UAE Alters Work Permit Laws

The UAE Ministry of Labor is beginning to implement a new set of laws regarding the issuing of work permits to expats living in the country. New procedures are also in place regarding the record of business owners who fail to comply with certain requirements.

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One of the major changes is that failure to pay workers’ salaries for two months or more will harm not just the company failing to pay but all companies under the same owner, with repercussions including other companies being unable to obtain work permits for employees.

In addition, any worker that manages to get a work permit from a company they are not actually working for will get a one-year ban from the country.

Labor Ministry official Humaid Bin Deemas Al Suwaidi said that the Ministry of Labor is focused on reducing fake work visas by reducing deceptions such as fake work visas or failing to cancel or renew a worker’s visa.

Al Suwaidi explained, “The ministry is investigating all companies who are asking the ministry to reduce fines on labor cards. We also check if this specific establishment is really operating effectively and the number of the workers sponsored by this company and also if the company is abiding by the labor law.”

He went on to explain that the only way for companies to reduce labor fines is if they can prove to the Ministry that they were unaware of the processes required to cancel or renew work visas. He elaborated, “It cannot be flexible if it is shown that there is no real working relationship between the employer and the worker.”

The fine for companies that do not renew labor cards will be AED 1,000 per month.

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