Proven Solutions to Help You Hire Staff Quickly, Efficiently and Compliantly
At New Horizons, we provide employment solutions to our clients throughout the UAE. Our Professional Employer Organization (PEO) services allow us to hire qualified candidates on your behalf and give you access to a global network of talent. By taking advantage of our PEO services, you can launch your business in the UAE without having to provide minimum capital investments or establish a separate legal entity, which is often a time-consuming and tedious process.
United Arab Emirates (UAE) employees are hired by us and we serve as the employer of record. We hire all workers in compliance with local labor laws and use best practices to locate, recruit, hire and onboard staff members. You can then lease the employees back and manage the daily activity and oversight of these employees. This unique arrangement gives you the advantage of having local employees while you outsource the responsibilities and liabilities associated with establishing an employment relationship to a local expert. We can also manage your HR services, tax and compliance measures through our global platform.
Some of the things that you should be aware of before choosing to hire staff in the UAE are described below. By using our PEO services, you can delegate the responsibilities that are described to us while you focus exclusively on your business operations.
Benefits of Using a PEO
Using a PEO allows foreign businesses to avoid the expense and time involved in setting up a separate legal entity or branch office. Additionally, a PEO can take on the employer responsibilities and legal liabilities by being the employer of record. New Horizons Global Partners also provides a broad range of HR services, payroll functions and administrative services so that the foreign business does not have to learn complex laws and regulations in other countries. Businesses are free to scale up or down as the needs of their business dictate. This makes a more productive and efficient workplace without exposing the company to liability or risking the infrastructure of the business.
Hiring Foreign Staff in the UAE
If you hire foreign staff in the UAE, you must sponsor employees under the correct visa, such as through an employment visa if the worker is employed in the mainland. This requires that you have a business license first. If the employee is employed in a free zone, the free zone authority in the area where the employee works regulates the employment relationship. Each free zone authority has its own unique rules and regulations.
Employees who do not have the proper visa or who are sponsored by a company that does not have the appropriate license may be required to leave the UAE. Additionally, the business can be blacklisted from operating the business in the UAE.
By retaining our PEO services, you can have access top talent in the UAE without having to set up a separate legal entity or branch office for your business.
Employment Contracts in the UAE
Written employment contracts are mandatory for visa sponsorship of an employee. They are also customary for companies hiring employees in the UAE. This contract should clearly indicate the employee’s rate of compensation, termination requirements, benefits and other key information detailing the employment relationship. In some instances, default laws apply regardless of what is in the employment contract. However, in other situations, these default rules can be avoided by providing clear and specific clauses in the contract. It is important for foreign businesses to use employment contracts that comply with local labor laws.
We draft compliant employment contracts that have been approved by local labor organizations.
UAE Working Hours
The standard work week in the UAE is Sunday through Thursday with Friday and Saturday comprising the weekend. Friday is the only day off that employers must give employees off. Local private companies often have a five and a half or six-day work week. If an employee is required to work on Friday, he or she must be given another day off or be paid 1.5 times his or her normal rate of pay. The maximum work week is 48 hours with eight hours maximum per work day. During the Ramadan season, working hours have to be reduced by two hours per day.
UAE Public Holidays
Employees in the private sector must receive full pay on official holidays. For 2019 and 2020, public holidays in the UAE include:
- Gregorian New Year
- Eid Al-Fitr
- Arafah Day
- Eid Al Adha
- Hijri New Year
- Commemoration Day
- National Day
Laws on Vacation Leave in the UAE
Most employers offer employees 30 days of vacation leave if they have worked for the company for at least one year. If the employee has worked for less than six months, he or she is not entitled to vacation leave. If the employee has worked more than six months but less than one year, the market norm is to provide the employee to two days of vacation time for each month worked. For example, if the employee has worked nine months, he or she would normally be entitled to 18 days of vacation leave. Vacation time can be carried forward if it is not used or can be paid to the employee if he or she does not take the time off work.
UAE Policy on Sick Leave
In the UAE, employees are eligible for up to 90 days of sick leave per year once they have worked for a company for at least three months after any probationary period. Vacation leave is paid at the following rates:
- Full wages for the first 15 days of sick leave
- Half amount of monthly wages for the following 30 days
- No wages for the remaining time period
If the employee’s sickness is due to his or her own misconduct, he or she is not entitled to sick leave.
Maternity and Paternity Leave in the United Arab Emirates
Mothers who have worked for a company continuously for at least one year are entitled to 45 days of fully paid maternity leave. If the mother has not yet accumulated a year of continuous service, she is entitled to the same term of leave but at half pay. Mothers can then extend their maternity leave for up to ten more days without pay.
For up to 18 months after having the baby, mothers can take two breaks of up to 30 minutes for nursing.
UAE laws do not mandate paternity leave for fathers, but many private companies offer at least three days of paternity leave.
Severance Rules in the UAE
Employees in the UAE who have worked one or more years of continuous service are entitled to severance pay if terminated. His or her wages are equal to the following rate of pay based upon his or her length of service:
- 21 days for a length of service between one and five years
- 30 days per year of service for every year after the first five
If an employee has an indefinite employment contract with no specific end date and he or she resigns, the employee is entitled to the following amount of severance pay:
- One-third of 21 days’ salary for between one and three years of service
- Two-thirds of 21 days’ salary for between three and five years of service
- 21 days for service extending beyond five years
UAE Health Insurance Benefits
Abu Dhabi and Dubai require employer-provided health insurance coverage. Insurance for the employee’s spouse and dependents is also required. Businesses in other Emirates often provide employees with employer-sponsored health insurance even when not required by the employer.
Other Employment Benefits in the UAE
UAE labor laws allow an employee to receive a once-in-their-lifetime unpaid pilgrimage for up to 30 days.