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Do Employers need to maintain an employee file in physical form?

November 5, 2019

UAE Labor law sets out the rules of maintaining employee records under Article 53 and 54, though the law does not state that the employee records are to be in physical form, it is widely assumed that the Physical file is to be maintained. Adoption of HR Management systems and ERP have enabled the business to efficiently and accurately maintain employee records. At time when businesses are struggling to create storage space for compliance records, digitization of HR records may prove to be a viable solution.

So, what happens when a Labor Officer visits the premise and requests for employee files? The answer is simple, present the records in digital form for scrutiny and if there occurs a request for the physical document, it can be printed  and presented. It is also to be noted that Section 53 and 54 does not state the location at which such records are to be maintained i.e. it may be maintained at a remote location as long as the records are maintained and can be presented for scrutiny within reasonable time.

Following is the list of documents to be maintained as per the norms mentioned in the law which most of the HR Management and ERP systems are equipped to maintain.

For Employers having five or more workers shall:

  1. Individual file for each worker with Employee Information Form including:
    • Name
    • Job or occupation
    • Age
    • Nationality
    • Place of residence
    • Marital status
    • Date of employment
    • Wage and any adjustments thereto
    • Penalties imposed on him
    • Occupational injuries and diseases sustained
    • Date of and reasons for termination of his service
  2. Leave Card: It shall be divided into three parts:
    • Annual leaves
    • Sick leaves
    • Other leaves.

For employers with 15 or more workers, in addition to above shall also maintain:

  1. Wage register or Salary sheet listing:
    • the workers’ names
    • date of Joining,
    • Salary details
    • Fringe benefits
    • Piecemeal or commission pay,
    • Days of work
    • Date of termination.
  2. Terms of Employment: which shall particularly specify:
    • Timings of daily work and weekly rest,
    • Official holidays
    • Necessary measures and precautions to be taken to prevent work-related injuries and fire hazards.
    • Disciplinary rules, which shall be conspicuously displayed at the workplace, and shall show the disciplinary actions imposable upon defaulting workers, and the conditions and circumstances of such imposition.


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