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Home > Legal View
No job ban after completing two years

Mushtaq Ahmad Jan / 14 January 2013

My friend has been working for a contracting company as an assistant engineer on an unlimited contract since 2007. His total monthly salary is Dh8,500 but he found another job with another company offering him Dh14,000 per month.

Will there be a ban against him because his visa with the present company will not expire for another year? Can he immediately transfer after sending his resignation in one month? Will the present company have the right to stop him from proceeding to transfer to another company?

Under the new regulation of UAE Labour Law, employers are no more empowered to impose a ban or stop an employee from joining others if the person has completed two years of employment. Any employee who has completed two years with a company can resign and join another company without a ban. Since your friend has served more than two years with his current employer, he can resign from his current company any time with 30 days’ prior notice as per Article 117 of the UAE Labour Law, or otherwise in accordance with the terms and conditions provided in your friend’s employment contract.


Real estate scam

We renewed our flat in August 2012 after paying the total yearly rent in a single cheque through our real estate agent company.

This is the third contract from the same owner for the same flat. But over these two years, we were not given the contact details of the owner and everything was through the real estate agent company. A few days back, the owner informed us directly that the real estate company had closed down and he got four cheques from the company towards the rent, out of which he could clear only one cheque.

So he is not going to pay any maintenance charges, which means we will be left without electricity, gas and water soon in our flat. Is this legal? We had paid our rent on time for the whole year through the appointed real estate agent by the owner. How can we be left without water, electricity and gas, the basic needs?

The agreement between the real estate agent and the owner is a separate agreement to which you are not subject to. Consequently, if the owner has received the rent amount paid by you for the last two years and a portion of the rent amount for this year, then, you have fulfilled your contractual obligations of payment. It is the owner’s responsibility to provide you all the agreed services as the tenancy contract is a binding contract and no single party could unilaterally terminate or amend it.

Furthermore, if it is mentioned in your tenancy contract that the landlord will bear the maintenance cost, then he has to bear such cost regardless of the fact of whether he received the rent amount from the real estate agent or not. In the event the landlord fails to pay the maintenance costs as agreed in the tenancy agreement, you may pay it yourself. However, you have the right to ask the landlord to pay you back these amounts or you may deduct it from the next year’s rent.

Final settlement

My former sponsor has already cancelled my work permit and visa. Now my former HR is asking me to pay 75 days’ gross salary (Dh9,750) towards the final settlement with reference to the unlimited contract where the contract discontinuation is mentioned as three months’ notice. I worked for more than four and a half years and resigned on short notice (15 days), since I got another offer and I got my new work permit approved from the Ministry of Labour. Am I liable to pay anything to my former employer? Am I eligible for my gratuity and leave pay?

Contract is the law for the contracting parties, therefore, all terms and conditions mentioned therein must be fulfilled. Since it is mentioned in your contract to give three months’ notice, it is your obligation to give three months. In case of failure to give notice, either on the part of the employer or employee, the defaulter has to compensate the other party. Article 119 of the UAE Labour Law which states: “If the employer or the employee has failed to serve notice to the other party for termination of the contract or has reduced the notice period, the party obliged to serve the notice shall pay to the other party an indemnity called “compensation in lieu of notice,” and it is incurred by the other party as a result of failure to give notice or for reduction of said period, and the indemnity shall be equal to the employee’s pay for the notice period in full or in proportion to the diminished part. In regard to employees on monthly, weekly, daily or per hour work pay, the notice allowance shall be computed on the basis of last pay earned by them. With regard to employees paid on piece work basis, allowance shall be calculated on the basis of the average daily pay provided for in Article (57) hereof.” Since, you failed to give the notice, and terminated the employment with 15 days notice, you are obliged to pay compensation in lieu of notice for 75 days, as per Article 119 of the UAE Labour Law.

Mushtaq Ahmad Jan is a lawyer at the Global Advocates and Legal Consultants, with a Master’s Degree in International Commercial Law from the University of Hull, Kingston-upon-Hull, England. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

Compiled by Ahmed Shaaban

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