All You Need To Know About Employment Ban In The UAE

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), an employment ban refers to a restriction that may be imposed on an employee preventing them from working for a specific period for certain employers. Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) may impose an employment ban on an employee who will not be legally allowed to work in another company within the UAE for a period of one year or permanently.

A skilled or unskilled worker can face an employment ban when the employee is found to have breached the UAE labor law or committed any defilements which involve the imposition of a labor ban. It is not only limited to people having employment residence visas, but it is also applicable to any person who is issued a work permit, a labor card, or a labor contract. An employment ban could also be placed on a working student under the visa sponsorship of his father or university or a working woman under the sponsorship of her husband/Father.

Types of Employment Ban

Employment ban in the UAE can be categorized into two and they are explained below;

  1. Automatic Labor Ban:
  • Where an employee resigns from their job without reaching a minimum of two years on the job, an automatic employment ban may be imposed.
  • The duration of the ban varies depending on the employment contract and the employee’s qualifications and position.
  • A one-year ban is usually imposed for employees with a high school diploma or below, while a six-month ban may be applicable for employees with a university degree or higher.
  • The automatic employment ban is lifted if the employee secures a new job offer with a higher salary (certain criteria apply).
  1. Contractual Labor Ban:
  • A contractual labor ban may be imposed where an employee breaches the terms of the employment contract between them and the employer.
  • This can occur if an employee ends their contract before its specified end date without an authentic reason.
  • The duration of the ban differs depending on the nature and seriousness of the breach, as determined by the UAE labor authorities.
  • The employee may face a ban of six months to one year or longer, depending on the circumstances.


What is the Process of Employment Ban Imposition?

For an employment ban imposition to be placed, an investigation is held initially by a legal researcher in MoHRE. Both the employer and the employee will be invited, and their statements will be taken and recorded. Their case will be judged and based on the seriousness of the request decide whether to accept it or not.

Reasons an employer can Apply for an Employment ban?

An employment ban could be applied on an employee if,

  • the employment contract is terminated illegally or in non-compliance with the provisions of UAE Labour Law or the employment contract
  • Breached any provisions listed in Article 120 of the UAE Labour Law.
  • Associated with another company without obtaining a work permit from MoHRE.
  • Has overstayed in the UAE after the termination of his employment contract, for any reason, for more than two months without legal reason.

Does an Employment Ban have any effect on Visas?

In an employment ban, the work permit of an employee is canceled by the employer, followed by the residency cancellation. In a case where the employee is on a dependent visa, meaning his/her sponsorship is under parents/family, he/she may maintain a residency visa but cannot work or be issued another work permit for the period of the ban.

How to Remove an Employment Ban

There are two ways that an employee can have their employment ban status removed even when it is issued by the Ministry of Labour itself or requested by the employer and they are;

  1. Resolving matters with the employer – If the kind of employment ban that is incurred by an employee is caused by the employer, the only way for it to be lifted is for the employee to have a conversation with the employer to request him to remove the employment ban.
  1.  Submit proper documentation to the Ministry of Labour -If your employment ban is the type that is imposed by a government department, then you can find a company that will offer you a minimum salary of AED 5,000. What you need to do is to ask for the offer letter from the company and present it to the Ministry of Labour. 


Employees are advised to adhere to contractual obligations with their employers in order to avoid incurring an employment ban in the UAE.  Understanding the nitty-gritty of labour law in the UAE can be quite tedious which is why it is best to get a professional lawyer in the UAE to provide you will all the necessary information to help you stay compliant.

As a Labour Law practice firm in the UAE, you can contact us for a free consultation for more information on employment law in the UAE.

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