LEGAL VIEW: Recovering the dues

U.M., Dubai: Three months ago, a company in Dubai provided me with employment as a (writer/administrative clerk) on a salary of Dh1,000. To date I have not received my salary, and now I am on the lookout for a better job. Please advise me: How can I get my dues? And in case if a company offers me a job and visa, can I change over to the new employment?

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Published: Sun 9 Feb 2003, 2:11 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 10:24 PM

Answer: We presume your visa is stamped and you are under their sponsorship. If so, you can approach the Labour Relations Department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs requesting a direction to the employer for paying the salary arrears.

This process is slightly time-consuming, as the employers, when notified, use delaying tactics to frustrate the employees. Further, if the matter is not resolved before the ministry, then the case will be referred to the Dubai Court, in which case the matter will take some more time.

Residence visas can be transferred only if your designation falls within the exempted category. And since the writer/administrative clerk is not listed among those categories, your sponsorship cannot be transferred.

Unpaid dues

Messrs Paintex, Dubai: We recently finished the external painting of a private villa. We have received 70 per cent payment. When we approached the owner for payment of the remaining 30 per cent, he refused to pay saying the workmanship was not good. Further, he advised us to seek the intervention of the court for recovery of the unpaid balance. Please advise us.

Answer: Without examining your engagement (works) contract, we cannot advise you. But if you have certified proof of your workmanship and if the owner has not commented on the quality of workmanship during the work progress, then the owner's reluctance to pay will not be upheld by the court. Clearly, the owner's suggestion to approach the court is the appropriate remedy which you need to initiate.

Age for jobs

RBT Inc., Sharjah: Does the labour laws of the UAE prohibit the employment of any category of workers. Are there any restrictions of employment?

Answer: The UAE labour laws prohibit the employment of youngsters under the age of 15. If an employer wishes to engage a youngster under the age of 15, it is mandatory to retain the following documents, in the young (juvenile) employee's personal file, namely,
(i) The birth certificate or estimate of age issued by a specialised physician and certified by the health department.
(ii) A certificate of physical fitness in relation to the work responsibilities, issued by a specialised physician, and certified by the health department.

There is a clear prohibition against employing juveniles in the following circumstances:

(i) Working during the night in industrial undertakings.
(ii) Engaged in hazardous jobs or other assignments causing risk to health.
(iii) Where working hours exceed six hours per day.
(iv) Overtime work under any circumstances is prohibited for juveniles, and they are not expected to remain in the work place after working hours.
(v) No work on holidays.
Employment of women at night between 10pm and 7am is prohibited, except in the following special cases:

(i) Where work is stopped due to conditions beyond control (force majeure).
(ii) If employed in technical and administrative positions.
(iii) Health workers in health services and other related jobs determined by the Ministry of Health provided female employees are not expected to be engaged in manual labour.

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