The United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Labour will lift a six-month employment ban from January 2016 if a labour contract is cancelled by mutual consent, local media reported.
The cancellation of the ban is part of labour reforms that were introduced in September this year and are expected to take effect in January 2016.
According to a report by Al Bayan that quoted a senior ministry official, employees will be allowed to join another company even if they did not complete two years at their current employer, provided they have the company’s consent.
However, employees who have not yet completed six months with the first facility will be exempted from this clause, assistant undersecretary at ministry of labour Humaid Rashid bin Dimas Al Suwaidi said.
Currently all workers who terminate their employment contracts mutually and have completed two years are not allowed to join a new role until after six months of the cancellation of the work permit, he added.
But with the new rules coming into force, employees will be handed a new labour card immediately once they join a new role.
The measures are part of the UAE’s efforts to improve the mobility and flexibility of the labour force within the market to make it more competitive.
Al Suwaidi said that 340,000 workers, who did not complete two years, were unable to get a new work permit last year as a result of the previous rule.
Earlier this year, the UAE’s Ministry of Labour issued a set of new regulations that deal with labour contracts, termination and changing of jobs. In addition to cancelling the six-month employment ban, officials tightened regulations on contractual agreements between employees and employers.