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Only 30-day Notice Period is Required

(Legal View) / 31 August 2009

Q. I am working in an electrical company in Dubai for the past six years. I have got a better offer from another company. My contract is unlimited. As per my labour contract there is no mention about the notice period.

When I submitted my resignation, my employer showed me a circular stating that the notice period to terminate the contract is 90 days. I havenít seen this circular previously. Now my employer says that I should give 90 daysí resignation notice. The salary offer that I have got is better than my current package. The new employer has told me that he cannot wait for more than 30 days. What is the remedy? Please help me.

A: Considering the facts mentioned in your letter, you are obliged to give only 30 daysí notice to your employer. 

As per Article 117 of the UAE Labour Law, both the employer and the employee may cancel the contract at any time for a legitimate reason if the labour contract signed between them does not mention a specific time limit. In such circumstances the notice period shall be considered as 30 days.

This shall be applicable to the employee and the employer alike. Any agreement between the employer and the employee is valid only if it is signed by both the parties.  Your employer has no right to introduce circulars in violation to the employment contract before or after you submit your resignation.

If after the 30 daysí notice period your employer does not agree to relieve you, then you may approach the Labour Department to seek legal remedy.

Q. I am working in an automobile workshop company in Ajman. We are compelled to work 10 to 12 hours per day without any additional payment. Even during Ramadan we are forced to work long hours. Is this islegally correct?

A: During Ramadan, as per Article No. 65 of the UAE Labour Law, the ordinary working hours shall be reduced by two hours. As per the law, in normal days, the maximum working hours for adult employees shall be eight hours daily or 48 hours per week.

However, working hours may be increased to nine hours daily for people employed in security, trade, hotels, cafes, restaurants and other similar jobs which may be permitted by the order of the Minister of Labour.

The daily working hours may be reduced in the case of difficult or hazardous jobs.

Article 67 further states that if the nature of the job requires overtime, the employee shall be paid overtime and the payment shall be equivalent to the wage paid for the ordinary working hours  plus an increase of not less than 25 per cent of the same rate.

Therefore, if your employer refuses to pay you overtime as per the law, you may approach the labour department for remedy.

Compiled by Ahmed Shaaban

K.K. Sarachandra Bose is a Partner/Corporate, Commercial and Contract Lawyer at Dar Al Adalah Advocates and Legal Consultants. Readers may e-mail their questions to: ktedit@emirates.net.ae or send them to (Legal View), Khaleej Times, Dubai P.O. Box 11243.

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