Legal View

Hamdan Al Harmi is an advocate and Legal Consultant from Emirates Advocate. He can be contacted on It is advisable that readers with queries on labour-related issues specify the type of contract they have with their sponsors, limited or unlimited, the duration of the years of service and explain, in brief, the reasons for leaving the sponsor.

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Published: Sun 13 Nov 2005, 10:17 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:36 PM

Readers may e-mail their questions to or send it to Khaleej Times Dubai P.O. Box 11243.

Working on probation while on a visit visa

Q- I am a clerk on a visit visa. I applied to work for an airline company. The manager told me that the company will officially offer me the job and sign a contract with me, but first I will have to undergo a six-month probation period. The contract will be signed any time during the probation period. Accordingly, they will issue me a residence visa. My first three-month visa expired and there was no word from my bosses on its extension although they kept on praising my job that encouraged me even to work overtime. I applied for another visit visa on my own expenses. By the end of the six months, I was told that I am not fit for the job. I heard from colleagues that the management recruits people on probation; and once six months expire, they make excuses and look for others to fill the same vacancies. I want to know whether this is legal. Does the employer have the right to employ staff on experimental basis and exploit people's need for a job?

THE company should have signed a contract with you even if the job is given to you on probation basis because Article No. 37 of the Labour Law No. 8 of 1980 stipulates that a worker may be engaged on probation for a period not exceeding six months, during which his services may be terminated by the employer without notice or severance pay provided that a worker shall not be engaged on probation more than once in the service of any one employer. Where a worker successfully completes his period of probation and remains in his job, the said period shall be reckoned towards his period of service. Companies offering a job and a person accepting it on a visit visa is a violation of the country's laws. Violators among companies as well as the workers are punishable.

According to the law even if the employer was willing to try the staff, he should operate legally and sign a contract and issue the necessary papers to the worker. Since you were working while holding a visit visa, you cannot complain to the ministry because you yourself are a violator.

Deduction in salary

We are a group of workers at a factory in Ajman. We came to the country through a recruitment agency. The agency back in India asked each one of us to pay about Dh3,000. All of us sold or mortgaged properties or took loans from relatives and neighbours dreaming that we will be able to repay our debts a couple of months after our arrival in the UAE. When we arrived here, we were stunned to come to know that the employer will deduct Dh100 out of our monthly salary for one full year to pay it to the recruitment agency as was agreed between the two. Many of us were in the UAE before joining the factory through the same local recruitment agency. Now we are facing double problems and our efforts are going in vain. How can we pay back our debts when we have also to pay to the recruitment agency here, and that too for one complete year? Please advise us if this is legal? If not, what can we do? The salary we are getting is just sufficient for our expenses here and our families back home.

REGARDING the exaggerated payments that were asked by overseas recruitment agencies, they are an issue of the relevant country.

However, the deduction of workers' salaries is a clear violation of the labour law which stipulates in Article No. 18: "No licensed employment agent or supplier of labour shall demand, accept from any person, either before or after his recruitment, any commission or material reward in return for arranging such recruitment or charge him for any expenses thereby incurred, except as may be ordered or approved by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

Persons supplied by an employment agent or supplier of labour shall, immediately upon entering employment, be regarded as employees of the establishment in which they are employed. Relations between them and the employer shall be direct and without any intervention on the part of the employment agent, whose function and relationships with them shall cease as soon as they are introduced to the employer and employed.

The workers should lodge a complaint with the labour ministry and should be able to prove that their salaries, as agreed upon in the contract, are subject to monthly deduction.

— Compiled by Eman Al Baik

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