Probation period in the UAE

For a company to determine whether an employee meets the expectations, it puts them on a probation period. Although the company determines this time, it cannot exceed six months according to the law. Moreover, the way to end this process is by the resignation of the employee or termination by the employer.

In this article, you will find all the details related to this common procedure in companies. Likewise, you will know the conditions in which you can resign or in which the employer can end this time. Let us see:

1. Defining probation period

2. What characterizes the probation period?

3. Employee rights during the probation period

4. Resignation during the probation period in the UAE

5. Termination during probation period according to the local laws

6. Visa cancellation and final settlement after probation time

7. Do you need to know more about the UAE probation period?

1. Defining probation period

The probation period is the time frame in which a company determines if a recently hired employee will continue working for them. In the United Arab Emirates, this time cannot exceed six months according to the UAE Labor Law. Learn more about this law in our insights section.

As an employer, you can determine whether to carry out a termination during the probation period if you no longer require the employee.

On the other hand, the employee can also determine whether to continue in the current job, considering the work environment and other factors. To summarize, the meaning of probation period is the period in which a new employee starts in a company.

2. What characterizes the probation period?

Some features of the probation period in the UAE are:

2.1 The company reviews the worker’s performance

During the probationary time, the company will evaluate the performance of the employee. In this case, the employer, their supervisors, and managers have the right to give their opinion about the employee’s performance. As a result, this will serve to determine if the company wants them to stay for a longer time.

2.2 UAE Labor Law probation period

According to Article 37 of the UAE Federal Labor Law, the probation period must not exceed 6 months. In addition, during this period, the employer can terminate the service of the worker without prior notice or compensation. This is provided that the worker does not participate in the probationary period other than during the service to any employer.

In addition, if after this time, the worker remains in the job, it will count as part of the period of service.

2.3 Employees cannot receive end-of-service benefits

The end-of-service payment is only for employees whose work in a company exceeds one year. Hence, workers cannot receive this compensation while on a probation period. However, if they are laid off within 6 months or less, they can receive this benefit.

2.4 Employees cannot take leaves

The employment contract defines that employees will not receive regular employee leave during the time of the probation. In this sense, they will not be paid for sick leave and cannot request vacation leave during the period of the probation. However, if they need to request a sick leave, they can discuss it with the employer, and they may get an unpaid leave.

Also, there is no Emergency Leave in the UAE Labor Law that workers can apply for during this period.

2.5 The probationary period cannot be extended 

There can only be two results from this period, either the employee becomes regular or they will be fired at the end of it. Extensions of this period are prohibited by local Labor Law. This is because a time of 6 months is enough for a company to determine if an employee is useful to them or not.

However, an employee may resign during the probation period in the UAE, shortening that time.

2.6 Salary during the trial period

Typically, during the probation period in the UAE, workers will receive a salary equal to the agreed monthly compensation. Therefore, the only difference concerning a regular employee is the rights that the latter enjoys. In addition, they must analyze the contract offered by the employer about the salary after the trial time.

Most employers offer the option of a pay raise once this trial is over. This can take place as soon as the compensation is declared by the employer.

3. Employee rights during the probation period

Concerning this period, a worker is entitled to the following:

  • They cannot be tested more than once by the same employer. If the worker continues to work after this period, the legal contract becomes valid under the agreed terms.
  • If a worker wants to change employers, they must follow the job change rules in the UAE. This includes prior written notice one month before the date the employment relationship will end. Likewise, the new employer must compensate the current one for the costs of recruiting or hiring the worker.
  • If an expatriate worker is resigning during probation in the UAE to leave the country, they must notify it in advance. This must be done in writing, at least 2 weeks (14 days) before the expected date to end the contract.

4. Resignation during the probation period in the UAE

Employees can request for resignation during probation period in an unlimited contract in the UAE. For a limited contract worker, they can do the following:

  • Serving notice period.
  • Make a payment of compensation under Article No. 116 of the UAE Labor Law.

It is recommended to workers that before they consider a limited contract resignation during probation, they review the terms of the agreement. However, if they are aware of the possible consequences and believe that they can face them, they can always resign.

