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Home > Legal View
Labour card important for legal procedures

Ashish Mehta / 17 June 2013

My wife was employed by a company for about five months (from December 16, 2012 to May 13, 3013). We had provided all the required documents to process her labour card as requested by the company but the labour card was never issued to her. Suddenly on May 6, she and some of her colleagues were terminated on the grounds that the company was restructuring and they claimed some positions would become redundant. Hence they were told to leave within a week.

My wife accepted the termination letter since she knew the company was making losses and that there were some disputes between the partners. Her company had not paid her salary for the month of April, and also considering the one weeks’ notice period, a salary for 13 days for May was also due. She requested for her dues on the last day after she handed over her responsibilities on which her accountant and MD gave her assurance that she will be paid by the end of May. But, they have not made any payment until now and her company staff has stopped attending her calls. We want to know how we can claim the salary from the company on legal terms since the labour card was not issued to my wife. Please advise.

It is learnt that your wife submitted all the required documents including a no-objection letter from you to her employer for obtaining a labour card for her from the Ministry of Labour.

It is important to first determine whether the employer of your wife made an application to the Ministry of Labour to obtain a labour card, through the online portal of the Ministry of Labour.

In the event her employer initiated the application process to obtain her labour card but did not complete this process, then your wife could argue, on the basis of the evidence available on the online portal of the Ministry of Labour, that her employer did not complete the process to obtain a labour card for her and she did not violate the regulations of the Ministry of Labour and should not be held liable if her employer did not complete the process to obtain her labour card in accordance with the regulations of the Ministry of Labour and therefore could be well within her rights to claim the outstanding salary due to her from her employer.

However in the event the employer of your wife did not initiate the application process to obtain a labour card for your wife, the employer and your wife have violated the prevailing laws of the Ministry of Labour and both are equally guilty of violating the prevailing laws of the Ministry of Labour and therefore the Ministry may impose a financial penalty on each of them and further the Ministry of Labour may impose a ban on your wife to take up employment in the UAE.


Missing cargo

I sent my personal belongings through sea cargo in December last year through a shipping company based in Sharjah. The company said the cargo will reach in three months’ time, but now it’s been six months and still the cargo has not reached the destination. The company has been closed for the past two months and no one is answering the phone. What do I do?

It is learnt that you paid the relevant charges for transporting the cargo to the shipping company and the  shipping company issued a payment receipt, cargo delivery receipt and a bill of landing, to you.

You may file a claim against the shipping company before the civil courts of Sharjah. Further, you may consult a lawyer to determine whether there are sufficient grounds to lodge a criminal compliant against the shipping company on the grounds of breach of trust.

Ashish Mehta, LLB, F.I.C.A., M.C.I.T., M.C.I.Arb., is the founder 
and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates, a legal consultancy firm in Dubai. He also practises in India, United Kingdom and Singapore. He has worked with international and commercial legal procedures, providing analysis and counselling on complex legal documents and policies such as commercial transactions, securitisation, real estate acquisitions, financial restructuring for distressed assets, mergers and acquisitions, arbitration and litigation issues. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.


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