Under Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 and its executive implementing regulations (“New Labour Law“) which entered into effect in February 2022, all employee unlimited term contracts required be converted to fixed term contracts. A grace period of up to 1 February 2023 was put in place for all contract conversions in the UAE. Failure to meet the deadline risked penalties being imposed.

However, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) has recently announced an extension to the grace period for the conversion of contracts until 31 December 2023.

Notwithstanding the extension to the deadline we recommend that all employers continue their efforts to roll out contract conversions for all staff without delay. 

To speak to us in relation to the New Labour Law, any employment law related matters, or issues more generally, please reach out to the Baker McKenzie contacts below.


Joanna Matthews-Taylor is a partner in the Dubai office of Baker McKenzie and head of the employment practice. Joanna advises clients based in the UAE and wider Middle East region, on the full spectrum of employment law issues, including recruitment, employment contracts, benefits and termination. She has also advised clients on the employment aspects of corporate transactions, cross-border secondments and the mobility of employees in the Middle East. Joanna has worked with international clients in a variety of sectors including technology, life sciences, hospitality and insurance.


Aqsa Khan-Sadiq is a Senior Associate in the Dubai office of Baker McKenzie. She was admitted as a Solicitor of England and Wales in 2013 and has been practising in the UAE for over 6 years. Aqsa advises clients on a full range of contentious and non-contentious and employment law issues, including various contract drafting; providing strategic advice on disciplinary matters, termination and non-competition; bringing company procedures, contracts and company policies in line with the UAE Labour Law and the DIFC Employment Law; and assisting with the transfer of employees and due diligence during M&A transactions.


Sami Nasr is a paralegal in the Employment practice group at Baker McKenzie in Dubai. Sami's practice focuses on the employment perspective of both contentious and transactional matters in Dubai and across the Middle East. He also supports investigations into corporate corruption, embezzlement and other compliance-related issues.

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