expat network

New UAE Law Means Employers Must Keep To Contract Terms

Abu Dhabi Zayed mosque UAE

Changes to UAE employment law means employers cannot change contract terms without the consent of the Ministry of Labour.


The new mandatory employment offer letter from UAE companies will help expats understand what exactly awaits them once they land in the Emirates.

Quoted in Emirates 24/7, Thenji Macanda, Senior Associate at law firm Taylor Wessing, said: “The mandatory offer letter should promote transparency or openness between the employer and the employee. This will ensure that expats coming for employment are not in for any unpleasant shocks.

“In the past, [sometimes] expatriates were sent attractive employment offers/terms from the UAE whilst they were in their home country, but when they arrived in the UAE, they realised that those terms would not apply and they were offered less-favourable terms on arrival.
“The employees historically found themselves in a weak position to renegotiate once they had taken all steps to actually relocate to the UAE.

“The amendment to the law will benefit employees as it will ensure that the employer is held to the original attractive offer and will be unable to later change the terms and conditions in the employment contract without the consent of the Ministry of Labour, unless of course the terms are more generous in which case the employee benefits anyway,” explained the Taylor Wessing expert.

“We anticipate that the Ministry of Labour’s offer letter will be a simpler version than the standard Ministry of Labour employment contract and set out full details of the compensation, i.e. designation, notice, basic salary and allowances and these terms will need to be adhered to in the employment contract.

The UAE Ministerial Decree 764 of 2015 introduces a mandatory employment offer and states that an entry permit will not be granted for an expatriate employee until an employment offer has been lodged with the Ministry of Labour.