All employees entitled to end of service benefits

All employees entitled to end of service benefits

The Fatwa and Legislation Department in the UAE Ministry of Justice has affirmed that end of service gratuity is an indisputable right an employee attains, and may never be touched up on or scrapped.



Employees, be they nationals or expatriates, are entitled to end of service benefits as per a recent ruling. The Fatwa and Legislation Department in the UAE Ministry of Justice has affirmed that end of service gratuity is an indisputable right an employee attains, and may never be touched up on or scrapped.

“Whatever agreement the employer and employee may ink, depriving the employee of such an entitlement shall be considered null and void,” the statement from the ministry said.

“End-of-service benefits are guaranteed by law irrespective of whether they are stipulated in the contract of employment or not as long as the employee meets the conditions set.”

Further, the department said the employment relationships streamlining government expatriate employees’ affairs are governed by the conditions stipulated in the contracts they sign.

“Nonetheless, all the contracts conducted may never contradict any of the rules and regulations enacted her in the country.” All the government employees collecting their salary from the state general budget fall under the rulings of the federal law No13/2008. This general law, which must be enforced and abided by, regulates the human resources affairs in the federal government.

“The employee’s end of service gratuity is one of these rulings,” the department said in reply to a query on the gratuity of the employees recruited on the comprehensive reward basis, yet there are no end-of-service benefits stipulated in their contracts of employment.

As per article 114/2, an expatriate employee is entitled to a gratuity upon the end of service as follows: an amount equivalent to one month basic salary against every year of the first five, one and a half month basic salary against every year of the next five (6-10) and two month basic salary against every of the years (11+) to follow.

As such, employees, working on the comprehensive reward basis, are entitled to end of service benefits as per law, and have nothing to do with whatever is stipulated in the contract of employment. According to Sarachandra Bose, a lawyer, as per the UAE labour law, an employee shall be eligible for gratuity upon the completion of contract term.

“An employee who has completed one or more years of continuous service shall be entitled to severance pay at the end of his employment. Only if an employee working under the limited contract resigns before the completion of the term, he shall not be eligible for gratuity unless such employee completes five years in service,” he added.

Islamic researcher Dr Mohammed Ashmawy said end of service benefits smoothly go with the teachings of Islam. “Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has instructed employers to immediately pay workers’ wages even before their sweat dries.”

Mohammed Saad, Egyptian, said some employers abuse employees’ ignorance of law and deprive them of end of service gratuity. “This is unfair and the illegal act must be harshly penalised.”

“This is not the only wicked exploitation; some employers deprive their employees of several benefits while others put them under probation for one year or more to pay no gratuity in violation of law,” said Omar Nasser, a Syrian.

Mohammed Omar, Sudanese, said when he first came to the country in 2005, his employer forced him to work on a visit visa, and then ‘arbitrarily sacked me giving no reason, no benefits or even an air ticket back home.”

ahmedshaaban@khaleejtimes.com


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