Extra work okay during free time

Tarik Nassar represents Ja’afar Alwan, Al Jaziri & Associates. Readers may e-mail their questions to: ktedit@emirates.net.ae or send them to Khaleej Times, Dubai P.O Box 11243.

By Legal View By Tarik Nassar

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Published: Sun 21 Oct 2007, 8:56 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:51 AM

Q: Is it possible for a legal adviser, who works with a private company here, to enter an agreement with another company, whereby he shall be bound to provide the latter with legal and property researches and studies based on his legal expertise against certain fees?

He shall not, however, be asked to report for duty or abide by the company’s rules or instructions. Can he collect his fees on a monthly basis?

A: First of all, we should bear in mind that the public liberties guaranteed and protected in Islam, and later, the international bills of human rights, do ensure the freedom of work.

A worker is legally entitled to choose the employer he prefers to extend his service to. He can even work with another employer during his free time, yet certain rules should be strictly observed.

The legislations governing intellectual property rights do secure the author’s right to decide on the way he chooses to benefit from his intellectual works. No one else is entitled to enjoy the subsequent financial and moral rights of his work, even the employer he works for.

Good faith is the predominant principle on which all contracts, particularly those of employment, are based upon. A worker is then considered confidential attendant to his employer.

Therefore, the employee shall comply with his employer’s good faith based instructions.

A worker is unilaterally entitled to take up another work in his free time. Nonetheless, that extra work should not affect his performance in his original work.

Moreover, the extra work should not be competitive to the work of his employer as well.

Therefore, a worker is prohibited under some laws — as stipulated in Article 88 of the UAE Federal Labour Law — from working with another employer during his annual or sick leave.

Such malpractice is considered a breach of trust.

In view of that, the legal adviser is entitled to exploit his intellectual properties, researches and studies during his leisure time against certain fees without affecting his original duties. He can also collect his fees in instalments. — Compiled by Ahmed Shaaban

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