The Middle East is the region’s hub for international trade and commerce, attracting a range of multinational companies seeking to establish operations in the centre of this dynamic region. Our employment team advises public and private sector employers, onshore and offshore, throughout the region, ensuring our clients are provided with regular updates on the frequently changing laws in this area.
Our employment lawyers have experience in all relevant areas of employment law, from corporate support to due diligence and compliance to litigation. They help multinational, regional and local employers adapt their internal policies and procedures, in accordance with the requirements of local regulations and applicable standards, throughout our offices in the UAE, Oman, Lebanon and Iraq, including the DIFC free zone in Dubai, Tecom, Jafza and other relevant free zones.
Drafted with the goal of assembling a multinational workforce and building a sustainable work environment, labour laws in the Middle East are unique in their requirements and regulations. In order for one to effectively navigate through them, access to local knowledge and expertise is vital.
EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS & AGREEMENTS
Our team regularly advises multinational companies on policies, procedures and contractual documentation for all levels of staff, including but not limited to, service agreements, employment contracts and secondment arrangements.
We provide support to corporates on employee acquisitions and disposals, hypotax, saving and pension schemes, employee entitlements, immigration and residency rules, Ministry of Labour compliance, business reorganisations and relevant redundancies, updates to employment terms and conditions, staff handbooks and the transfer of employees. We also provide advice on grievance, disciplinary and subsequently dismissal procedures.
EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION & DISPUTES
Whilst our priority is to mitigate the risk of employment disputes for our clients, we avail a team of lawyers highly experienced and with rights of audience in their local jurisdictions, in proficiently conducting dispute resolution proceedings before the relevant labour courts and government authorities, including the DIFC Courts in Dubai.
We have a high success rate in representing employers and private clients on termination of contract and contractual disputes, end of service gratuity claims and settlement agreements, white collar crime and competition/non-compete and confidentiality breaches.
- Devising employee saving schemes, tax deductions, and housing allowances for a multinational oil service provider to ensure compliance with UAE Labour Law and avoid repayment of consensual deductions and double dipping upon termination of employment.
- Assisting the local subsidiary of a FTSE 500 company transfer over 250 of its employees to a new entity following the merger of the parent company in the UK while ensuring the continuity of their end of service entitlements.
- Successfully representing an international oil and gas company in a class action brought against it by a significant number of its employees.
- Advising a US multinational insurance company adapt its rigid bonus arrangement scheme and its international benefit and remuneration policies to comply with UAE labour laws and regulations.
- Advising various international corporations on the implications of ‘emiratisation’ in the UAE whereby employers of a specific size and in specific industries are obliged to employ UAE nationals according to UAE regulations.
- Advising various international and local companies on a range of employment matters in the UAE and DIFC, including the drafting of employment offers and contracts; the UAE Wage Protection System; mandatory medical insurance and other specific employee rights that are protected by law such as sick pay and maternity leave, and on appraisal schemes and procedures for the termination of contracts of employment in order to limit employer liability.
- Advising on the UAE Labour Law’s compulsory severance pay requirements and assisting employers with severance claims, especially in consideration of employer pension and retirements schemes.
- Advising on a full range of DIFC employment law matters and contributing to current efforts to reform the law.