In Dubai, a company can request an employee to perform additional tasks only in exceptional circumstances or to correct the assigned work.
Question: I work in a mainland company in Dubai. I accepted a job offer after going through the requirements thoroughly. The management is now changing my job description to add more tasks. Is this legal?
Answer: Pursuant to your query, as you are employed in the mainland of Dubai, the provisions of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations and Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 on the Implementation of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 Regarding the Regulation of Employment Relations are applicable.
In the UAE, an employer may not assign another work to an employee which is substantially different from the work agreed upon in an employment contract. However, an employer may call upon an employee to do another work only in cases of emergency or to rectify the work assigned to an employee.
This is under articles 12 (1) & (2) of the Employment Law, which states,
“1. An employee may not be assigned with another work which is substantially different from the work agreed upon in the employment contract, unless such an assignment is necessary or aims to avoid an accident or rectify the consequences thereof, provided that the assignment is temporary as specified by the Executive Regulations of this Decree-Law.
“2. An employer may, in cases other than those stated in paragraph (1) above, entrust the employee with a work that is not agreed upon in the employment contract, with the written consent of the employee.”
The aforementioned Article 12 of the Employment Law is read with Article 13 of the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, which states:
“1. Subject to the provisions of Article (12) of the Decree-Law, an employee may be assigned to alternative work that is fundamentally different in nature from the contractually agreed work, as an exception that is considered necessary, or to prevent an accident, or to repair damage caused by the worker. The maximum limit for assigning the employee to such work shall be of (90) ninety days per year.
“2. In application of Clause (1) of this Article, ‘fundamental difference’ shall mean that the work to which the employee is assigned is completely different from the nature of his profession or his academic qualification.”
However, an employee may quit his employment without serving notice to an employer upon filing a complaint with the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MoHRE) if an employer assigns substantially different work.
This is in accordance with Article 45(4) of the Employment Law, which states,
“An employee may quit the work without notice and reserve all his entitlements at the end of service if the employer entrusts the employee with a work that is substantially different from the work agreed upon in the employment contract, without the written consent of the employee, except in cases stated in Article 12 hereof."
Moreover, if you do not wish to carry out additional work assigned by your employer which is not mentioned in your employment contract, the employer may not force you to carry out such work.
This is in accordance with Article 14(1) of the Employment Law, which states,
“An employer may not use any means susceptible of obliging or forcing an employee or threatening him with any penalty, to work for him, or forcing him to do a work or deliver a service against his will.”
Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, the Employment Law and its subsequent ministerial resolutions are silent on assigning additional work to an employee other than those mentioned in the employment contract. The aforementioned provisions of laws are specific that if an employer assigns work which is different from the designation and profession of an employee, such assignment of work is not legal. If your employer assigns additional work other than those mentioned in your employment contract and if such additional work is not similar to your designation and profession, then you may file a complaint against your employer with the MoHRE.
News Source: Khaleej Times