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Know your rights
Freelancers in the UAE don’t know their rights. Lara Haidar from The Rights Lawyers explains how the UAE labor law applies to freelancers in the Emirates
November 19, 2008 10:37 by kippreport
One way to avoid such unforeseen issues is to have a letter or invitation from the publication the journalist is writing for, asking him to write about a certain topic. It is also advisable that the individual reply with a confirmation to the invitation and ensure that he keeps the correspondence with him, as it provides evidence of an agreement for services.
An issue may still arise if the journalist is caught providing articles for more than one publication, but there does not seem to be much scrutiny by the authorities on this matter currently, so many freelance journalists simply work “under the radar” and don’t really face much difficulty doing so.
From a company’s perspective, hiring freelancers is a different story. Under Article 13 of the Labor Law, companies seeking to recruit the services of individuals should provide employment contracts and visas for these individuals if they are non-UAE nationals. However, companies may not always require the services of certain individuals on a regular basis and prefer to retain them for specific projects. They feel comfortable working with them, though, and therefore would like to be able to involve them in projects as and when the need arises.
Various production companies, for example, use freelancers on projects and often face difficulty in bringing them out on time for each separate job, sourcing visas for them (especially if they are citizens of countries that require visit visas to be processed prior to arrival in the country and, of course, paying all the costs related to this process. Basically, it is impractical for them to keep bringing these individuals out as and when required.