Receiving a job offer
The employment process in the private sector involves receiving a formal job offer, signing the employment contract, receiving a work permit and a work visa.
The offer letter contains important details of the job and an annex that summarises the most important aspects of the UAE Labour Law. Both parties must sign these documents.
As per labour reform regulations effective 2016, an offer letter made to a foreign worker becomes legally binding after it is signed by both parties. An offer letter to a foreign worker signed by both parties becomes a legal contract.
Hence, after signing, the employer is not allowed to alter or replace any provisions of the offer letter unless such changes have the consent of both the employer and the employee, are within the scope of law and do not compromise the rights of the employee.
The employer must ensure that the employee has read the offer letter and understood it. If it is proved that a worker did not go through the annexes before signing the labour contract, the employer will be fined AED 20,000 for submitting incorrect data to MoHRE.
If the employee is in the UAE, he must sign the offer letter before the employer can seek MoHRE's preliminary approval for his employment.
Employers must disclose the terms of the offer letter to MoHRE. A copy of the offer letter is stored in the MoHRE's database. Employees are issued work permits based on these offer letters.
Signing the contract
The employment contract is a document signed between the employer and the employee in which the latter undertakes to serve the employer and works under his management against an agreed fee paid by the employer.
The employment contract should be based on the offer letter signed by both parties and must be submitted to MoHRE within 14 days of the employee's arrival in the UAE based on the employment entry permit or from the date of status change (if you are in a status which allows you to transfer your visa; i.e. not having violated any law).
Language of employment contract
In January 2016, MoHRE approved a third language to be added on the job offer, labour contract and annexure.
In addition to Arabic and English, employees can choose from the following 9 languages: Bengali, Chinese, Dari, Hindi, Malayalam, Nepalese, Sinhalese, Tamil and Urdu.
This applies to workers coming from outside and those residing in the UAE that are seeking a new job, or moving from one company to another.
Read about the types of employment contracts in the private sector.