4.1 When can workers resign during the probation period in the UAE 2022 without notice?

Article 121 of the Labor Law specifies that the worker may be absent in the following cases:

  • When the employer has failed to comply with the obligations towards the employee, as established by law or in the employment contract.
  • If there is any aggression against the worker by the employer or legal representative of the company.

4.2 What happens if employees resign during the probation period in a limited contract?

If the contract is for a limited duration, the resignation process may be more difficult to complete. Employees cannot resign until the end of the term as they may face an employment ban. This is determined in the Labor Law UAE ban in 2016.

However, you can reach an agreement with your employee to terminate the limited contract after the 6-month trial. This way, they will avoid an employment ban and can receive a new permit.

However, this does not apply to certain workers with skill levels 1,2, and 3 or 4 and 5 if they will receive a new permit. Or levels 4 and 5 who did not complete the six months for the previous employer. Likewise, it does not apply to employees sponsored by their families or those who apply for work in the same company that canceled their work permit.

5. Termination during probation period according to the local laws

Under the current laws, private companies cannot fire an employee without notice during the probation period. This must be provided to the worker in writing 14 days before the dismissal takes effect. This is defined in the labor law in force as of February 2, 2022.

Also, by law, the employer cannot extend this period beyond 6 months. Hence, if the worker continues to work after the said period, they will do so under the conditions of the contract. On the other hand, if the employee leaves the country during the trial period, they will not be able to work in the Emirates for one year.

Likewise, if any of the parties violated the legal regulations, with the resignation or termination, they must financially compensate the other. This consists of a payment equal to the regular working days of the remaining notice period. In addition, with the latest update of the law, the employer is prohibited from confiscating the official documents of the employee. Nor may it charge hiring costs to workers directly or indirectly. 

6. Visa cancellation and final settlement after probation time

An employee with a limited-term contract may not resign until its expiration to avoid a one-year job disqualification. This is determined in Article 128 of the Employment Law, which specifies the sanction for unjustified resignation. Furthermore, no other employer who is aware of the said situation may hire the worker.

However, a worker can submit their resignation after the probation period in the UAE in agreement with the company. Additionally, after the termination of employment or resignation, the employer has to cancel their employee’s work permit after signing the cancellation document.

After this, you must initiate the procedure for the cancellation of your worker’s residence visa. However, if they are the sponsor of their relatives’ residence visas, they must first cancel them.

6.1 Grace period

After the visa has been canceled, ex-workers can reside in the Emirates for 30 days. During this time, they must leave the country or change their status of stay. However, if they get another job, they can ask their new employer to issue a new work permit.

6.2 Getting a new job

If the employee gets a new job after the unlimited contract resignation during probation, they can keep family visas. However, keeping these visas during the transfer of residence visa to another employer will depend on:

  • The GDRFA.
  • The ICA.

This will depend on the salary and job title. Additionally, note that workers will get a response quickly, as the GDFRA and ICA are fast to do this. However, without this approval, they will have to cancel the residency of all dependent family members.

6.3 Alternative options

If the individual cannot find a job during the grace period, they can apply for Visit Visas for them and their families. They can also get an Investor Visa and then serve as a sponsor for the visas of any relatives.

6.4 Fines for excess stay

If after the grace period, this person cannot comply with any of the above options, they will have to pay a penalty. The employee must pay this sanction to the GDRFA or ICA under Article 11 of the Immigration Law. The sanction is for each day that they remain in the country and the Council of Ministers is who decides the amount to pay.

7. Do you need to know more about the UAE probation period?

The probation period in the United Arab Emirates is the initial time of a worker in the company, when an employer assesses whether they are useful to the business. In addition, this period must not exceed six months, otherwise, the definitive contract becomes valid. Also, the employee can resign (with certain consequences) and the employer can terminate the contract for valid reasons.

In our company, we are dedicated to providing businesses with the solutions they need most. Our team will determine the HR services your company needs to thrive in the local market.

In addition, remember that you can find us in these countries:

Do you wish to learn more about the probation period and receive additional details from EOR Middle East? Our expert team is always at your disposal. Send us an email at [email protected] to request any information or schedule a 30-minute call. Contact us!

On, you can find job offers in several fields in the most recognized companies in the UAE. Apply now! Send your resume to [email protected] and improve your career.

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.


Get In Touch

We help you to compliantly hire, pay, and manage the Right Talent across Middle East Regions