UAE Bans 31 Professions for Students During Vacations

Asma Ahmed - | UAE

The United Arab Emirates' Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has outlawed the practice of private companies hiring and training students in 31 distinct occupations during vacations from school.

Overview of the Ban on Hazardous Professions

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation in the UAE has implemented a ban on private sector establishments employing and training students during vacations in 31 specific hazardous professions.

These prohibited areas include working in mines and quarries, metal extraction, smelting furnaces, bakery ovens, oil and cement refining plants, ice and refrigeration plants, and welding operations using oxy-acetylene or electrolytic methods.

Administrative and professional requirements

To ensure student safety and well-being, the Ministry has outlined several administrative and professional requirements for establishments wishing to employ or train students. Key among these is the prohibition of training or employing students at night in industrial projects, with "night" defined as any 12-hour period from 8 PM to 6 AM.

Additionally, the maximum working hours for students are limited to six hours per day, interspersed with breaks for rest, meals, or prayer, totaling at least one hour. Students are also not allowed to work more than four consecutive hours without a break.

UAE law permits students aged 15 and older, both citizens and resident expatriates, to work and receive training in the private sector, provided there is a written contract detailing the nature of the work and other relevant terms. The federal labor law strictly prohibits the employment of minors under the age of 15, and the Ministry does not issue work permits for such individuals.

The Ministry has specified six key obligations for employers and establishments training or employing juvenile students. These include not employing students at night in industrial projects, limiting their actual working hours to six hours per day with breaks, and ensuring students do not remain at the workplace for more than seven consecutive hours.

Students cannot be assigned overtime or retained at the workplace beyond their scheduled hours, and they are not allowed to work on rest days. Employers must also train students on using safety and occupational health measures and ensure a safe working environment.

Moreover, employers must inform the student's guardians of any illness, absence, or behavior requiring attention during work or training hours. Juvenile students are strictly prohibited from engaging in the 31 types of hazardous work specified by the Ministry. This list includes working underground in mines and quarries, metal extraction, furnace operations, petroleum refining, bakery ovens, cement manufacturing, ice and refrigeration plants, mirror silvering using mercury, firecracker production, glass melting, and various forms of welding.

Other prohibited tasks include working with lead and its compounds, electric battery manufacturing or repair, managing or repairing moving machinery, asphalt manufacturing, fertilizer production, and work in mineral acid and chemical plants. Additionally, students are banned from working in tanneries, animal skinning, rubber manufacturing, filling gas cylinders, loading and unloading goods at ports, passenger transportation, charcoal production from animal bones, textile processing, amusement park hosting, bar work, and carrying or moving heavy weights.

The Ministry emphasizes the importance of compliance with these regulations by establishments that train and employ students. At the end of a student's training or employment period, establishments must provide a certificate detailing the work performed and an evaluation of the student's performance. Exceptional training or employment practices may entitle establishments to certain benefits from the Ministry.

Employers can hire students aged 15 and above during academic vacations for up to three months, provided a detailed contract is in place. This contract must outline the nature and duration of the work, the student's wage, weekly rest periods, and daily working hours. Any exceptions to these regulations require approval from the minister or an authorized representative.

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Asma Ahmed
Asma Ahmed
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