• UAE Labour Law


    Our multi-lingual employment lawyers will advise & guide you on the key
    provisions of Federal Law No.8 of 1980, otherwise known as the UAE Labour
    Law, on the termination of both limited and unlimited term contracts.

Making the decision to dismiss an employee can be especially difficult if you are unsure of the provisions of local employment law.  At TWS Legal Consultants, we have been advising and representing UAE businesses on dismissals for over fourteen years.

Our lawyers are registered with the UK Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the Dubai Legal Affairs Department and have vast experience in UAE Labour matters.


Can an employee be terminated without notice?

Under Articles 88 and 120 of the Labour Law, an employee may be dismissed without notice if they:

  • submit false certificates or documents or falsify their nationality
  • are dismissed during or at the end of their probation period
  • cause substantial material loss to their employer (provided this is reported to the Labour Department within 48 hours)
  • commit a serious health and safety offence or disobey safety instructions (provided they are clearly visible and communicated)
  • fail to perform their basic duties and persist in this failure despite a formal investigation and warning being given
  • breach confidentiality
  • are awarded a final judgement by a competent court in respect of an offence prejudicing honour, honesty, or public morals
  • are discovered to be under the influence of alcohol and/or illegal drugs at work
  • assault someone at work
  • are absent without lawful excuse for more than 20 intermittent days or more than seven successive days over one year

What are the differences between terminating an employee under a limited or unlimited contract?

An employer can terminate a limited contract immediately if they can prove any of the instances under Article 88 and 120 of the Labour Law have occurred.  Otherwise a limited contract may not be terminated until the expiration of the contract. If the employer chooses to terminate for reasons not listed in the above articles, an employer could be liable for arbitrary dismissal.

In the case of an unlimited contract, breaches of the gross misconduct provisions under Articles 88 and 120 can allow for summary dismissal without notice and without end of service payment.  Furthermore, an employer may terminate an employee with notice as per their contract (minimum of 30 days and maximum three months) for a ‘valid reason’.  Although ‘valid reason’ is not defined, it encompasses matters such as poor performance and misconduct.

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