Employment Rights During Probation That Every Employee Must Know


Landing a good job in Dubai is undoubtedly a dream come true for everyone. Regardless of the excitement you may feel after getting appointed, there are some UAE employment laws that you must know about.

Today we’re going to discuss some labour laws that are applicable during the probation period. So know your rights and use them wisely.

Probation Period

A probation period is a provision time during which the employer evaluates the newly hired employee’s performance. This period can last up to a maximum of 6 months. However, depending on the understanding of the employer, it can be shorter as well . During this period, the benefits that employees can usually enjoy under the Dubai labour law are limited. Similarly, the employer doesn’t need to give prior notice for termination as per Article 37 & 120 of UAE Labour Law.

UAE Labour Laws that are Applicable During Probation

As per the UAE Labour law, once an employee has been appointed, their probation period will be included in their service tenure.

Article 37 of Federal Law No.8 of 1980:  

Article 37 of the federal law 1980 clearly states that the probation period for any employee cannot exceed 6 months. Additionally, if the employee is hired permanently after the probation period, their probation period will be considered a part of their service period.

Article 120 of UAE Labour Law

Article 120 of the UAE labour deals with the termination of an employee during the probation period.  According to this article, if the performance of any employee isn’t as per the required metric standards, the company reserves the right to terminate their contract.

Article 116 of UAE Labour Law

If an employee resigns during their probation period, the laws dealing with it fall under UAE’s Labour Law’s Article 116 . As per this law, if an employee plans to leave early, they’ve to serve a notice period or pay some compensation depending on the number of days remaining as per their contract. However, it’s always wise to review your employment contract prior to applying for an early resignation. This will help you in knowing the liabilities you have to face in case you apply for early resignation.

Similarly, after Article 116 after the amendment in Federal law no.12 states that in case of breach of contract, the employee has to pay compensation to the employer for any loss incurred thereto the annulment of the contract. Nevertheless, if an employee wants to terminate their contract, they should engage any good law firm in Dubai to minimize the losses at their end.

Article 121

Article 121 of the UAE Labour Law deals with the situations in which an employee doesn’t have to serve the notice period before resigning. The situations in which an employee can leave work without prior notice include:

  • When the employer breaches their side of the contract and doesn’t perform their obligations accordingly.
  • In case the employer or any legal representative of the firm assaults the employee.

Article 6 of Ministerial Order 52 of 1989

Another important right that you as an employee has to keep in mind is that you do not have to pay the visa costs. The visa costs and sponsorship fees are the sole responsibility of the employer. It is clearly mentioned in Article 6 of the Ministerial order 52 of 1989. It states that any expenses arising due to the hiring of an employee must be borne by the employer.

Likewise, in case of the termination of the employment of the contract you’re not liable to pay for any visa costs.

Leaves During Probation Period

During the probation period, the employee can not apply for any paid leaves. This clause is clearly mentioned in Article 83 of the Federal Law no.12 as well. Therefore, if you’re facing any sort of medical emergency, discuss it directly with your HR manager and Team Lead.

Bonuses During Probation

As per Article 37 of the Federal Law no.8 of 1980, an employee isn’t entitled to enjoy the end of service if they’re still serving their probation period. Nevertheless, the probation period will be considered a part of service tenure once the employee is permanent. One more thing worth mentioning here is that no employer can extend the probation period beyond 6 months.

These are some of the basic rights that every employee working in the UAE must be aware of. Similarly, if they face any sort of discrimination from their employer. The employees should immediately seek legal action by engaging with experienced lawyers in Dubai who specialize in employment laws.


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