It’s an exciting time for businesses in the UAE. The post-Covid recovery is well underway and the country is working hard to cement its position as a stable, business-friendly regional hub.
Part of that focus is the introduction of new legislation, marking the biggest shake-up to company law in a generation.
These new laws apply to everybody and look particularly daunting for smaller companies, but they don’t need to be. There are a few basic actions you can take to make sure you stay on the right side of the new laws.
Data protection All companies now have a legal duty to ensure that data they hold is secure, safe, up to date, and most importantly that they have permission to hold that data in the first place.
Actions: • Audit all your files and folders to understand what data you have and where it’s stored. • Look at folder permissions, user access and passwords to make sure your data is properly protected. • Delete anything you don’t need. It sounds obvious, but you don’t need to worry about protecting data you don’t have!
Company law There are new rules allowing 100% foreign ownership of onshore companies and amending rules for general meetings, quorum at meetings, statutory reserves and dispute resolution.
Actions: • Check the rules and regulations a few months before your next license renewal. • Look at all your options so you can make an informed decision in plenty of time. • Make any changes when you renew your license to save you doubling up on lawyer, PRO and notary fees.
Employment law The UAE labour law has been updated and amended, bringing it in line with international best practice. Overall, the new law provides better protection for employees but places additional duties on employers.
Changes include: • New flexible and part-time employment options. • Unlimited term employment contracts are being phased out and replaced with fixed-term contracts. • Rules around contract termination and the effects of termination have been updated, mostly in favour of the employee. • Employees now have legal rights associated with equal pay, discrimination, bullying and harassment.
Actions: • Make sure you update your employment contracts before February 2023. • Review and update your HR handbook and policies. • If you don’t have an in-house HR manager, speak to an external consultant for support.
If you need any help or advice with any of this, click https://calendly.com/talktoagrownup/ to set up a free, no-obligation call with a Grown-Up and we’ll point you in the right direction .