Search What are you looking for?

Clyde & Co launches latest Middle East Workplace study

  • Press Releases 20 March 2017 20 March 2017
  • Middle East

Global law firm Clyde & Co has today launched the findings of its bi-annual Middle East Workplace study.

The findings of the report are derived from analysis of a survey carried out by Clyde & Co. 150 businesses operating in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar were surveyed to find out how the majority of companies approach employment challenges in the region.
The aim of the report is to assist businesses operating and setting-up in the region with their employment issues. The report will help decision makers to consider best practices and specific employment nuances in each country.
The report analyses specific industries. These include: 

  • Construction  and Infrastructure
  • Defence
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality
  • Insurance & reinsurance
  • Professional services
  • Technology
  • Transport

Rebecca Ford, Employment Partner at Clyde & Co, comments: "We're delighted to launch the latest edition of our Middle East Workplace study. The success of the first edition and the numerous requests from clients encouraged us to widen the remit of this year's study. Consequently, we decided to publish dedicated studies for Qatar and the KSA, as well as the UAE.

"The sector analysis provides another layer of information, which we hope will prove useful for businesses operating in those industries."

Sara Khoja, Employment Partner at Clyde & Co, comments: "As well as analysing compliance with the labour laws, we are pleased that the workplace study enables us to help employers gain knowledge about practices both within and outside of their own industry. We hope to provide the survey on a bi-annual basis and to develop its content in line with information received on further points of interest”

Snapshot of Key findings


  • Contractual arrangements - Unlimited employment contracts continue to be the most popular type of contract used, with 83% of UAE Labour Law employer respondents opting to use unlimited contracts (compared to 85% in 2015).
  • Emiratisation - Almost half of the respondents indicated that they do not employ local nationals as Emiratisation is not applicable to them.
  • Family friendly - Almost all employers offer paid maternity leave in accordance with the statutory minimum entitlement pursuant to the applicable law.

Saudi Arabia

  • Notice periods - The survey results suggest that employers in KSA prefer to provide a notice period of no more than three months, with most respondents setting out notice periods of either 30 calendar days (45%) or greater than 30 calendar days/1 month but less than three months (45%).
  • Employment of KSA nationals - The majority of respondents employ between 10%-40% KSA nationals, with 38% reporting that they employ between 24%-39% KSA nationals.
  • Pensions & gratuity - Expatriate employees in KSA can expect to receive either their statutory end of service gratuity entitlement (75%) or any enhanced contractual end of service gratuity (25%). The vast majority of respondents do not offer a pension (88%).


  • Recruitment - The vast majority of respondents (77%) in Qatar carry out background and reference checks on potential candidates during the selection and recruitment process.
  • Employment of Qatari nationals - Despite regulations designed to promote the recruitment of Qatari nationals in the public and private sector, 41% of respondents confirmed that none of their workforce consists of Qatari nationals;
  • Leave - The majority of respondents (58%) in Qatar allow their employees to carry forward a limited number of days’ holiday entitlement per year.

To receive a copy of any of the studies, or the specific sector guides, please email