New DIFC Employment Law – The Changes – Part 2

New DIFC Employment Law – The Changes – Part 2


The new version of the DIFC Employment Law – Law No.2 of 2019 (the “New DIFC Employment Law”) – came into force on 28 August 2019 and entirely replaced the previous employment law regime in operation in the DIFC – Law No.4 of 2005, as amended (the “Old DIFC Employment Law”).

Following our last article on this matter (“New DIFC Employment Law – The Changes –Part 1”), below are additional key changes forming part of the new employment law framework:

  1. Discrimination – anti-discrimination provisions have been expanded to include:
  • Additional protected characteristics – such as age, pregnancy and maternity;
  • Victimisation – that is, safeguard against a protected act.
    For example, where an employee makes an allegation of, or brings a claim for, discrimination;DIFC Court can now, in the event of a finding of discrimination and/or victimisation, award the following remedies:
  • Compensation of up to one year’s wage (salary and allowances);
  • A recommendation for the employer to take certain steps to reduce the adverse effect on the successful employee.
  1. Family friendly benefits – Increased or expanded family friendly benefits include:
  • Male employees who will have been continuously employed for at least twelve months immediately preceding the expected or actual week of his wife giving birth will be entitled to five working days of paid paternity leave. The right to take paid time off to attend appointments for antenatal care is extended to expectant fathers.
  • Female employees returning to work from maternity leave will be entitled to specific nursing breaks.
  • Female employees who are adopting a child will be entitled to statutory maternity leave if the child is less than five years old at the time of adoption.
  1. Sick Leave – Sick leave remains at 60 working days per year but only the first 10 days will be at full pay. The next 20 working days will be at half pay and the remaining 30 working    days will be unpaid.

The above is a general commentary on the subject matter and should not be construed as specific legal advice. For legal assitance on employment related matters, please feel free to contact us.

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