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probation period

Ultimate Guide to Probation Period in the UAE

Stepping out in Dubai by landing a job is exciting and challenging at the very same time. As one has to follow initial steps that should be a pre-requisite when starting out a new role in Dubai.

In this article, you will learn about:

1. What is the probation period in UAE

2. Employer and employee assess compatibility

3. Legal framework

4. Employee rights and responsibilities, and

5. The complexities of contract termination and resignation during this critical period.

As a result, you will be equipped with the knowledge and confidence to successfully approach your UAE probation period.

What is a Probation Period?

probation period

Embarking on a new career journey in the UAE? Then this article is for you! The probation period becomes a crucial first step, so it’s essential to understand it. Employees are entitled to serve a 6-month trial period that allows both employee and employer to assess their mutual compatibility and suitability.

This time also helps employees to familiarize themselves with the responsibilities, company culture, and expectations. Similarly, a time for employers to evaluate employee’s performance, skills, and fit within the team.

Think of the probation period in the UAE as a bridge connecting the excitement of securing a job offer with long-term stability. Following this, both parties can make informed decisions before solidifying the professional relationship.

Probation Period Rules Under the Labour Law of UAE

Within the well-defined framework of the UAE Labour Law, the UAE probation period operates under the Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021.

It’s a comprehensive legal document outlining the responsibilities and rights of both employees and employers during this phase that ensures a transparent and fair process for all parties involved.

  • Period Of Probation

As per the law, the UAE probation period is entitled to six months. On the other hand, some organizations can offer shorter period that is based on mutual agreement. While it is strictly prohibited to exceed the duration of six months.

  • Contract Termination

During the probation period, the notice period must be required for contract termination. 14 days written notice is required if employers seeking to terminate an employee’s contract. Similarly, those employees who wish to resign must give one month’s written notice to the employer.

  • Employee’s Right to Resign and Move

As per the Dubai law, employees have the right to resign during the probation period in UAE. For this, they need to provide the employer with a written notice along with the required notice period. Let us navigate these options and understand the implications within the legal framework.

  1. Seek Opportunity: As an employee, you have the right to resign and pursue the perfect fit for your aspirations and skills during the probation period.
  2. Working Dissatisfaction: In case of job dissatisfaction that doesn’t meet your expectations or clashes with your values, resignation can be a viable option. At this point in time, open communication with your employer can facilitate a smooth departure.
  3. Personal Reasons: Any mishaps or unforeseen circumstances like family emergencies or health issues may necessitate a change in plan.

No Entitlement to Sick Leaves

During the probation period, employees are not entitled to paid sick leave they will only get it after they get permanent depending on the employer’s policies and the specific terms of the contract.

Since sick leave policies during the probation period vary greatly between companies, we recommend you to always clarify your entitlement. Carefully review your employment contract and inquire with your HR department. Regardless of the policy, prioritize open communication and professionalism when handling illness during this crucial phase.

  • Entitlement to Gratuity

Gratuity entitlement is based on labor law, according to this employees who complete one year of continuous service under the same employer are entitled to this end-of-service benefit.

However, it is noted that gratuity is not payable to employees who are terminated during the probation period in UAE.

  • No Extension in the Probation Period

According to the law, it is prohibited to extend a probation period beyond six months. It safeguards employees from the employer’s tactic of using the probation period as a tool to indefinitely postpone offering a permanent position. After the end of 6-month probation ends, the employer must either confirm the employee’s permanent status or terminate the contract.

It is the best period to evaluate for both employee and employer to access whether this position is a best fit for each other or not. What if they are willing to part ways due to any of the reasons they can before or during the probation period on mutual agreement?

Why Probation Period is Required in the UAE?

probation period

The UAE probation period is like a temporary limbo between excitement and uncertainty. But beneath the surface lies a crucial stage, a period of mutual exploration and growth that benefits both employers and employees in profound ways. Let us unpack the reasons why this six-month journey is more than just a formality.

For Employers:

  1. Minimizes Risk: Before committing to a permanent contract, the probation period acts as a safety net that allows employers to assess an employee’s work ethic and skills
  2. Performance Boost: By opening a feedback loop during the probation period allows employers to identify early on any performance gaps or areas for improvement.
  3. Fit for Culture: A period that allows employers to observe teamwork skills, and communication styles that must adhere to company values, ensuring a productive and harmonious work environment.
  4. Efficient in terms of Cost: At an early stage of probation is a good time to assess about identify potential mismatches so the employers can avoid the costly process of termination and rehiring during the permanent phase.

