Switching Jobs in the United Arab Emirates: All the Information You Need

Without a doubt, the UAE is one of the most appealing job marketplaces in the Gulf. It is transforming into a global economic development hub. For expats looking for greener pastures when switching jobs, Dubai offers a plethora of options. While working for a company, there may be a constant temptation to leave for a better-paying position. However, you should exercise caution before changing occupations because it may result in a prohibition.

Before you sign a limited or unlimited contract with your employer, make sure you understand the technicalities. Also, choose your career carefully after conducting sufficient study, as changing employment may not be as simple. In this article, you will learn about all the ins and outs of the process of switching jobs in the Emirates.

1. Is switching jobs realistically possible? 

2. Switching Jobs in the UAE: Is it easier under the new Labor Law?

3. New Standards Equal to a Stable Labor Market

4. Periods of probation: A fair solution

5. What are the implications of the new UAE labor rules for maternity and paternity leave?

6. New UAE labor rules for maternity and paternity leave

7. Clause of Non-Competition

8. Exceptional Situations

9. Are you interested in switching jobs in the Gulf Region? The Talent Point is the bridge you need

1. Is switching jobs realistically possible?

It is possible to enter the process of switching jobs, either with or without completing your prior employer’s contract. Nevertheless, there are a few points to be aware of beforehand. This is if you want to avoid problems with your job and residency due to small work-related issues. To get out of your current employer’s grip, you will need valid ones. But first, let us go through what is vital when transferring jobs in the UAE. Remember that changing jobs in the country without following proper processes will almost certainly result in a penalty.

1.1 Forget about obtaining a letter of no objection from your prior employer

When changing jobs in the UAE, the first document you will need is a No Objection Certificate, from your prior employer. If you completed at least two years of your limited contract, you will receive this document. 

You and your employer will almost always have to agree on the termination of your contract and, if required, its renewal. You can request this certificate if both parties agree, so you can effectively transfer to a new employer.

1.2 To avoid banning, finish your limited contract

If you are on a limited contract, make every effort to complete it for at least two years. This will assist you in maintaining your high job standing. If you break your contract, your employer may file a complaint against you and place you on leave. If you do not obey this guideline, greater punishment may come your way.

1.3 Upon contract cancellation within two years, you or your employer may receive compensation

Within the first two years of your limited contract, you may face termination. If this occurs and the breach is your fault there is a process to follow. You must reimburse your employer for the equivalent of three months in order to avoid the employment contract violation ban. If your employer initiates the termination, you have the right to claim compensation equal to your three-month pay. 

One of the reasons for switching jobs could be this one. Even if your contract faces its end before expiring, you can resolve the problem by engaging with your previous employer. To avoid rejection on your application, make sure to find a solution for this before looking for a potential company.

1.4 If you are working under an unlimited contract, you should give at least one month’s notice

Contracts that are unlimited are more flexible than contracts that are limited. If you work under this form of contract, you should provide your employer with at least one month’s notice. 

Your employer will benefit from the notice period since it allows him to make the required arrangements before you go. You can also use your notice period to search for a new career or employer. During the last month of your service, attending in-person or virtual interviews is possible.

1.5 While you have an ongoing issue with your previous employer, it is acceptable to look for work and accept offers

Accepting new offers is fine if you have an open case with your old employer. However, your employment options may be scarce at this time. You can apply for a temporary work visa and work for six months until the litigation finds a resolution.

Make sure to stay involved in the legal struggle while you’re working for your new employer. Allowing your former employer to place all of the responsibility on you is not a good idea.

1.6 Look for a job that pays better

Of course, when switching jobs in the Emirates, you might think about your personal reasons. After you have settled with your old job, your next approach should be to hunt for a company that will provide you with greater income. It is usual to look for a higher-paying job. 

Almost every foreigner in the country is looking for a job opportunity that pays more than the one they had before. Use your future employer to convince them that you are worth the salary you are asking for.

1.7 Examine the deal considering all of its aspects

Your employment contract may not always provide everything you need to know. When switching jobs in Dubai, it is critical to give yourself time to study the offer in its entirety. Check to see whether your income and benefits are too good to be true. 

Some employers will try to entice you, but as an employee, you must be cautious. Especially if this is not your first time transferring jobs. Examine the job contract carefully. Complete it from beginning to conclusion. Also, this is a good preventive measure to avoid falling for fake job offers.

1.8 Online employer reviews in red

You can read employer reviews online if they are available. There are expatriates who provide comments and reviews to their present and prior employers; if you can locate this information online, do not neglect this step because it will help you find the next large employer.

2. Switching Jobs in the UAE: Is it easier under the new Labor Law?

Many private-sector workers on permanent contracts will move to fixed-term contracts as a result of the UAE’s new regulations.

The new UAE labor legislation, which governs the private sector, gives employees additional security and allows for more workplace flexibility. It will take effect on February 2nd, 2022, and represents one of the most significant modifications to labor regulations.

