Working part-time in the UAE: 2022 Guide

working part time in Dubai

Part-time workers play a crucial role in many economies around the world. Flexible working, which can be fitted around other responsibilities such as childcare, can be an important way for people to stay in employment and it gives employers flexibility too in employment rotas, as well as being a means to retain talented staff. Some people also take up part-time roles to supplement their income from full-time roles.

While part-time work hasn’t traditionally been something that many employers in the UAE have offered, this is changing as the economy continues to diversify.

However, there are certain rules around part-time working in the UAE that people thinking of taking up such arrangements need to be aware of. This article covers the following topics:

  • Is it legal to work part-time in the UAE?
  • Rules for part-time work for people on work visa
  • Rules for part-time work for people on family visa
  • Part-time contract system explained
  • How to get a part-time work permit in the UAE
  • How much does a part-time job pay in the UAE?
  • Why work with Worldwide Formations?

Is it legal to work part-time in the UAE?

Yes, it is legal to work part-time in the UAE, but there are certain conditions that employees have to stick by.

For more than a decade now, the UAE’s Labour Law has permitted employees to have a part-time job alongside a full-time position. But to be able to do this, the employee needs to have a work permit, which can be obtained from MoHRE – the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

To gain a part-time work permit there is an AED100 application fee, along with an approval fee of AED500. This is paid by the prospective employer.

This permit is vital – if an expatriate is found to be working for more than one company without having the permit, the second company the person works for will be fined AED50,000. Other penalties are applied in addition to this if the company is a repeat offender.

Rules for part-time work for people on work visa

The rules for Emiratis, other GCC nationals and expat employees that living in the UAE on a work visa are slightly different. They can also work a second job if they have a part-time work permit, which lasts for 12 months.

This permit allows a person to work in a second job part-time at the same time as working for another company, but they can do so for no more than eight hours a day.

Rules for part-time work for people on family visa

Meanwhile people living in the UAE on a family visa can work a second part-time job, although to get a part-time work permit, they also need to have a no objection certificate (NOC) from a sponsor. It is also important to note that only men and women aged 18-65 are eligible to receive these permits.

Part-time contract system explained

The part-time system changed significantly in 2018, when the MoHRE bought in a new law, MD No31, permitting businesses to recruit skilled employees from inside the UAE or from other countries under the part-time contract system. These contracts are restricted just to skilled workers – defined as those with university degrees or higher and people who have a two- or three-year diploma in a technical or scientific discipline.

Under this system, part-time contract employees can have several jobs without having to first get the original or secondary employers to approve the move first. The only stipulation is they have to have an MoHRE permit.

It should also be noted that ‘primary’ employers – the employer employing a person full-time – have to pay the costs that go with sponsoring them and also have to provide statutory benefits as stipulated by UAE Labour Laws.

Secondary employers have to pay the employee’s salary as well as the costs involved in obtaining a part-time work permit. Secondary employers don’t have to give statutory benefits to their employee but can do so if they wish.

How to get a part-time work permit in the UAE

As mentioned, a part-time work permit is needed from the MoHRE to be able to work in a part-time role. The employer recruiting part-time staff has to apply for the permit. This process can be completed online via the MoHRE’s website, or, if preferred, in person at Tas’heel services. The permit usually lasts for six months.

There are also a variety of documents that need to be submitted by the employer on behalf of the employee as part of the permit application process. These documents include copies of the applicant’s passport, the job contract, the applicant’s visa – which should have more than six months validity – and, if required, the applicant’s academic qualifications. A colour photograph of the applicant, taken against a white background, is also needed.

In addition, there are several documents that the prospective employer has to submit. These include a copy of the trade licenses for the full- and part-time employers, an NOC to show that all relevant parties are aware of the applicant’s contract for part-time work and an NOC from the full-time employer, in instances where the employee already has a full-time position.

However, please note that a part-time work permit is not the same as a freelance work permit. Freelance workers will need to complete a different application process.

How much does a part-time job pay in the UAE?

There are now a wide variety of roles available for those seeking part-time employment in the UAE, ranging from sales assistants in retail stores, to call centre workers to tutors to translators. As the UAE economy is growing quickly across the board, there is consistent demand from employers for new staff – skilled and unskilled. No matter what your skill set, as long as you possess good references from previous employers or educational establishments there should be a part-time role suited to you in the UAE.

Part-time employees’ average monthly earnings are currently about AED3500. Of course, there is potential to earn much more than that, but it depends on the role and the number of hours worked during a month.

While money is attractive – especially if it is for a second job – for others the flexibility is key, which is why roles are often attractive to students or parents who have other responsibilities.

Why work with Worldwide Formations?

Working part-time in the UAE can bring the flexibility that people need to balance work and home lives. However, as described above, the rules for working part-time can be complex and there are risks for a person or an employer if they don’t adhere to all the rules. This means knowledge is power and consultants such as Worldwide Formations can help people negotiate the process to apply and pay for work permits.

Worldwide Formations are vastly experienced in the process of business setup in the UAE and with helping people to negotiate the complexities within the local laws. Thanks to our consultants’ local knowledge and vast experience we can ensure people are able to take up part-time employment in UAE as soon as possible.

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