Working in the UAE involves following specific rules, and it’s important to be aware of them to avoid any issues. One key aspect is the probation period, which you should understand before starting a job.

Every employee in the UAE must complete a mandatory probation period when starting a new job. This period typically lasts 3 to 6 months, depending on the company’s policy. Anyone planning to work in the UAE should know this probation period.

This article will explain everything you need to know about the probation period in the UAE and answer all your questions. Keep reading!

What is a Probation Period?

A probation period is a trial phase at the start of an employment contract. It allows the employer and employee to see if the job is a good fit. During this time, the employer evaluates the employee’s skills, overall performance and suitability for the role while the employee decides if the job meets their expectations.

Key Features of Probation Period in the UAE:


  • Standard Duration: The probation period in the UAE can last up to 6 months, per Article 37 of the UAE Labour Law.
  • Extension: The probation period can be extended up to 6 months. If an employer extends the probation unlawfully, they may face penalties from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) and damage their reputation.
  • Completion: Upon successful completion, the probation period counts towards the employee’s total length of service.


  • During Probation: An employer can end an employee’s contract during probation but must give at least 14 days’ notice. This notice period allows the employee enough time to either make plans to leave the UAE or find a new job.
  • Post-Probation: Termination terms and conditions revert to those specified in the employment contract.

Employee Rights

  • Benefits: Employees get the same benefits as permanent employees during probation, including health insurance.
  • Leaves: Probationary employees can take sick leave, which may be unpaid, depending on company policy.

Step-by-Step Guide: Navigating the Probation Period

Before Joining:

  • Read and understand the probation clause in your employment contract.
  • Clarify any doubts with your HR or employer.

During Probation:

  • Perform to the best of your abilities.
  • Maintain open communication with your supervisor.
  • Keep a record of your achievements and feedback received.


  • Request a formal review meeting.
  • Discuss your performance and future role expectations.
  • Ensure you receive confirmation of successful probation completion in writing.

Why Is There a Probation Period in the UAE?

The probation period in the UAE allows employees to adapt to the work environment and see if the job suits them. For employers, it’s an opportunity to determine if the new employee meets their requirements and expectations.

This setup benefits both parties by ensuring a good fit before committing to a full-time contract.

Probation Period Rules Under the UAE Labour Law

The UAE Ministry of Labour has set specific rules for the probation period of employees.

Maximum Employment Probation Period in the UAE

According to Article 9 (1) of Federal Decree-Law No. (33) of 2021:

“The employer may appoint the worker under a probationary period not exceeding (6) six months from the date of commencement of work.”

If the probation period exceeds 6 months, it is considered unlawful. In such cases, the company may be held accountable and must compensate the employee.

Contract Termination

Under UAE labour law, specifically Article 9 (1), an employer can terminate the employment of the employee during their probation period. The employer is required to give the employee written notice at least 14 days before the planned end date of their service.

According to Article 9 (5) of the UAE labour law 2022, if either the employer or the employee ends the contract without following the rules of this article, they must pay the other side an amount equal to the employee’s salary for the notice period or the remainder of the notice period if it’s not yet complete.

The required notice period for employees on probation depends on their circumstances. Those leaving the UAE must give 14 days’ notice, while those switching to a new job within the UAE must give 30 days’ notice.

If an employee does not fulfil their contract obligations, this violation can lead to legal issues and possibly a labour ban in the UAE.

Article 121 of the Labour Law also states that employees can quit without notice if their employer breaks the contract terms or if the employer or their representative assaults the employee.

Employee’s Right To Resign And Move To Another Company In The State

Under Article 9 (3) of Federal Decree-Law No. (33) of 2021, which governs employment relationships, if an employee wants to switch jobs within the UAE during their probation period, they must inform their current employer in writing at least a month before ending their contract.

In such instances, the new employer is required to cover all the costs of hiring the employee unless they have a different agreement with the original employer.

UAE labour law also has a specific rule for foreign workers, as noted in Article 9 (4). If a foreign worker decides to resign during their probation period, they need to notify their employer 14 days before they plan to end their employment contract.

Suppose an employee leaves the UAE but plans to return and get a new work permit within 3 months from their departure date. In that case, the new employer must compensate the previous employer, as outlined in clause (3) of this article. This is unless they have agreed on a different arrangement.

No Entitlement To Sick Leaves

According to Article 31 (2) of Federal Decree-Law No. (33) of 2021, which deals with employment relationships, employees are not entitled to paid sick leave during their probation period as per UAE labour law. However, an employer may allow an employee to take unpaid sick leave during this time.

Entitlement To Gratuity Under The UAE Labour Law Probation Period

Gratuity in the UAE

Image Source

Under UAE Labour Law, employees in their probation period are not eligible for gratuity payments. Once the probation period is over, if an employee continues to work for the same company for at least a year, they become eligible for full gratuity benefits. 

No Extension In The Probation Period

Extending the probation period is illegal, especially if the employee meets the company’s performance standards. An employer cannot place an employee on probation more than once. According to Article 9 (2) of Federal Decree-Law No. (33) of 2021, which governs employment relationships:

“It is not permissible to appoint a worker under a probationary period more than once at one employer, and if the worker successfully passes the probationary period and continues to work, the contract shall become valid according to the agreed terms. This period shall be counted within the term of service.”

Workers’ Compensation Insurance in the UAE

Employees in the UAE need to know about Workers’ Compensation Insurance. This insurance is required by law and protects employees if they get hurt or sick because of their job. UAE Labour Law states that employers must compensate employees for work-related accidents or health problems, even if they are still on probation. This insurance covers medical bills, lost wages, and benefits for disabilities. Knowing about this insurance is important as it provides financial and medical support in case of workplace accidents, making the work environment safer. 

To learn more about this insurance and how to claim it, check out our guide.

Final Takeaway

The probation period is an important time in any job. It’s a chance for the employer and employee to evaluate each other. Knowing your rights and responsibilities during this time helps ensure a smooth move to permanent employment. Following UAE Labour Law and communicating clearly can help both sides handle this period well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Can I quit my job during the probation period in Dubai?

Yes, you can quit your job during the probation period if you feel the job isn’t right for you or if you get another job offer. However, unless your employment contract says otherwise, you must inform your employer of your decision to resign.

Q. Will I get a salary during the probation period?

Yes, you will receive a salary during the probation period, no matter the outcome of your probation.

Q. Can I change my job during the probation period in the UAE?

Yes, you can change your job during the probation period. If you want to change jobs within the UAE, give your employer a 1-month notice. If you plan to leave the country, you must provide a 14-day notice.

About Author

Pragya Banerjee

About Author

Pragya is a content writer with over 2 years of experience who thrives on the power of storytelling. She crafts clear, engaging content that resonates with audiences and transforms ideas into fresh, compelling pieces. When she's not writing, Pragya might be found curled up with a good book, exploring a new coffee shop, or seeking inspiration in nature. This constant curiosity fuels her creativity, allowing her to bring fresh perspectives to every project.