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HomeNewsInterest peaks for UAE's teen work permit scheme

Interest peaks for UAE’s teen work permit scheme


As the end of the academic year approaches, enterprising students can turn their attentions to looking for a summer job, and secure a juvenile work permit.

In February 2022 a new scheme was introduced, allowing teenagers between 15 and 18 years to apply for a juvenile work permit in the UAE while continuing with their education.

When Dubai parent Yana Samir posted a request for part-time job opportunities for her three children aged 15, 17 and 18, on a popular business networking group, the response was overwhelming.

Not only did business owners reply with concrete offers of work, many other parents replied asking their own questions about the work permit, and its associated rights and responsibilities.

We contacted employment law specialist Habib Saeed from Squire Patton Boggs and asked him what the conditions are.

Along with the offers of paid work, Yana Samir received lots of suggestions for unpaid internships, but for her, this isn’t what part-time jobs are about. 

“I don’t personally see that they should be taking jobs without pay,” she told the ARN News Centre. “They should learn that they shouldn’t be taken advantage of. They’re teenagers, they have a lot of expenses when they want to go out with their friends.”

We asked Habib Saeed what the law states regarding the question of payment.

“It’s classed as a juvenile work permit and it should be paid in the same way that the employer is paying the normal employee,” said Saeed.

He explained that while there is no required minimum salary, the Tasheel employment agency will generally ask the employer to input a salary on the contract.

“Strictly speaking from an immigration perspective, and I guess from a compliance perspective, the employer should offer some kind of pay.”

Retail chain Lush Cosmetics sees part-time students as an essential part of their workforce, according to Kaitlyn Ehmke, Head of Retail Support.

“Part-time is not really common here but if anyone’s worked in retail in any other country or capacity it’s pretty much the only way to make your retail business model work successfully in order to have the right number of staff on during your busy times and not be overstaffed in your non-busy times,” said Ehmke.

“We love having them on the shop floor. They’re energetic, they learn really fast, they’re passionate, they love to have fun,” she added.

“I think it’s so important to have a wide-variety of different ages to service customers but teenagers definitely bring a different energy to the shop floor that just keeps your work day going. It’s really nice.”