Starting January 2016, the Ministry of Labor in the UAE has announced new measures to renew work permits, previously known as labor cards, and expired contracts, by early 2016.
Humaid bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Labor Affairs said that under the new process, the signature of the employee on the contract shall constitute a fundamental requirement for approving the contract renewal and the issuance of new work permits, previously “labor cards”.
The new process will eventually put an end to the current work permit renewal procedures and simply requires the employer to notify the Ministry of his agreement with the employee to renew the contract concluded between them according to the same privileges and requirements as contained in the expired contract.
He explained that the new measures for renewing contracts and work permits grant the employee an opportunity to express his desire by opting to either accept renewal of the contract according to privileges and conditions stipulated in the expired contract, or amend these privileges and conditions upon agreement by both parties, which actively contributes to establishing a strong working relationship between them, or to completely end the relationship, relocate to another establishment, or return back home.
Al Suwaidi further asserted that according to the studies carried out by the Ministry on a constant basis, the new measures will significantly reduce labor disputes. Such studies have suggested that some of the workers whose employment contracts have expired, have filed complaints to the Ministry claiming that they did not sign their employment contracts’ renewals and that their employers converted their contracts into contracts for indefinite durations or vice versa.