Employment contracts and records

Employment contracts with UAE nationals are not required to be in written form; however, labor expatriate employee will require a permit issued by Labour Ministry unless an employer has filed a formal written contract. Whether an employee is national or foreign, contracts for both of them comes in the form of limited employment contract or fixed term contracts, specifying the duration of time (mostly two years) and are including commencement and completion date and also the unlimited contracts where he commencement dates is mentioned and the contract may come to end when terminated by either party giving prior notice.
According to law, all contracts must specify these:

  • Wages /remuneration payable to employee
  • Workplace of employee
  • Date of joining
  • Nature of contract i.e., limited or unlimited
  • Duration of employee’s contract
  • Nature of work assigned
  • Date of signing the contract

The Ministry of Labour office issues contract in both Arabic and English i.e. the standard form of contract, where both the employer and employee needs to fill their part of relevant information.
However, employer and employee possess the potential of drafting their own contract themselves as long as the contract is in Arabic language and the terms of the contract have no counter statement with the provisions of law.

Probation period

The employment probation period can last up to six months. An employer cannot engage an employee for more than one probation for himself. Without any consequences, the employee can resign any time during the probation period. Conversely, the employee may be terminated from his employment during this period without receiving any gratuity or notice from the employee. After the end of the probation period, he time elapsed is added to the overall service period of an employee.


Accurate records of each employee shall be maintained including personal details, past medical issues, the entitlement of sick leaves, leave encashment and any other relevant information. Usually, larger companies maintain additional records.