Employees must undergo a probation period in the UAE when they start a job. The duration of the probation period may vary from three to six months, depending on the policies defined by the company. If you plan to apply for a job in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or any of the other emirates, here’s everything you need to know about the probation period in the UAE.
WHY PROBATION PERIOD IS REQUIRED IN THE UAE?
The idea behind having a probation period in the UAE is to assess the employee’s performance within the first few months before offering them a permanent designation. During probation, the employee undergoes a thorough evaluation and performance screening.
Once the evaluation concludes, the employer will hire the person as a permanent employee if deemed suitable for the position.
PROBATION PERIOD RULES UNDER THE UAE LABOUR LAW
The Ministry of Labour in the UAE has established some rules regarding the probation period of employees in the country.
MAXIMUM EMPLOYMENT PROBATION PERIOD IN THE UAE
As per Article 9 (1) of Federal Decree-Law No. (33) of 2021 regarding the regulation of employment relationship:
“The employer may appoint the worker under a probationary period not exceeding (6) six months from the date of commencement of work.”
As per the clause, if the employment probation exceeds six months, this will be considered unlawful. In this case, the company will be held accountable or might need to compensate the employee.
2. CONTRACT TERMINATION
Terminating an employee’s employment during probation falls under Article 9 (1) of the UAE labour law. The employer can terminate the limited contract in the UAE during the probation period after notifying the employee in writing at least 14 days “before the date specified for the termination of service”.
As per Article 9 (5) of the UAE labour law 2022, if an employer or employee terminates the contract without taking into account the provisions of this article, they will have to compensate the other party an amount “equal to the worker’s wages for the notice period” or the “remaining period of the notice period.”
3. EMPLOYEE’S RIGHT TO RESIGN AND MOVE TO ANOTHER COMPANY IN THE STATE
According to the Article 9 (3) of Federal Decree-Law No. (33) of 2021, regarding the regulation of employment relationship, if the employee intends to work for another employer in the UAE during the probation period, he must notify the existing employer of his intentions in writing within a month to terminate the contract.
In this case, the new employer must compensate the original employer by bearing all the costs of recruiting the worker unless agreed upon otherwise.
There is a specific clause for foreign workers in Article (9) of the UAE labour law. According to Article 9 (4), if a foreign worker intends to resign in the UAE (end the employment contract) during the probation period, he must inform the employer within 14 days of the contract termination date.
In case they plan to return to the UAE and get a new work permit within three months from the departure date, the new employer will have to pay the compensation to the old employer [stipulated in clause (3) of this article unless agreed otherwise.
4. NO ENTITLEMENT TO SICK LEAVES
According to the Article 31 (2) of Federal Decree-Law No. (33) of 2021, regarding the regulation of employment relationship, the employee is not allowed a paid sick leave during the probation period in UAE. However, the employee may grant the worker an unpaid sick leave in the UAE.
5. ENTITLEMENT TO GRATUITY
According to the UAE Labour Law, an employee serving a probation period in the UAE is not entitled to gratuity.
After probation, continuing to work for the same company for a year allows you to avail of full gratuity. You can also look at the DIFC gratuity law in the UAE to better understand the regulations regarding gratuity payments.
6. NO EXTENSION IN THE PROBATION PERIOD
Extension in the probation period is illegal, specifically if the employee upholds the company’s performance standards. Similarly, an employer cannot put an employee on probation for a second time. According to Article 9 (2) of Federal Decree-Law No. (33) of 2021 regarding the regulation of employment relationship:
“It is not permissible to appoint a worker under probationary period more than once at one employer and if the worker successfully passes the probationary period and continues to work, the contract shall become valid according to the agreed terms. This period shall be counted within the term of service.”
FAQs about the Probation Period in the UAE
HOW LONG IS THE PROBATION PERIOD IN THE UAE?
The employee’s probation period is usually three to six months in the UAE. Any extension in the probation period that exceeds six months is unlawful.
ARE EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVES ALLOWED DURING THE PROBATION PERIOD?
Employees cannot avail of any paid sick leave while on probation in the UAE. If an emergency arises, it’s better to discuss it with the employer. But chances are high that you will be advised to take unpaid time off in such situations.
That concludes our post on probation period in the UAE. Every employee has to undergo a mandatory probation period before achieving permanent employment. It’s also essential for employees to know about the end-of-service gratuity payments in the UAE. Employees in the UAE should be aware of Tasheel, a system that fast-tracks all labour-related issues.
If you’re seeking a job or planning to apply for a study visa, you’ll need a police clearance certificate. Obtaining a police clearance certificate in the UAE is simple and hassle-free, provided you have all the paperwork prepared.
Stay tuned to MyBayut for more updates on the UAE rules and regulations.