Skilled workers do not face UAE bans for job switches

I am an accounting executive and am currently visiting Dubai in search of a job. Is it possible to change a job after completion of one year with the current employer, or would there be a fine or a ban imposed? What is the minimum period of time I have to stay with a firm before changing my job? RV, India

The rules regarding employment bans changed in January 2016, so it is now easier for employees to change job without difficulties. The limitations are based on the employment category of a person’s visa. In brief, employees in skill categories one to three (specialised professionals, technicians and professional workers) will not face a six-month employment ban if they want to move to a new employer following completion of their notice period.

The notice period will be specified in the contract of employment but will be a minimum of one month. It sounds as if RV should get a visa in one of these categories, and it is important that people ensure that they are in the appropriate category. There are no fines that apply for changing job and employers are not permitted to reclaim the cost of employing someone, such as agency fees or their visa costs, from the employee. Also be aware that there is a penalty for breaking the terms of a fixed period contract of employment, of up to 45 days’ salary, but no such penalty on an unlimited contract.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 years’ experience. Contact her at Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE.

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only.

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