UAE: New DIFC Employment Law – Updated Position
As a reminder, the proposed new DIFC employment law was out for consultation which ended on 22 March 2018.
Since that time, the DIFC have been considering the extensive consultation paper feedback that it received and has been working on an updated draft law.
As at the date of writing, the proposed new law has not been enacted.
There has been some confusion in the market place as some law firms have run seminars on the proposed new DIFC Employment Law. In our view, such sessions are premature. The substance and form of the final version of new law may differ in some material aspects given the nature of the of consultation feedback. Accordingly, we do not consider it appropriate for companies to act upon the substance of the existing version of the proposed new DIFC Employment Law (eg. updating handbooks etc) when the final version may materially differ from the current draft.
The confusion has not been helped by the fact that the initial version of the proposed new law was issued for consultation without a draft watermark which led to many assuming that it had been enacted when this was not the case.
We understand that a final draft of the proposed new DIFC Employment Law will be circulated by the DIFC shortly and it will likely be accompanied by employment regulations which will sit alongside the new law. We anticipate that the new law will be enacted by year-end or early next year with the latter being the most likely timeframe.
For completeness, we provide a link to our initial alert, advising that the new DIFC Employment Law was out for consultation. As noted above, the final position regarding a number of the issues that we flagged at the time remains outstanding.