20 February 2023

Terminating Employment Contracts And Arbitrary Dismissal Under The New Federal Labour Law No 33, Year 2021

Rousan & Associates


Rousan & Associates Legal Consultants FZ-LLC, a legal consultation office based in United Arab Emirates. The main expertise is representing and advising clients in areas of laws include Employment, Commercial Companies, Banking, Intellectual Property, Real Estate, commercial, civil, and along with others.
Employers and Employees still have the right to terminate the contract with immediate effect without granting a notice period.
United Arab Emirates Employment and HR
To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on

Either party of the employment contract can terminate the employment contract provided that the party who wishes to terminate the contract must grant the other party a written notification of the termination, which is a minimum of 30 to a maximum of 90 days, as stated in the employment contract.

Employers and Employees still have the right to terminate the contract with immediate effect without granting a notice period, The party who did not abide by the notice period shall pay the other party compensation, which is called notice period allowance, even if the absence of notification does not cause damage to the other party and the compensation shall be equal to the worker's wage for the full notice period or the remaining part thereof. The notice period allowance is calculated according to the last wage received by the worker for those who obtain their wages on a monthly, weekly, daily, or hourly basis and according to the average daily wage referred to herein for those who obtain their wages on a piecework basis.


The employer may dismiss the employee without notice after and without paying any notice allowances in certain cases after conducting a written investigation with him, and the dismissal decision shall be in writing and justified. The employer or its representative shall hand it over to the worker in any of the following cases:

  1. It is proven that the worker impersonated another person or submitted forged certificates or documents.
  2. The worker committed a mistake that resulted in gross physical losses to the employer, or he deliberately damaged the properties of the employer. He acknowledged the same, provided that the latter informs the Ministry of the incident within (7) seven working days from the date of being aware of the occurrence of the incident.
  3. The worker violated the instructions of the establishment's by-law related to the safety of work and workers or the workplace, provided that they are written and hung in a visible place. The worker is informed of the same.
  4. The worker did not perform his basic duties according to the employment contract, and he continued breaching them despite conducting a written investigation with him for this reason, he is notified and warned of dismissal twice if this is repeated.
  5. The worker disclosed one work secret related to industrial or intellectual property, which resulted in losses to the employer, missed opportunity, or achieving a personal benefit for the worker.
  6. The worker is drunk during working hours, is under the influence of narcotics or psychotropic substances, or commits an action breaching public morals at the workplace.
  7. The worker assaults during work the employer, manager in charge, one of his superiors, or colleagues at work, by word, action, or any form of assault that is punishable under the legislation in force in the State.
  8. The worker is absent without a legitimate reason or excuses accepted by the employer for more than (20) twenty intermittent days during one year or more than (7) seven consecutive days.
  9. The worker exploited his position in an illegal way to obtain personal results and gains.
  10. The worker joins another establishment without abiding by the rules and procedures prescribed in this regard.


The employee quit work without notice while retaining his rights upon the end of service in any of the following cases:

  1. The employer's breach of his obligations towards the worker stipulated in the contract, this Decree-Law, or the resolutions issued for its implementation, provided that the worker notifies the Ministry fourteen (14) working days before the date of quitting work and without the employer's rectification and removal of the effects resulting from this breach despite being notified by the Ministry of the same.
  2. It has been proven that the employer or its legal representative assaulted the worker, or committed violence or harassment against him at work, provided that he informs the competent authorities and the Ministry within (5) five working days from the date on which he was able to report.
  3. If there is a grave danger at the workplace that threatens the worker's safety or health, provided that the employer is aware of its existence and does not take any actions that indicate its removal. Then, the Implementing Regulation hereof specifies the rules of the grave danger.
  4. The employer instructs the worker to perform a work fundamentally different from the work agreed upon in the employment contract without obtaining the worker's written consent on the same, except for the necessary cases as per the provisions of Article (12) hereof.


The new employment law stated the words "illegal termination'' or 'illegal dismissal'. It specified the case when the employee is considered illegally dismissed, that only when the employer terminates the employee because of a complaint or a case registered by the employee against the employer at the concerned authorities "The Court" or "Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization" or any concerned authorities.

Previously, there was a long and complicated argument regarding the reasoning for terminating employees, for example, saying that the employee's position is not needed, the restructuring, the employer's bad financial situation or any other similar reasons. The complicated argument in this regard was about considering the termination arbitrary or not. In practice at Dubai Courts, most employees used to get arbitrary dismissal compensation equal to 1 to 3 months of their full last salary. But this situation has been ended and essentially amended, as according to the new law, there will be no arbitrary dismissal compensation, whatever the reason for the dismissal was, except proofing that the dismissal was because of a complaint or a case filed to the competent authorities by the employee against the employer.

Accordingly, the employer shall have the right to terminate the employee for any reason, and the employee shall have no right to claim arbitrary dismissal. The only exception to claim such compensation will be only proofing that the dismissal was because of a complaint or a case filed by the employee against the employer.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

See More Popular Content From

Mondaq uses cookies on this website. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies as set out in our Privacy Policy.

Learn More