Our dedicated Employment practice has gained a widespread reputation for providing practical, current advice and well-structured documentation.
We offer a range of legal services for international and regional employers in all sectors and for the entire life cycle of the employment relationship. We advise on immigration and residency rules; Ministry of Labour compliance; staff benefits and incentive schemes; redundancy and termination management; end of service gratuity settlements; drafting and remodelling of service contracts and all other kinds of employment contract documentation.
The team also works with our colleagues in our Corporate and M&A teams, on the employment aspects of business registrations, business transfers and restructuring. In addition, we provide support to our Dispute Resolution colleagues when employment matters become contentious.
Our client base includes both local and international companies in most sectors: banking and finance, insurance, building contracting, manufacturing, government procurement, information technology, real estate, leisure and tourism, and transportation. We are also the UAE law firm of choice for many leading law firms in the US, UK, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.
The importance of specialist employment advice
Our mission is to deliver a specialist legal service, tailored to clients' commercial objectives, HR strategies and culture.
Employees are a valuable asset of any business. Satisfied and productive employees are a key ingredient to business success. However effective HR management cannot be achieved without legal guidance. Not only must clients' business comply with existing employment law obligations, but they need to be aware of future legislation and its likely impact on the management of various aspects of their employment relationships.
Issues such as staff turnover, changes in remuneration and benefit structures, staff transfers in acquisition transactions and redundancies must be handled as effectively as possible from an HR perspective, and measures need to be taken to control the effects of any such developments.
Clients should balance the need to attract high quality applicants, against the reasonable expectations of existing staff. At the same time, we never forget that the objective of business activity is to make a profit. This means that the interests of company owners, as well as those on the payroll, are equally our concern.
Employer – employee relationship cycle
The relationship between employer and employee can be viewed as having a lifecycle, with a beginning, a middle and an end. It is helpful to view the employment relationship in this way, within the context of UAE immigration and employment law. Under existing rules, there are important formalities to be addressed, as well as statutory compliance and governmental policy constraints to be considered, throughout the employment period of every staff member. We assist clients at each stage of the employment lifecycle to ensure that they successfully navigate the UAE employment landscape.
The Employment team does not operate in isolation. Hadef is a full-service commercial law firm. Often our clients require us to work alongside other practice areas, for example our Banking, Corporate, Financial Services or Real Estate teams and, to the extent that a business faces legal challenges with an employee or a regulatory authority, we are there to assist in conjunction with our renowned Dispute Resolution practice.
Typically, we assist clients with:
- Transactional advice – advising on employment aspects of commercial transactions, in particular, staff transfers in the course of corporate mergers and acquisitions
- Immigration and Ministry of Labour regulation – advising on residency and employment status issues, employee registration formalities, short-term assignments and secondment arrangements, statutory end of service entitlements and termination considerations
- Contractual documentation – preparation of offer letters, standard form employment contracts, bespoke service agreements for senior executives, employee handbooks and letters of termination
- Benefit schemes and incentivisation – advising on the creation and management of all forms of staff benefit and incentivisation schemes, including employee share option plans
- Contentious representation – giving guidance in contentious matters, in conjunction with our Dispute Resolution team.