Striking workers to be banned for one year

DUBAI — Expatriate workers who participate or provoke labour strikes will be banned from working in the country for at least one year from the date of their departure, according to a new rule introduced by the Ministry of Labour.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Mon 11 Sep 2006, 9:14 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:21 PM

Under the new set of rules announced yesterday by the ministry, workers who have been administratively deported or ordered to be deported by a court ruling will also be banned from working in the country for one year. The Ministry of Labour has laid down balanced measures, offering many incentives to the employees abiding by the regulations, and those who do not cover up for the bogus or closed establishments. It has, in the meantime, toughened the penalties against both the offending workers and the establishments.

The ministry has made it mandatory on the employee, whose complaint is referred to the concerned court, to furnish the Labour Department, which looked into the complaint and referred to the court, with the updates on the case and the procedures adopted within a period not exceeding six months from the date of referring the complaint. The Minister of Labour, Dr Ali Abdullah Al Kaabi, issued a decree making it mandatory for an employee who is working legally in the country and whose work relation with his employer has ended for any reason to inform the ministry within a period of three months, even if the labour card is still valid.

A worker is also compelled to notify the ministry’s Labour Relations Department or Inspection Department within three months and should also adhere to their instructions if his company closes down, or suspends its works for any reason, or if it goes bankrupt. He should also report to the ministry if his employment ends by mutual consent after the completion of the probation period. Other cases where the employee is asked to notify the ministry includes the end of labour relation while he is on probation, or if he quits the work because the employer has breached his obligations, or if the employer or his representative assaults him, in addition to obtaining his dues for which the competent labour department has referred him to the court — whether he gets those end-of-service dues by a court order or amicably.

Article 6 of the ministerial order stipulates that an employee whose labour card expires should inform the ministry within a maximum period of three months from the date of expiry, if he is not on duty at the establishment sponsoring him. In this case, the establishment will be held responsible. In any case, the employee who fails to inform the ministry about any change in his work relation as above-mentioned will be regarded as a violator to the labour rules and regulations. This also applies to an employee who is found in the country in a situation that is deemed a breach of the law and its executive regulations.

The order organised the cancellation of work permits and set a time limit for it. It stipulates that if an employee requests that his work permit be cancelled and expresses his wish to leave the country, the department concerned at the Ministry of Labour will have to summon his employer and reply to the request within a maximum period of seven days. If the employer fails to show up after seven days from the date of notification, or if he fails to give an acceptable reason protesting the request of cancellation, the department cocnerned will cancel the work permit and the sponsorship (visa) without the employer’s consent.

The ministry will not — prior to the lapse of at least a year from the date of the departure of the employee — issue a new work permit to those whose labour relation with the employer has ended for any of the reasons stipulated in Article 120 of the Federal Labour Law No. 8 of 1980, or if the residence visa of the employee has been cancelled and his residency in the country is terminated by an order from the authorities concerned or by a court order. The ministry will also not issue a new work permit before the lapse of one year for any employee whose labour relation with his employer has ended for reasons pertaining to taking part in a labour strike or enticing a protest. This rule will also be applicable in the event of cancellation of the work permit of an employee found to have contracted a contagious disease, or as per the rules of the Labour Inspection Department.

The ministerial order has authorised the Ministry of Labour not to issue a work permit to the employee before the lapse of one year from the date of cancellation of his sponsorship if he discontinues work as per the provisions of Articles 128 and 129 of the Labour Law, or if his labour relations end during the probation period according to applicable norms and measures, provided the ministry has been informed about the end of labour relations within three months. The Ministry of Labour has tasked the undersecretary of the ministry to issue the regulations and instructions to enforce the order.

All expats working without work permit termed ‘illegal’

MINISTER of Labour Dr Ali Abdullah Al Kaabi stressed that expatriates, except the categories stipulated in Article 3 of the Federal Labour Law No. 8 of 1980 (those who fall under Naturalisation and Residency Departments such as housemaids and drivers), are not allowed to practise any work inside the UAE without obtaining work permits issued by the ministry as per the rules and regulations adopted here.

The minister has specified eight cases in which an expatriate is considered a violator. Those include working without a work permit, working for a company other than his sponsoring establishment, staying in the country without work, and failing to notify the ministry within three months after leaving a job, and failing to notify the ministry within six months of referring a labour complaint to the court, about the progress of his case.

The ministerial order stressed that the cancellation of work permits and sponsorship are to be done by the ministry without fees and fines for the employees who want to leave the country, and have already notified the ministry within the set three-month period.

Labourers who notify the ministry about the changes in their job status and inform it about the end of their work relation with their employers within the set three-month period will be given the option to either apply for new labour permits or transfer the sponsorship as per a request submitted by the new employer.

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