How to Legally Hire Part-Time Employees in 5 Steps

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Are you looking to hire a part-time employee? Great decision! Part-time workers can be a huge advantage to businesses grappling with situations like staff shortage, seasonal demand, or tight delivery schedules. But their hiring must be done in a way that is legitimate and conforms to the rules and regulations laid down by UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) which governs aspects like work hours and clarifies the duties and responsibilities of both parties.

Why Hire Part-Time Employees?

Part-time workers are usually hired to address specific needs like manpower shortage, fulfilling the need for a scalable workforce, or filling a vacancy that does not require the services of full-time staff. What’s more, being temporary workers, hiring companies need not bother with things like leaves and employment benefits.

In situations where they are sourced by temping agencies, part-time candidates are already pre-screened and come with a certain base level of skill and competence. In this case, the role of the hiring company is usually limited to selecting the best candidate from among the shortlisted names and reimbursing the agency in return for the services of the worker.

Legal Background

MoHRE has issued clear guidelines vis-à-vis the employment of part-time workers which hiring companies and candidates must adhere to. Since many permanent employees also double up as part-time workers in the UAE, employers must ensure that the relevant rules are strictly followed to avoid penalties for non-compliance.

In 2010, the UAE government started allowing employees who already held permanent jobs to take up part-time work on the side to supplement their earnings. But since the rules required them to convince their primary employer that their second job would not impact their performance negatively, they often found themselves in an awkward position. These concerns were addressed in a new ruling in 2018 which did not require them to inform their primary employers so long as they adhered to the rules and regulations set by the ministry.

What Does the Law Say? 

The UAE government has laid down well-defined rules and regulations to enable companies to hire employees on a part-time basis. While the new rules do not require employees to seek permission from their primary employer, they do involve obtaining a work permit from the ministry which requires the submission of supporting documents. Most importantly, companies can only hire part-time workers also working permanent jobs for positions that require specialised technical, administrative or scientific skills. Such employees are required to back up their application to the ministry with the necessary documents and educational certificates.

Below is a step-by-step guide for businesses with a need to hire part-time workers. The rules are applicable to Emirati nationals, GCC nationals, and ex-pats alike except where it is specifically mentioned.

1. Skills & Qualifications

Companies must start by ensuring that the candidate has the required skills and qualifications for the job. Government rules currently ordain that employees in permanent positions wishing to double up as part-time workers possess specialised skills related to science, technology or
administration to avail of a part-time job.

2. NOC from Sponsor & Work Contract

Once you have selected the candidate, the HR department needs to verify if they have a no-objection certificate (NOC) from their sponsor (in case of ex-pats only). The hiring company must also issue a work contract to the employee. Both these documents need to be submitted along with the application.

3. Documentation

To successfully obtain a work permit, the company must collect the following documents to be submitted with the application:

  • A colour photograph of the candidate
  • A copy of their passport
  • A letter of approval from relevant authorities as required
  • A copy of the trade licences of the business they will work for
  • Relevant academic qualifications
  • They must provide a copy of the new work contract
  • NOC from sponsor (if applicable)
  • A copy of the candidate’s residency visa, valid for more than six months

4. Application Process

The application form needs to be printed out and submitted to MoHRE either online or through Tasheel centres along with the supporting documents listed above. The ministry usually takes two working days to process the application. The application fee comes to AED 600 (AED 100 application fee plus AED 500 approval fee) to be paid by the employer and the permit is valid for a year.

5. Adherence to Rules

The process does not end once the candidate receives the work permit. As a secondary employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that all rules related to part-time work are strictly followed. For example, it is necessary to ensure that the part-time employee works less than eight-hour daily shifts. Employing part-time workers without a valid work permit could attract stiff penalties. Companies could be fined AED 50,000 or more if they are found to be in violation of the rules.

 Other Categories

For categories such as students and housewives without a full-time job, the process is slightly different. Students are eligible to work under a work permit as an intern or part-timer provided that they have a student, parent or spouse visa. A NOC, offer letter, copy of visa and other documents are required. Charges for obtaining a work permit may range from AED 300-600 depending on the duration of the permit and the jurisdiction the company falls under and the amount must be paid by the employer. Businesses can also employ housewives and dependents (both men and women) in a part-time capacity after obtaining a MoHRE work permit.

Part-time employees could be an asset to your business by providing a flexible and cost-effective workforce. But they are only useful when they have been hired legitimately after following all the rules and regulations.

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