HR Record Retention Requirements

United Arab Emirates - Summary Chart

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United Arab Emirates

Document

Retention Period

Beginning of Retention Period

Legal Reference

EMPLOYMENT RECORDS

Contracts (new hire agreements, severance, etc.)

Onshore: Minimum 1 year (claim limit), best practice minimum 2 years; DIFC: Minimum 6 years; ADGM: Minimum 2 years

From end of employment

DIFC Law No. 2 of 2019, Art.16; ADGM Employment Regulations 2019, Art.11

Time records (work hours, rest periods, vacation/sick/holiday, etc.)

Onshore: Minimum 1 year (claim limit), best practice minimum 2 years; DIFC: 6 years; ADGM: Minimum 2 years

From end of employment

DIFC Law No. 2 of 2019, Art. 16; ADGM Employment Regulations 2019, Art. 11

Performance records (performance reviews, promotions/demotions, licenses/certifications, investigations, disciplinary actions, etc.)

Onshore: Minimum 1 year (claim limit), best practice minimum 2 years; DIFC: Best practice 1 year (period to raise a complaint is 6 months); ADGM: Minimum 2 years from employee termination

From beginning of employment

Federal Law No. 8 of 1980, Art. 53-54; DIFC Law No. 2 of 2019, Art. 16; ADGM Employment Regulations 2019, Art. 11

Data and personnel files

Onshore: Personal files, and leave card (if employer has 5 or more employees) - Minimum 2 years; DIFC: Minimum 6 years; ADGM: Minimum 2 years

From end of employment

Federal Labour Law No. 8 of 1980, Arts. 6 & 53; ADGM Employment Regulations 2019, Art. 11

Government verification records (work papers, immigration, eligibility to work, etc.)

Onshore: Personal files, and leave card (if employer has 5 or more employees - Minimum 2 years; DIFC: Minimum 6 years; ADGM: Minimum 2 years

From end of employment

DIFC Law No. 2 of 2019, Art.16; ADGM Employment Regulations 2019, Art. 11

Collective bargaining/union

N/A

N/A

N/A

Background checks and drug tests

Requires consent of employee to retain

From end of employment

Federal Law No. 5 of 2012 on Combatting Cybercrimes

Acknowledgements, policy agreements and required notices

Onshore: Personal files, and leave card (if employer has 5 or more employees) - Minimum 2 years; DIFC: Minimum 6 years; ADGM: Minimum 2 years

From end of employment

DIFC Law No. 2 of 2019, Art. 16; ADGM Employment Regulations 2019, Art. 11

Recruitment (interview notes, resumes/CVs, reference checks, etc.)

Onshore: Personal files, and leave card (if employer has 5 or more employees) - Minimum 2 years; DIFC: Minimum 6 years; ADGM: Minimum 2 years

From end of employment

Best practice based on DIFC Law No. 2 of 2019, Art. 16; ADGM Employment Regulations 2019, Art. 11

Tracking/recordings (biometric, geo-location, online tracking, camera recordings, etc.)

Requires consent of employee to retain

From date of joining

Federal Law No. 5 of 2012 on Combatting Cybercrimes, Art. 21

Miscellaneous 1

Leave Cards: Onshore: Personal files, and leave card (if employer has 5 or more employees): Minimum 2 years; DIFC: Minimum 6 years; ADGM: Minimum 2 years

From end of employment

Federal Law No. 8 of 1980, Art. 53-54; DIFC Law No. 2 of 2019, Art. 16; ADGM Employment Regulations 2019, Art. 11

Miscellaneous 2

Onshore Youth Labour Records: Register of youths: Minimum 1 year; Birth certificate, certificate of health fitness, and written consent from guardian or trustee of youth: Minimum 1 year

Register of youths: From end of period youths were employed; Birth certificate, certificate of health fitness, and written consent from guardian or trustee of youth: From employee termination

Federal Labour Law No. 8 of 1980, Arts. 6 and 21

BENEFIT/PENSION/EQUITY RECORDS

Benefits (plan documents, enrollment records)

Considered part of employee's personal file and therefore general rule would apply. Onshore: Best practice minimum 2 years; DIFC: 6 years; ADGM: Minimum 2 years

From end of employment

Federal Law No. 8 of 1980, Art. 53-54; DIFC Law No. 2 of 2019, Art. 16; ADGM Employment Regulations 2019, Art. 11

Pension and retirement records

Pension records: Minimum 10 years

From due date of benefit or from date of last payment of benefit

Federal Law No. 7 of 1999: Concerning The Issuance Of The Law On Pensions And Social Security, Art. 57

Equity records

No required minimum, good practice to retain 5-10 years

N/A

N/A

PAYROLL/WAGE/TAX RECORDS

Payroll and wage data (payslips, etc.)

General (if employing 15+ employees): Minimum 2 years; DIFC: 6 years; ADGM: 2 years

From termination

Federal Labour Law No. 8 of 1980, Arts. 6 and 54 (1); DIFC Law No. 2 of 2019, Art. 16; ADGM Employment Regulations 2019, Art. 11

Tax records

5 years

From end of company's financial year

Federal Law No. 2, Art. 26 (2)

MEDICAL/SAFETY/LEAVE RECORDS

Leave (family, medical, etc.)

Onshore: No minimum, best practice minimum 2 years; DIFC: Dates and payment of vacation, parental and sick leave 6 years; ADGM: 2 years

From termination

DIFC Law No. 2 of 2019, Art. 16; ADGM Employment Regulations 2019, Art. 11

Injury and illness incident reports

Onshore: Occupational Injuries Record (if employing 15+ employees) - Minimum 2 years

From termination

Federal Labour Law No. 8 of 1980, Arts. 6 and 54 (2)

Medical records

Onshore: Personal files and leave card (if employer has 5 or more employees) - Minimum 2 years; DIFC: Minimum 6 years; ADGM: Minimum 2 years

From end of employment

Federal Law No. 8 of 1980, Art. 53-54; DIFC Law No. 2 of 2019, Art. 16; ADGM Employment Regulations 2019, Art. 11

Hazardous material and other exposure records

N/A

N/A

N/A

Ultimate Software's HR Compliance Assist team relies on a network of internal and external compliance experts and lawyers to provide clients with best practices and recommendations on topics such as HR document retention, employee data privacy, and HR electronic records. HR Compliance Assist also provides local compliance monitoring and alert services in select countries where Ultimate Software's customers have employees. HR Compliance Assist is a service exclusively available to Ultimate Software customers.

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