Free zone Labour Laws
Although the law stipulates that all employees other than the one listed under laws and mentioned in labour laws are subject to it. In practice employees in the Free zones such as Jabel Ali Free zone and Dubai Airport Free zone are subject to the rules and regulations of the free zone concerned and maintain their own employment contracts. However, the law will still apply and the provisions in the employments contract must be in accordance with law. Moreover, it should be noted that free zone employees are sponsored by the relevant free zones and not by their employers.
Such employees are seconded by the Free zones to companies established in the Free zones in return for amongst other things, a bank guarantee which is required to secure the employees dues and any end of service benefits which may be payable on termination of their employment contracts. However, although the free zones are technically the employee’s sponsor, the employee does maintain their right of action against their employers before the courts.
In additions, as will be discussed in section 19 below, when a new business is established it has to be registered with ministry prior to the employment of staff. The free zone authority sponsoring the employees, refer directly to the immigration authorities and not to the ministry. This is not to say that disputes between employees and their employers in the free zone will not first be heard at the ministry. The ministry may entertain such claims and there is nothing as yet under UAE law precluding that unless the free zone authority has a special ordinance governing the relationship between employee and employer.