Employment Law FAQs

Questions

I left my previous job without informing my employer ten years ago. What will be the consequences if I return.

Answer:

You have to follow the legal channel to enter UAE, therefore you have to cancel your previous visa in order to get it renewed. It is doubtful that there is a labour ban against you as they only last for one year.

I am waiting for the judgment on an absconding case, and I cannot leave the country before the clearance of the absconding case. what happens if I decide to overstay?

Answer:

You are unable to leave the country since your passport is under the hold of legal authorities but you can also face severe fines and penalties.

I have completed my probation period, however have now been told that my probation period has been extended. I was told after probation my salary would increase to the same figure my colleagues are receiving, however I feel they are doing this intentionally.

Answer:

Under UAE law, your probation can not last more than 6 months as per Article 37 , after which if your employer isn’t happy with your work then they are legally entitled to terminate your employment contract, however they are not allowed to continually increase your probation period. If your employer acts otherwise then they are in breach and you should speak to your manager citing the relevant law. Should they not listen to you, then you should make a formal complaint.

My company has offered to pay for my professional accountancy training, which is a great offer as I cant afford it myself, but then they said I need to commit to them for a minimum of 3-4 years and need to add that in my contract but I am reluctant to do that, in case I am not happy there.

Answer:

UAE labor law states that the employer is responsible to give sufficient training to the employee. With regards to your termination, this can be terminated at any point if it is done by mutual consent between both parties, if your employer does not consent it could put you in great difficulty if you give notice during this period. It is best to negotiate this with your employer before you sign anything.

I didn’t manage to take my full entitlement to annual leave, what are my options?

Answer:

According to the UAE Labour Law, you are eligible to get a full salary if you are working during annual leave. You can also carry your yearly vacation to the next year without it expiring. If your employer doesn’t assist, then you are entitled to go to the labor court and make your claim.

My brother has been banned from entering the UAE after fleeing a case against him, he wasn’t guilty but got scared and now wants to return. Can you advise me on how can he clear the ban?

Answer:

A non-UAE citizen who has been deported due to legal allegations or administrative issues, may not be able to enter the country again. Only with the special grant from the Ministry of Interior as per Article 28 of Law No. 6 of 1973 on Entry and Residence of Foreigners.

You can file an appeal to the Ministry of Interiors for the removal of the travel ban. Before uplifting the ban, the Ministry would revise your entire case, which contains the reasons for deportation, previous residency permits, justifications, and pieces of evidence.

My sister works as a professional in an education department, but has recently been fired from her job for no reason at all. Is this allowed?

Answer:

Any employer is authorized to terminate an employee based on poor working performance, or any other reasons that can breach the labor employment agreement as per Federal Labor Law.

Any other unjustified or non-work related reason can be termed as arbitrary termination or unlawful dismissal of an employee.

I was terminated from my previous company due to various reasons but not because my work wasn’t good. The company is withholding my end of service benefits until my visa gets cancelled, but this is causing me great difficulties.

Are they supposed to cancel my visa before the clearance of remaining dues?

Answer:

In accordance with the UAE Law, the employer is obligated to pay end of service gratuity on immediate notice upon the termination of employment and any outstanding benefits is payable before cancelling the visa.

You are eligible to file a complaint against your ex-employer and initiate legal proceedings against them in Labour Office and in Labour Court.

Is it lawful to sign any visa cancellation papers before receiving the final payment? My employer is making me sign documents which states that I have received all monies owed to me, but this is not the case. I don’t want to fall out with my employer either as I need a reference.

Answer:

Please do not sign anything! By signing documents agreeing that you have received all monies owed to you, you are confirming that you have received this money. If you have not been paid then do not do it as if this matter goes to Court you will have little luck in reclaiming this money. I would advise you to contact the Labour Department and inform them that you have not been paid as you are legally entitled to take your gratuity before leaving.

My salary was cut recently but I had no choice but to accept as I need the job. I then asked for my salary to be restored to original sum, but they ignored me so I gave 30 days notification. The company is now asking me for a minimum one months salary compensation because of the limited employment contract.

What should I do?

