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Child Labor Law in the UAE – Everything You Need To Know

Framework of Labour Law

With the Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization implemented a comprehensive legal framework to regulate the labour law within the UAE. Within this regulation, one can find the rules regarding the labour of juveniles. A juvenile, according to law, is defined as a person who has reached the age of 15 but has not exceeded the age of 18.

The framework includes laws safeguarding juvenile workers from exploitation and harm while allowing them to engage in appropriate and constructive employment opportunities. In the following section, we will elaborate on the most important provisions when it comes to juvenile employment within the UAE. 

Article 5 of Federal Decree Law No. 33 

The article of the federal decree law about juvenile labour is Article 5 giving the following rules: 

Minimum Employment Age

The minimum employment age of an employee is 15 years, prohibiting legal employment for individuals under the age of 15. This provision protects minors from entering the workforce too early and experiencing any inevitable negative effects. Furthermore, by setting this minimum age,  the intention is to ensure the focus on a child’s education and personal development. Juveniles aged 15 to 18 are allowed to work under certain conditions, but only after the obtainment of strict juvenile working permits. 

Consent of the Guardian

Before hiring a juvenile worker, employers are obliged to obtain written consent from the individual’s parent or legal guardian. This requirement ensures that the guardians of juvenile workers are actively involved in decisions regarding their child’s participation in the labor market and can provide support and guidance.

Regulation of Working Hours

In the UAE, juvenile workers are permitted to work a maximum of six hours per day, with a mandatory one-hour rest period after four consecutive hours of work. Furthermore, juveniles are prohibited from working between 7 PM and 7 AM. They are not allowed to work overtime or be kept in the workplace beyond the prescribed hours. Moreover, juveniles are not permitted to work on weekends or official holidays, and employers cannot require them to do so. These measures aim to prevent excessive working hours and promote the overall health and well-being of juvenile employees.

Prohibited Categories of work 

It is not allowed for juvenile workers to engage in tasks that are hazardous, dangerous, or morally compromising, as these could harm their health, safety, or morals. Employers are required to follow the MOHRE list of occupations and work environments that are restricted for juvenile workers.

Mandatory Medical Examination

Before starting employment, it is the responsibility of employers to ensure that a juvenile worker undergoes a medical examination. This examination aims to confirm the fitness of the juvenile for the tasks they will be expected to perform in their role. In addition to the initial examination, juveniles may also be required to undergo regular medical examinations during their employment. These periodic examinations are meant to ensure that their health is not compromised by their work and that they remain fit for employment.

Protection of Education and Training

The law places importance on safeguarding a juvenile worker’s educational pursuits. Employers must facilitate access to educational opportunities and provide avenues for training and skill development to support their long-term career prospects.

Enforcement Measures and Penalties

Stringent enforcement measures are in place to ensure compliance with child labor laws. Employers found to be in violation are subject to penalties, including fines, in order to uphold legal and ethical standards in the workplace.

How Lawbdrige can support you 

You are thinking of hiring a juvenile worker? Our team at Lawbridge can support you in this regard, making the process of hiring a smooth and legally safe journey. If you are thinking of hiring a juvenile employee, our Lawfirm team will be more than happy to guide you through the process. We can support you in understanding the processes of the hiring as well as understanding the above rules in-depth. Please feel free to reach out to us and book a free consultation with us here. For more information about the working permit, click here


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