Changes to the DIFC Employment Law serve to clarify ambiguities regarding the existing law and will increase the financial centre's attractiveness. Bradley Moran, elaborates on the latest amendments to Dubai International Financial Centre's Employment Law and what they mean for the hub's employees and employers.
Notable changes for all DIFC employers and employees include:
- Seconded employees now benefitting from settlement agreements and non-discrimination.
- Employees may also bring claims against their employers during their employment rather than only post-termination but no later than six months post-termination.
- For short fixed-term contracts of six months or less the probation period "may not exceed more than half the period of the fixed term contract".
- Employees can now carry forward at least five days and may, subject to agreement with their employer, carry forward all untaken vacation leave for a maximum of twelve months.
- Male employees on paternity leave shall continue to accrue their vacation leave.
- Certain employer health and safety duties for employees working from home.
- A period of secondment no longer qualifies as a period of service for the purposes of achieving the one-year minimum to be entitled to any end of service gratuity or contributions into DEWS.
- Multiple fixed-term contracts must be in succession to be aggregated for the purposes of determining the total period of service to calculate any end of service gratuity or contributions into DEWS.
- Any arrangement or agreement with an employee which has the effect of reducing an employee's basis wage by making wage related payments appear discretionary, non-regular or in reference to the profits of the employer are deemed null, void and unenforceable.
What do the changes mean?
The overall theme and focus of the amendments enacted is that of clarification. It is clear from the adjustments made that these amendments serve to clear up existing ambiguity, oversight, and unintended interpretations of the existing employment law.
This article was originally published for BSA in Arabian Business
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