Working for two employers simultaneously in the UAE

Many articles are circulating online that claim that a UAE resident is entitled to work for two employers concurrently without permission from, or providing notice to, their primary employer. We have looked into the legal developments in the UAE, and whether one may work for multiple employers without the no-objection certificate (“NOC”) of their primary employer, and have discovered that the aforementioned claims are largely false.

In terms of Federal Decree Law No. 2 of 2007, where an employee is working for another company without a work permit issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, a fine of up to AED 50,000 will apply to the secondary employer.

However, a part-time employee may take on other part-time work without the consent of the primary employer provided that they obtain a part-time work permit.

Emiratis, GCC Nationals and expatriates, alike may apply for a part-time work permit in terms of which they are entitled to work for two employees simultaneously without necessitating a NOC which document would otherwise be required for a full-time employee failing which the abovementioned penalty would apply.

A full-time employee must obtain a NOC before taking on alternate part-time work. Worthy to note, even where a NOC is provided, the MOHRE may deny the request at its discretion.

The ability to work for two employers simultaneously is governed by Ministerial Decision No. 31 of 2018 and is confined to workers under part-time contracts. Also, per Article 7, “the Ministry shall notify every employer (whether primary or secondary) at the entities for which the worker works as soon as the worker obtains a working permit from it. The worker shall make the same notification to every employer for whom he works.”

Although NOC is not required where one is employed under a part-time employment contract, the employer(s) will have full knowledge of the other employer(s) and may take legal action in the event that they are a competitor.

Senat MEA is a full service platform, founded in 2014, with roots in Dubai that go back as far as 1984. Dedicated to trust and efficiency, at Senat MEA we ensure that our clients are equipped with leading counsel in navigating the region while taking into account the global nature of business and the importance of developing long lasting relationships.

Senat MEA’s team of lawyers, accountants and business consultants are highly qualified and come from a variety of backgrounds enabling us to supply you with incomparable expertise and outstanding services.

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