The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) enacted the Employment Regulations 2019, which took effect on January 1, 2020. The primary changes are as follows.


The new regulations now recognize the concept of overtime and award it for time worked in excess of the threshold number of hours over a reference period. Generally, working time is limited to 48 hours per 7-day pay period, after which overtime must be paid as either monetary compensation, time, or both, as decided by the employer. However, this entitlement will not extend to those in managerial and supervisory positions.

Sick pay

Sick pay has been reduced from 60 days at full pay to 10 days at full pay, 20 days at half pay, and 30 days without pay in any 12-month period.


The new regulations expand the list of protected characteristics to include color as a prohibited ground for discrimination. The complete list of protected characteristics under the new regulations also includes gender, marital status, race, nationality, religion, age, and disability.


In light of all these changes, all ADGM entities may want to update any relevant employment-related policies and contracts to ensure compliance.

Written by Samir Kantaria of Al Tamimi & Co. and Roger James of Ogletree Deakins

© 2020 Al Tamimi & Co. and Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.