Published: May 14, 2020

Hybrid working arrangements in Abu Dhabi Global Market

Shortly after the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) enacted the Abu Dhabi Global Market Employment Regulations 2019 (which came into force on 1 January 2020) the free zone announced new regulations legislating for secondees, short term workers, interns and freelancers.

The initiative is welcomed by the ADGM community, in particular by retail and event management companies, known for frequent personnel relocation and short term engagement of onshore originated staff.

The ADGM Employment Regulations 2019 (Engaging Non-Employees) Rules 2020 (the “Rules”) came into effect yesterday, 13 May 2020. The main points are as follows:

The Rules shall be applicable to the following categories of staff:

  • Secondees – individuals, temporarily working for an ADGM licensed entity or Abu Dhabi Global Market as applicable (the “ADGM Entity”) and who have the right to work in the UAE but do not hold an ADGM visa;
  • Outsourced Individuals, who temporarily work in Abu Dhabi Global Market for one or more ADGM Entities under an outsourcing agreement and who have the right to work in the UAE but again who do not hold an ADGM visa;
  • Interns (i.e. students or trainees) who work, with or without pay, in order to gain work experience with an ADGM Entity; and
  • Temporary Freelancers, who are (i) not employees that provide services in or from Abu Dhabi Global Market to an ADGM Entity on a temporary basis; (ii) not under the exclusive direction and control of an ADGM Entity; and (iii) hold a freelancer license from any UAE free zone, collectively referred to as “Non-Employees” in the Rules.

According to the Rules, ADGM Entities will now be able to obtain Temporary Work Permits (“TWP”) for the above mentioned categories for validity periods of three, six or twelve months, renewable for all categories except Secondees, whose TWP shall be valid for a maximum period of twelve months and shall not be renewable (unless the Registrar grants an exemption).

In order to be eligible for the TWP, the individual must hold a valid UAE residency visa which is valid for longer than the requested duration of the TWP. This is a very welcome development as short term engagements were impracticable prior to this.

The ADGM Entities shall be liable to obtain, maintain and cover the cost of the TWP and keep the records which would reflect the Non-Employee’s personal details and the dates on which the engagement commences and is due to expire. Given the current economic climate, ADGM has waived the TWP fees until the end of 2020.

The Rules also provide for penalties (up to USD 25,000) for those ADGM entities, that fail to obtain the TWP prior to commencement of individuals services or renew the expired TWP.

The ADGM will publish the list of required documents for the TWP but it is expected that the process will be quick and user-friendly.


How can we help?

Al Tamimi & Company’s market leading Employment & Incentives practice in the ADGM would be pleased to provide further guidance on the ADGM Temporary Work Permits, review the engagement agreements with Non-Employees, company policies and procedures and assist with the TWP application process.


Key Contact:

Ivor McGettigan
Partner, Employment & Incentives