For Employees:

  1. Trial Run: The probation period provides employees with a valuable opportunity to assess the job, company culture, and their own suitability for the role. Allowing them to make informed decisions about their career path.
  2. Learning and Development: The feedback and guidance received during the probation period are important for personal and professional growth.
  3. Negotiation Leverage: Completing the probation period successfully strengthens an employee’s position when negotiating salary or benefits during the permanent contract stage. This is because they have demonstrably proven their value to the company.

During The Probation Period, Termination Without Notice

As per the Labour Law of UAE, it allows for employment termination during the probation period without prior notice. This includes certain conditions:

  1. Performance Concerns: If an employee consistently falls short of expectations despite receiving documented feedback and guidance, the employer can terminate the contract without notice. This termination must be based on justifiable and documented performance issues.
  2. Misconduct: Any violation of company policies, breach of professional conduct, or illegal activity within the workplace are valid grounds for immediate termination without notice. It is not required to provide a notice period in this case.
  3. Redundancy: Restructuring or changes in business needs may necessitate staff reductions. In such scenarios, the employer can terminate contracts during the probation period with due notice, often prioritizing employees with shorter tenures.

Resignation During The Probation Period In The UAE

Resignation during this phase, while less common than during permanent employment, carries its own set of rules and considerations. Let us explore this terrain with confidence, ensuring a smooth exit and protecting your future prospects.

Regardless of employment status, the probation period in UAE labor law recognizes your right to resign. In this regard, as an employee you must abide by the notice period stipulated in your contract which is typically one month. We will share  some scenarios where resignation will be the only option left for you:

  1. Finding a Better Opportunity: If you land a job offer that aligns better with your skills and aspirations, you have the freedom to pursue it. Inform your employer professionally and adhere to the required notice period.
  2. Dissatisfaction with the Role: The probation period allows you to assess the work environment and company culture firsthand. If the reality falls short of your expectations or clashes with your values, do not hesitate to resign. Open communication with your employer can facilitate a smooth departure.
  3. Personal Reasons: Unforeseen circumstances like family emergencies or health issues may necessitate a change in plans. While employers have leeway in such situations, they should strive for understanding and work with you to find a solution.

Important Note: During the probation period, if an employee resigns then he/she will be required to fulfill their notice period respectfully. Failing to do so could result in serious consequences such as deductions from your last salary and legal repercussions.

Ensure to return back any dues or employer’s property if you have any. The employee is not entitled to get gratuity as he/she is resigning during the probation tenure.

Employment Contracts in UAE

According to this document, it serves as your legal compass, that defines your responsibilities rights, and the terms governing your initial phase of employment.

Below we will discuss these contracts that empower you to confidently chart your course during this dynamic stage.

Key Elements to Consider:

Probation Period Duration: The contract explicitly states the specific duration of it, ensuring adherence to the UAE Labour Laws six-month limit.

Notice Period: The notice period clearly outlines your right to resign and the required notice period which is typically one month, empowering you to make informed decisions and avoid legal complications.

Job Responsibilities and Description: According to the job contract, it defines your expected responsibilities and duties that ensure alignment between your skillset and the role’s requirements.

Benefits and Compensation: It includes details regarding your salary, applicable bonuses, and allowances that are clearly stated. This transparency protects your financial interests and clarifies expectations.

Termination Clause: The contract outlines the grounds for termination during the probation period and by both parties. Knowing these parameters provides clarity and protects your rights.


The probation period plays an important role in identifying a potential employee and employer. It’s a platform for both employees and employers to foster mutual growth, make informed decisions, and build a foundation for a fulfilling and successful long-term partnership. Anyone can transform their successful career by understanding their responsibilities and rights, approaching the journey with professionalism, and exploring the legal frame.

Remember, navigating the complexities of the UAE job market can be challenging. If you want to know more about this and other topics, go to our insights page. We offer comprehensive business services specifically tailored to cater to the needs of both individuals and companies operating in the UAE. Our team of experts possesses in-depth knowledge of the legal landscape, employment regulations, and cultural intricacies. Contact us, we will empower you to make informed decisions every step of the way.

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