Many of the new regulations make it easier for people to switch jobs. Also, it protects the private-sector businesses that may have invested thousands of dirhams in hiring foreign workers.

3. New Standards Equal to a Stable Labor Market

Employers cannot force workers to leave the country after the end of a working relationship or the termination of a work contract, according to the law. Instead, employees will be able to transfer to another company.

Indefinite-term employment contracts will no longer be valid under the new guidelines. In replacement, there will be contracts that can extend for three years maximum. With the consent of both parties, these can be renewed multiple times.

Authorities say that previously, they had restricted and unlimited contracts, and end-of-service benefits and other rights were calculated differently. This complication is no longer a problem, and all entitlements are equal, regardless of the type of contract you hold or whether you were terminated or resigned.

When a worker starts a new employment position, however, there are severe new requirements governing probation for both the employee and the company. The new legislation, according to these authorities, brings local labor rules in line with international best practices.

4. Periods of probation: A fair solution

Employers must give a minimum of 14-days written notice if they want someone to leave their job before the specified end date, according to the new law. Probation periods cannot be longer than six months, and employers must give a minimum of 14 days’ written notice if they want someone to leave their job before the specified end date.

5. New UAE labor rules for maternity and paternity leave

This, according to experts, is a significant shift. Previously, an employer may fire a probationary employee at any time, for any reason, with no notice. The article has strengthened greatly, and it no longer permits swift termination.

There are a few items to keep in mind and be aware of:

  • Employees who choose to leave during their probationary period now face new legal consequences. 
  • The duration of the notice period obeys the cause for the employee’s departure and their plans for the future.
  • If neither of the parts complies with these norms, compensation equal to the employee’s wage must be paid.
  • If an expatriate employee leaves the nation without complying with the laws, they will not have the right to a work permit for a period of one year from the date of departure.

Specialists consider these probation requirements intriguing and brand new. Furthermore, they say their purpose is to dissuade employees from using specific firms as a gateway to the UAE. The cause for this, they say, is the high expense of hiring new employees.

The commercial sector has been asking for these improvements for years. In terms of probationary periods, the new laws will provide more clarity and stability to the labor market.

Because neither party can now terminate without notice during the probationary period, there will be less flexibility in some areas. The enhanced financial and employment security that this delivers to both sides, however, will benefit the private sector workforce.

The medium to the long-term practical consequence of legislative improvements like this one will assist the UAE to attract and maintain more outstanding enterprises and world-class talent.

6. The Labor Prohibition

If you do not follow the labor regulations, you may risk a labor restriction that lasts anywhere from 6 months to a year. Employees who signed a two-year contract with their employer but terminate it inside the first six months face a six-month suspension.

When an employee leaves or resigns from his or her work before the end of the limited period agreed upon between them and specified in the signed contract, an employer faces a one-year ban.

Taking care of such fundamentals will ensure that your Dubai work visa and work permit remain valid and that you are able to advance your career and obtain better jobs in Dubai without difficulty.

7. Clause of Non-Competition

When switching jobs in the Emirates, the employee is not allowed to join a competitor, according to this provision. This clause does not apply if the employer fails to meet the contract’s requirements. Anyone under the age of 21 is exempt from the non-competition clause. Furthermore, the phrase only applies to a few employment types. The purpose of this clause is to protect an employer’s legal interests rather than to prevent workers from moving.

8. Exceptional Situations

There are some unique circumstances in which you may be eligible for a work visa prior to the two-year commitment.

  • If you have a new offer that fits into one of the first, second, or third categories of professions as defined by the Department of Naturalisation and Residency Dubai (DNRD) and has a salary offer of Dh.12,000, Dh.7000, or Dh.5000 in class one, two, or three, respectively.
  • When taking no part at the end of your employment relationship with the employer or if the labor contract terminates owing to a violation of the employee’s labor and legal obligations, the employee is free to change jobs without the employer’s permission.
  • If you are changing jobs from a private corporation to a government or semi-government agency.

9. Are you interested in switching jobs in the Gulf Region? The Talent Point is the bridge you need

The process of looking for a job can be pretty difficult if you do not have the right guidance, especially in such a competitive market like the one we have today. This is why TheTalentPoint provides you with all the resources we canyou need so that your process of switching jobs ends up being smooth and prosperous. If you need some tips for switching jobs, in Dubai and the rest of the Emirates, this is the place to come.

Would you like to know how we can help you? You can contact us at +97143316688. Also, you can reach us via email at [email protected]. Our agents will be happy to assist you and answer all of your questions.

Mehak Nabila

Mehak Nabila
Mehak is a Business Development Manager at Connect Resources. She specializes in Planning and bringing new business to the company by researching for new organizations and individuals to seek new opportunities and building a fruitful relationship with our partners and clients locally and internationally; Handling Accounts as well as focusing on Business Development. She has background in Airlines and Hospitality industry. Studied Travel & Tourism along with Hospitality in London (UK) and moved to the UAE in 2018.

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