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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 13 November 2018

UAE Labour Law changes affect employment ban rules for workers moving job

Keren Bobker explains the new rules for workers that are moving from one job to another in the UAE.
The Jumeirah Lakes Towers area of Dubai. Keren Bobker advises on the latest employment and financial issues. Sarah Dea / The National
The Jumeirah Lakes Towers area of Dubai. Keren Bobker advises on the latest employment and financial issues. Sarah Dea / The National

I started working for a company in Dubai at the start of January this year. My visa has been processed and stamped in my passport. My probation period is six months and my contract states that during the probation period either of the parties can terminate the employment with just one day’s notice period. My question is, can I switch jobs to another employer without problems? JT, Dubai

There have been a number of changes to UAE Labour Law that came into effect at the start of this year, and the main change is a significant reduction in the number of people who will receive an employment ban on changing jobs. In brief, employees in skill categories one to three (specialised professionals, technicians and professional workers) will not face a six- month employment ban if they want to move to a new employer following completion of their notice period. Lower-level employees, those in categories four and five (skilled workers and workers of limited skill), may move to another company without a ban provided they have completed at least six months with their current employer. Assuming JT is categorised as skill level one to three, he will be able to change job with immediate effect without receiving a ban.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 20 years’ experience. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only