The new ADGM Employment Regulations will come into force on 1 January 2020. The New Regulations follow a public consultation that was implemented earlier this year and repeal the old ADGM Employment Regulations 2015, as amended. This article sets out five key changes that ADGM employers should be aware of.
The new ADGM Employment Regulations 2019 (the New Regulations) will come into force on 1 January 2020. The New Regulations follow a public consultation that was implemented earlier this year and repeal the old ADGM Employment Regulations 2015, as amended (the Old Regulations). This article sets out five key changes that ADGM employers should be aware of.
One of the key changes is the introduction of statutory overtime for eligible employees. The Old Regulations provide that working time shall not exceed an average of 48 hours for each seven calendar day period unless the employee has first given written consent. The New Regulations provide that:
The new overtime provisions are more aligned with the position under Federal Law No. 8 of 1980, as amended (the Federal Labour Law) with some differences (for example, timing for payment of overtime and applicable exclusions).
The Old Regulations provided for 60 business days sick leave at full pay. The New Regulations still provide for 60 business days of sick leave, however, sick leave pay is now broken down into:
The above breakdown is more closely aligned with the position in the Federal Labour Law and also mirrors the position under DIFC Law No. 2 of 2019 (the DIFC Employment Law), which came into force on 28 August 2019.
In addition, the New Regulations provide that the employer may terminate an employee who has exceeded 60 business days sick leave in any 12 month period, save where the employee has taken sick leave due to a Disability.
Given that the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation allows for one and three month notice periods, and the DIFC Employment Law has a three month notice period for those with five or more years of service, this is an interesting breakaway from the new status quo.
The New Regulations require notice to be in writing and removes the 90 calendar day minimum notice period for continuous employment of five years or more. The minimum notice is now therefore:
The Employment Regulations 2019 (Compensation Awards and Limits) Rules 2019 (the Rules) prescribe the fines and potential compensation that can be sought for breach of the New Regulations. By way of example, if an employer fails to pay all Wages and any other amounts owing to an employee within 14 calendar days of such sums becoming due, the court may order compensation as it considers just and equitable up to a maximum sum equal to the last Daily Wage for each calendar day during which the employer failed to comply.
The anti-discrimination provisions are expanded to include colour as a protected class. In addition, the Rules provide that where there is a breach of the section 54 discrimination provisions, the court:
ADGM employers should:
 Any defined terms which are not defined in this article shall have the meanings ascribed to them in the New Regulations.