Employee Obligations in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)


The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has rapidly emerged as a prominent international financial center, attracting businesses and professionals from around the world. As part of its commitment to creating a robust and conducive business environment, ADGM has established a comprehensive framework that outlines the rights and responsibilities of employees within its jurisdiction. This article delves into the key aspects of employee obligations in Abu dhabi Global Market( ADGM), highlighting their significance in maintaining a thriving workplace ecosystem.

The ADGM Employment Regulations 2019 (the “Regulations”) set out the minimum employment standards for employees working in the ADGM. The Regulations are designed to promote a fair balance of rights and obligations between employees and employers.

The notable obligations of the employees are as follows:

  1. Adherence to Local Laws and Regulations: One of the fundamental obligations of employees in ADGM is to comply with local laws and regulations. The ADGM Employment Regulations serve as a cornerstone in governing employment relationships, covering a wide range of matters such as working hours, wages, leave entitlements, and more. Employees are obligated to familiarize themselves with these regulations and ensure their actions align with them.

2. Ethical Conduct and Professionalism: Ethical conduct and professionalism are highly valued within the ADGM community. Employees       are  expected to maintain the highest standards of integrity in all their professional dealings. This includes treating colleagues, clients, and     stakeholders with respect and fairness, and refraining from engaging in any unethical practices that could damage the reputation of the   employer or ADGM.Employees are also expected to report any illegal or unethical conduct that they witness in the workplace. This means that they should report any wrongdoing to their supervisor, or to the appropriate authorities, if necessary.

Employees who witness illegal or unethical conduct should not feel afraid to report it. They are protected by the Regulations from retaliation by their employer.

  1. Confidentiality and Data Protection: In an era where information is a valuable asset, safeguarding confidential information and respecting data privacy have become crucial obligations for employees. ADGM recognizes the significance of these concerns and mandates that employees handle sensitive information with the utmost care. This includes not only proprietary company information but also personal data of clients and colleagues.

2. Commitment to Health and Safety: Ensuring a safe and healthy work environment is a shared responsibility between employers and   employees. In ADGM, employees are obligated to follow all health and safety protocols put in place by their employers. This commitment   extends to reporting potential hazards, participating in training programs, and taking necessary precautions to prevent accidents and   injuries.

3. Fulfillment of Job Responsibilities: At the heart of every employment relationship lies the fulfillment of job responsibilities. ADGM   emphasizes that employees have a duty to perform their roles diligently and to the best of their abilities. This involves adhering to   deadlines,contributing positively to team efforts, and striving for continuous improvement.

4. Conflict of Interest: Maintaining transparency and avoiding conflicts of interest is integral to upholding the integrity of ADGM’s business   environment. Employees are required to disclose any situations where their personal interests could potentially clash with the interests of   their employers or clients. This proactive approach helps prevent situations that could compromise the trust and credibility that ADGM has   worked hard to build.

5.Compliance with Company Policies: In addition to adhering to ADGM’s broader regulations, employees must also comply with their   employer’s internal policies and codes of conduct. These policies can cover a wide range of matters, from dress code and social media   usage to anti-discrimination and anti-harassment measures. By following these guidelines, employees contribute to a harmonious and   inclusive workplace.

6. Continuous Learning and Development: ADGM promotes a culture of continuous learning and professional growth. Employees are encouraged to seek opportunities for skill enhancement and to stay updated with industry trends. Embracing this obligation not only benefits individual employees but also contributes to the overall advancement of the ADGM ecosystem.

7. Compliance with Immigration and Visa Regulations: For expatriate employees in ADGM, compliance with immigration and visa   regulations  is of paramount importance. It is the responsibility of employees to ensure that their work permits and visas are valid at all   times. Failure to adhere to these regulations could result in legal consequences that negatively impact both the individual and the employer.

Non-Compliance with Employee Obligations in Abu dhabi Global Market

Not complying with employee obligations in the ADGM can have serious consequences for both individuals and the organizations they work for. Here are some potential consequences of not complying with employee obligations in ADGM:

  • Disciplinary Actions by Employers: Employers within ADGM are likely to have clear policies and procedures in place to address instances of non-compliance. These could include verbal warnings, written warnings, suspension, or even termination of employment. The severity of the breach and its impact on the business will often determine the level of disciplinary action taken.
  • Damage to Reputation: Non-compliance with obligations can lead to damage to an individual’s reputation within the organization and the broader ADGM community. Word of unethical behavior or failure to meet contractual or legal obligations can spread quickly, affecting an individual’s credibility and future employment prospects.
  • Legal Penalties and Fines: ADGM has its own legal framework and regulatory authority. Non-compliance with legal obligations, such as financial reporting requirements, data protection regulations, or industry-specific rules, can result in fines, penalties, or legal actions against both individuals and organizations. These penalties can be substantial and could have a significant financial impact.
  • Regulatory Actions: ADGM’s regulatory authority has the power to investigate and take action against individuals or entities that violate regulations. These actions could include suspensions, revocation of licenses, or other regulatory measures that can severely hamper an individual’s or organization’s ability to operate within ADGM.
  • Legal Liability: Failure to meet legal obligations can lead to legal liability, including lawsuits from clients, partners, or other stakeholders who may have suffered harm as a result of the non-compliance. This can result in financial losses, legal fees, and damage to an individual’s or organization’s reputation.
  • Impact on Visa and Residency Status: Many employees in ADGM are expatriates who require valid visas and residency permits. Non-compliance with employment obligations could lead to visa cancellations or difficulties in renewing visas, potentially resulting in the need to leave the country.
  • Loss of Business Opportunities: For organizations, non-compliance with obligations can lead to a loss of business opportunities. Clients and partners are more likely to work with entities that demonstrate ethical conduct, professionalism, and a commitment to meeting their obligations.
  • Reduced Employee Morale and Productivity: If employees within an organization consistently fail to meet their obligations, it can lead to a decline in overall morale and productivity. Colleagues may become frustrated with having to compensate for others’ shortcomings, leading to a negative work environment.
  • Negative Impact on ADGM’s Reputation: ADGM’s reputation as a premier global financial center relies on the professionalism and compliance of all its participants. Instances of non-compliance can tarnish ADGM’s reputation, potentially discouraging potential investors, partners, and businesses from operating within the jurisdiction.


  • In the Abu Dhabi Global Market, employee obligations play a pivotal role in maintaining the integrity, professionalism, and productivity of the business environment.
  • By adhering to local laws, upholding ethical standards, respecting confidentiality, and fulfilling their job responsibilities, employees contribute to the growth and success of ADGM.
  • As this international financial center continues to evolve, these obligations remain essential for sustaining a thriving and dynamic workplace ecosystem.
  • In conclusion, complying with employee obligations in ADGM is not only essential for personal and organizational success but also for maintaining the integrity and reputation of the financial center.
  • The consequences of non-compliance can be far-reaching and detrimental, affecting not only an individual’s career but also the overall business ecosystem within ADGM.
  • Therefore, understanding and adhering to these obligations is paramount for fostering a positive and prosperous professional environment.

About ATB Legal

ATB Legal is a full-service legal consultancy in the UAE providing services in dispute resolution (DIFC Courts, ADGM Courts, mainland litigation management and Arbitrations), corporate and commercial matters, IP, business set up and UAE taxation. We also have a personal law department providing advice on marriage, divorce and wills & estate planning for expats. Please feel free to reach out to us at office@atblegal.com for a non-obligatory initial consultation.

by Aparna T Nambissan

Aparna is a legal consultant at ATB legal. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and Commerce from Karnataka State Law University. She is enrolled with the Bar Council of Karnataka.

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