Major changes have been made to employment law in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). The changes aim to strengthen the ADGM's employment framework and its reputation as an international financial centre. This article highlights the main employment law themes of which senior management teams, HR managers and in-house legal teams must be aware under the changes.
The United Arab Emirates has updated its labour law to require equal pay for men and women who perform the same work or work of equal value. The change aims to strengthen the United Arab Emirates' commitment to gender equality in the workplace, according to a government press release. What counts as work of 'equal value' will be based on guidance and further details set by the government, following the recommendations of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
When the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Data Protection Law came into force, it gave organisations a three-month grace period until 1 October 2020 to ensure compliance with the new provisions. The new Data Protection Law makes significant changes to the DIFC's existing data privacy regime, introducing changes to the duties and obligations of employers – in their capacities as data controllers – to their employees when processing their personal data.
Following a change in the law, employees of businesses which operate in the United Arab Emirates are now entitled to five working days' paid parental leave in the six months following the birth of their children. The new law will support families in achieving a better balance at home, which will in turn assist companies in achieving a better level of equality in the workplace. Therefore, it is a win for families, working parents and companies.
When a complaint from an employee cannot be resolved and a formal claim is filed, the procedure that will be implemented will be affected by a number of variables – not least whether the employer is located in the Dubai International Financial Centre, onshore mainland Dubai or another UAE free trade zone. Companies based in Dubai should be aware of the likely cost and time implications of defending employment disputes in the courts, along with the applicable laws and processes.