UAE: Can I work for another company during my annual leave?
Not following the Labour Law can lead to fines of up to Dh200,000.
Dubai: If you are on your annual leave and get an opportunity to work on a project for another UAE-based company, is it legal to take up such work? If you are looking at ways in which you can supplement your income with part-time work, it is important to understand what the UAE Labour Law and its executive regulations do and do not allow.
According to experts who spoke with Gulf News, the new UAE Labour Law, Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021, does not explicitly prohibit working for another company during the annual leave.
However, when it comes to a worker’s annual leave, and if he or she can work for another employer during that period, there is no specific regulation prohibiting such an action, according to Moamen Hamdy Abdelmoamen, Associate at Dubai-based law firm ADG Legal.
“So, the prohibition will depend on the text of the employment contract between the employer and the employee, which regulates the relationship between the employer and the employee in detail,” Abdelmoamen said.
“However, in all cases, the second company shall consider and comply with the work permit parameters under the New Labour Law and Entry and Residence of Foreigners Law No. 29 of 2021,” he added.
What happens if I want to work part-time during my annual leave?
According to Dubai-based lawyer Ludmila Yamalova, who is the Founder and Managing Partner of HPL Yamalova and Plewka DMCC, it is legal to work for another employer, as long as it is done correctly.
“Specifically, under the UAE Labour Law, employees can now work part-time or on a temporary basis, in addition to working for their main employer. However, you require a part-time or temporary work-permit, which must be obtained by the second employer. One of the conditions to receiving such a work permit is a no- objection certificate (NOC) from the current employer. Therefore, in relevant terms, as long as an employee has an NOC from the current employer, it is legal to work for another employer,” Yamalova said.
Fines for working illegally
Failing to follow the required process to work part-time can lead to strict fines being imposed on the employee as well as the employer who is found to have hired a worker illegally.
“The penalty for working without a proper work permit ranges from Dh50,000 to Dh200,000, applicable on both the other employer as well as the employee. Also, violation of the law gives the primary employer the right to terminate the employee, without notice,” Yamalova added.