He also said teenagers between 16 and 18 would now legally be able to work part-time jobs, though they would be highly regulated.
“This matches international labour practice,” he said.
He added that part-time workers’ conditions currently go largely unregulated.
“Nobody can guarantee the rights of the workers or the company that pays them,” he said. “We’ll maintain [workers’] rights so nobody can abuse these part-timers and teenagers.”
The changes, the source said, will affect quality of life in the expat community.
“Local women – especially housewives – and students can now have very flexible working hours,” he said. “We believe it will help families and the market. For expats, it’s another income-generating tool. And it will energize the existing ‘human capital’ of the [labour] market.”
Expats with permits sponsored by a full-time employer will now also be able to work a second part-time job, he added.
“You can now legally work part-time if you have a full-time job. We want people to make money.”
The rules fall under a widespread overhaul of labour and visa laws affecting the UAE’s foreign workforce. Last month also saw the announcement that, as of January 1, labour card validity will be reduced from three years to two years.
Skilled expat workers will also no longer need a no-objection certificate from former employers to take up a new job.