The New UAE labor law has introduced several new amendments and is going to be implemented this year. This legal blog refers to some changes relating to non-discrimination and equal pay for the employees. As per our understanding these provisions of UAE labor laws are in more conformity to international labor regulations. We will keep sharing the new amendments for the knowledge of our readers in upcoming blogs.

Non-Discrimination and Equal Pay Under UAE Labor Laws

Federal Law No.33 of 2021 has been issued by the United Arab Emirates. The New Labor Law will take effect from 2nd February 2022, ultimately repealing the current UAE Labor Law (Federal Law No.8 of 1980). All the companies and employees in UAE (including the free zones) shall abide by the New Labor Law with effect from this February.With the New Labor Law come a number of unexpected changes. Certain areas of the statute, however, do not clear the rationale for the changes, which makes it difficult for the employees and companies of the UAE to understand how certain provisions will come into practice. One of the reasons for this scenario is that much of the detail of the statute is supposed to be done by upcoming executive regulations, having been outsourced the job to clear the uncertainties of the general public. However, the significant changes in the New Labor Law are transparent and will certainly make it to revised employment contracts, practices, and policies. Non-discrimination of employees and equal pay are two of the major issues raised by the statute. These provisions, along with the others, are discussed below.


  • The New Labor Law states that there will be no discrimination of employees, specifically on the basis of colour, creed, sex, race, religion, ethnic origin, national origin, or disability. All the employees, regardless of the aspects mentioned above, will be treated equally by the employer and the managerial staff. The enforcement of this provision is yet to be detailed by the upcoming executive regulations in addition to the remedy for the breach of this law.


  • Sexual harassment, psychological, physical, or verbal torture and bullying by the employer, supervisor, colleagues, and the managerial staff are expressly prohibited in the New Labor Law. However, it is yet to be seen how these anti-bullying policies will be implemented, how the offender will be charged, and the remedy for the employees subjected to harassment.


  • Employers cannot force employees to undertake work against their will by coercing, threatening, or bullying the employee.


  • The New Labor Law also states the prohibition of termination or threatening to terminate the female employee’s employment on the grounds of pregnancy or a maternity leave by the employers.


  • Women undertaking work or providing services shall get equal pay as men undertaking work or providing service of the same value. There will be no discrimination regarding the pay on the basis of gender. Much has been made of this provision being a new development, but the idea of equal pay for men and women in the UAE is not new. The provision of equal pay for men and women was actually introduced in the Labor Law in 2020, the one currently in practice before the implementation of the New Labor Law. A few of the many provisions laid down by the New Labor Law are mentioned above, which are to come into effect from the mentioned date. The actual practice and remedies of these provisions, however, are yet to be mentioned.



The above blog aims to guide and legally aware the workers working in UAE about the nondiscrimination policy and equal pay opportunity and should not be considered a legal opinion that may vary from case to case.


If you need further legal assistance, please feel free to contact our law firm in UAE at

Written By : Shakeel A. Mian

Shakeel A. Mian
Managing Partner
Prudential Middle East
What’s app 00971 50 2128798