New DIFC Employment Law: 5-day paternity leave

By Eudore R. Chand

DUBAI 13 June 2019: A new Employment Law for Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), has been issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, in his capacity as Ruler of Dubai.

The newly-enacted Law No. 02 of 2019 compliments the DIFC’s commitment to international best practice, addressing key issues such as paternity leave, sick pay and end-of-service settlements.

Employer-focused provisions include:

  • Expansion of employee duties
  • Reduction of the statutory sick pay
  • Limiting the application of mandatory late penalty payments for end-of-service settlements
  • Recognising settlement agreements between employers and employees.

Employee-focused provisions include:

  • Introduction of five days of paternity leave
  • Penalties for discrimination
  • Penalties have also been introduced to ensure adherence to basic conditions of employment, visa and residency sponsorship

The new Employment Law, which will come into effect on 28th August 2019, clarifies the application of DIFC’s employment regime to employers and employees, including seconded, part-time and short-term employees. The law centres around the necessity to balance the needs of employers and employees in the DIFC while maintaining a robust framework of employment standards that contribute to the success of the Centre.


Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, told Wam: “The DIFC Employment Law enhancements are integral to creating an attractive environment for the almost 24,000-strong workforce based in the DIFC to thrive, while protecting and balancing the interests of both employers and employees.”

The new law was subject to substantial research and global benchmarking, as well as thorough public consultation, which helped shape the law to ensure that the DIFC remains the most sophisticated and business-friendly Common Law jurisdiction in the region.

DIFC noted that the new Insolvency Law and Regulations, which was published and announced on Tuesday, will come into effect on 13th June 2019.


Mohammed enacts new DIFC Insolvency Law

Dubai Gazette