Employment contract confidentiality is essential in the UAE. Employers are often concerned about protecting their valuable information and knowledge from misuse by employees, especially if they are competitors.
Therefore, employers must understand their legal obligations and rights regarding confidentiality during and after employment.
In this article, we will discuss the implied duty of confidentiality, what information is considered confidential, how employers can protect confidential information, and the remedies available in case of a breach.
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Employment contract confidentiality in 2023.
Federal Decree-Law No. 33/2021 On the Regulation of Labour Relations (Labour Law) governs employment relationships in the UAE’s private sector.
Article 16(4) of the Labour Law imposes an obligation on the employee to maintain the confidentiality of the information and data they access through their work and not to disclose work secrets.
Also, he must return any confidential information to the employer upon the termination of their employment.
Employers can also include a duty of confidentiality in the employment contract and enter into a non-compete agreement with employees.
This prevents them from competing with the employer or gaining employment with a competitor if the employee knows the employer’s work secrets or details of the employer’s customers.
What Information is Considered Confidential?
Any information or data and any industrial or commercial secrets an employee has access to by their work are deemed confidential information.
Employers can seek to protect any information material to their business, including work secrets and information regarding any third party that an employer conducts business with, including clients, vendors, and suppliers.
However, any information that the employee becomes aware of or gains access to outside their working hours and that has no relation to their work cannot be protected under a confidentiality clause.
How Employers Can Protect Confidential Information.
Employers can protect confidential information by including a confidentiality clause in the employment contract or asking employees to sign a separate confidentiality agreement.
The expression of the parties’ intention to enter into a contract can be verbal or in writing. However, it is recommended that a confidentiality clause be in writing for evidentiary purposes.
Employers can also ask employees to use their best endeavours to maintain the confidentiality of such information, including with respect to third parties.
It is advisable to include a provision to ensure that employees return confidential information once their employment ends.
Remedies in Case of Breach.
Employers can terminate an employee’s contract without notice if the employee discloses industrial or IP secrets, and the disclosure causes damages or a loss of profit to the employer or if it brought a personal benefit to the employee.
Employers can also bring a civil suit against an employee for breach of confidentiality obligations arising out of their employment contract, either during the employee’s employment or within one year of the termination of the contract.
There is no limitation period in the event of a trade secret disclosure.
FAQs about employment contract confidentiality.
Employment contract confidentiality is a vital aspect of employment relationships in the UAE. Employers must understand their legal obligations and rights regarding confidentiality during and after employment.
They can protect confidential information by including a confidentiality clause in the employment contract or asking employees to sign a separate confidentiality agreement.
Employers can also take legal action in case of a breach. If you need legal advice regarding employment contracts, Younis Mohammed Al Blooshi Labour Lawyer & Legal Consultant is the best for labour contract cases in the UAE.
Contact the office of Younis Mohammed Al Blooshi via Whatsapp. Click here. Or visit us at our address: Sobha Ivory 1 – Al Amal St – Business Bay – Dubai. You can also call us on phone: 00971589984123.
A legal consultant specializing in UAE labor law. He regularly publishes articles on the website and writes on various areas of UAE law, with a specific focus on labor law.