The key changes include a six-month limit for bringing employment claims.
This restriction is somewhat offset by greater protection for employees against discrimination (including harassment) and victimisation.
There are also “enhanced family-friendly benefits and increased clarity for employers and employees in relation to the payment of salaries and other entitlements”, according to law firm Clyde & Co, which advised the DIFC on the law.
No specific details were provided about what those benefits or clarifications are.
Revolving door of change
The employment law update is the latest in a raft of moves the DIFC is making, as it works to consolidation its position as an international finance centre.
As reported by International Adviser, an insolvency law has been rolled out to meet international best practice guidelines.
It came into force on 13 June 2019.
In a further change, the DIFC has proposed reforming its family office regulations and it is also pushing ahead with its plans to introduce an end of service gratuity scheme from 1 January 2020.
International best practice
Jacques Visser, chief legal officer at DIFC Authority, said: “The DIFC prides itself in being the leading financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and south Asia region. We constantly review and develop our legislation and the new DIFC Employment Law is part of our drive to maintain our position as a market leader.
“We decided to instruct Clyde & Co, following extensive feedback from our public consultation, in order to ensure that the new DIFC Employment Law takes into account both employer and employee concerns and properly reflects international best practice.”
Rebecca Ford, employment partner at Clyde & Co in Dubai, added: ” The new law will certainly enhance the DIFC’s reputation as an attractive environment in which to work and do business in the UAE and the wider region.”