Answer:

Reducing your salary outside any agreed terms is deemed forced resignation.  You are entitled to file a lawsuit against the company for the forced resignation. Please do not make any payment to them until your matter has been heard.

I was terminated from my job after only a month, without notice and without stating a justified reason for termination, I know it had nothing to do with the quality of my work. Can I take legal action against the employer?

Answer:

A limited term contract can be terminated when the employee is under the probation period without notice by the employer as per the UAE Labour Law. An employer can terminate an employment contract without notice under Article 120 of the UAE Labour Law, as you are under probation your employer is allowed to terminate your employment.

I have been offered a better job and want to leave my current job. Im not on probation, I don’t have a signed contract and they haven’t paid me any salary in over five months.

Answer:

As your salary has been withheld from you, you are legally entitled to issue proceedings with the Ministry of Labour and also make a complaint against your employer. Whether you can work or not depends if you are working for a freezone or mainland company. If it is freezone, you can complain to the relevant authority and also resign from your current job. You are legally allowed to obtain a temporary work permit until the matter is settled.

My employee has resigned and I am not happy about it. Can I take the money I spent on arranging the visa out from the final salary?

Answer:

This is not permissible under Article 60 of the Federal Law No 8 of 1980 Re: Regulation of Labour Relations which states "No amount of money may be deducted from a worker's wage in respect of private claims, except in certain cases”. None of these circumstances apply to visa repayment. Should you do this, your employee would be entitled to file a claim against you with the Ministry of Labour. As the employer, it is your responsibility to undertake these fees.

My employee went on annual leave and has emailed in to say she isn’t returning. What are my rights as her employer? Also, can I serve notice on my employees when they are on annual leave so that there time starts from that point?

Answer:

As the employer you are perfectly in the right to bring forth an absconding case against your employee by contacting the Ministry of Labour. However, it is simply unacceptable to serve notice when any employee is on leave, especially if they do not access to their email or post. You have to comply with the federal laws and failure to do so can result in penalties against you but also your employee will be eligble to claim compensation for your actions and can file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour.

My current employment contract will end next month. I haven’t been asked by employer to renew it yet. What are my options?

Answer:

A limited contract means that the contract between you and your employer will come to and end as per the date on the signed contract. Your job is limited in time. It is advisable to write to your employer and remind them that the contract is coming to and end, and if you want to stay on to ask them if they could provide you with a renewal contract. If they refuse then your employment will end on that date. If you have an employment visa you will need to know your options if this is the case.

I have been working at a Company for almost a year and a half yet for several months I have not been paid my salary. I have made several complaints to senior management, but they have been so unhelpful.  I have been reprimanded by the partners to stop asking for my salary. As a result I gave my notice (as per the contract), but they are saying that it is not valid and I cannot leave. What are my options? Who can I complain to now?

Answer:

Your employer is in breach of contract by refusing to pay your salary. You are legally entitled to your salary and there does not appear to be any valid reason for your employer to refuse payment. The Ministry of Labour governs all work related issues and once you have filed a complaint they will speak on your behalf. It should prompt your employer to pay you what is due. You are also entitled to compensation up to three months salary.

I have been working with a Company on a low salary for many months, but I have now been offered a much better position and a much higher salary. I really want to accept their offer but am worried I will face penalties if I do.

Please can you advise if I would be facing a visa ban or any other penalties for resigning during the probation period to take the new job?

Answer:

You will need to carefully read your contract and see if there are any terms which refer to the probation period. If the contract doesn't hold penal conditions, then you can resign from your job by just informing your employer via any form of written communication. You are able to resign from your job even if your employer insists that you must complete the probation period. If however, there is is a probation clause, you must complete it before you can resign or you will face potential penalties and give the correct notice period (it depends whether your contract is limited or unlimited). If you done, you will automatically get a six-month working ban by MOL, which prohibits you working in the UAE for this period.

Remember, it is always advisable to leave a job on good terms.

I didn’t manage to take my full entitlement to annual leave, what are my options?

Answer:

According to the UAE Labour Law, you are eligible to get a full salary if you are working during annual leave. You can also carry your yearly vacation to the next year without it expiring. If your employer doesn’t assist, then you are entitled to go to the labor court and make your claim.