporting business growth in the emirate.