United Arab Emirates updates

Employment & Immigration

Hello 2021, goodbye COVID-19? Navigating employment risks in a post-2020 world
  • United Arab Emirates
  • 27 January 2021

Many businesses appear to be more optimistic about the economic opportunities ahead in 2021. However, with news of a more virulent COVID-19 strain spreading internationally and a continuing impact on business travel, client meetings and office attendance, companies and HR managers must continue to be proactive, mindful and practical in relation to their workforce management. This article discusses five key areas of concern for businesses and the associated practical considerations.

Employment regulations in Abu Dhabi Global Market
  • United Arab Emirates
  • 09 December 2020

Major changes have been made to employment law in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). The changes aim to strengthen the ADGM's employment framework and its reputation as an international financial centre. This article highlights the main employment law themes of which senior management teams, HR managers and in-house legal teams must be aware under the changes.

Private sector equal pay law now in force
  • United Arab Emirates
  • 11 November 2020

The United Arab Emirates has updated its labour law to require equal pay for men and women who perform the same work or work of equal value. The change aims to strengthen the United Arab Emirates' commitment to gender equality in the workplace, according to a government press release. What counts as work of 'equal value' will be based on guidance and further details set by the government, following the recommendations of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

DIFC Data Protection Law – actions for employers
  • United Arab Emirates
  • 30 September 2020

When the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Data Protection Law came into force, it gave organisations a three-month grace period until 1 October 2020 to ensure compliance with the new provisions. The new Data Protection Law makes significant changes to the DIFC's existing data privacy regime, introducing changes to the duties and obligations of employers – in their capacities as data controllers – to their employees when processing their personal data.

Paid parental leave rights introduced
  • United Arab Emirates
  • 16 September 2020

Following a change in the law, employees of businesses which operate in the United Arab Emirates are now entitled to five working days' paid parental leave in the six months following the birth of their children. The new law will support families in achieving a better balance at home, which will in turn assist companies in achieving a better level of equality in the workplace. Therefore, it is a win for families, working parents and companies.

Intellectual Property

Contributed by Bird & Bird LLP
Trade secret protection overview
  • United Arab Emirates
  • 19 April 2021

As the United Arab Emirates is a signatory to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, trade secrets are protected in several ways. While there is no statutory definition of 'trade secrets', various federal laws protect confidential information. The Dubai International Financial Centre, a free zone which operates within the United Arab Emirates, recently enacted its own IP Law, which also provides protection for trade secrets.

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