Tenure of service begins when labour contract is endorsed

Samir El Azrak represents Al Moutawaa Wa Al Azrak Advocates and Legal Consultants. Readers may e-mail their questions to: ktedit@emirates.net.ae or send it to Khaleej Times, Dubai, P.O. Box 11243.

By Legal View By Samir El Azrak

Published: Sun 25 Nov 2007, 9:02 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:40 AM

Q: I have worked with a real estate company here for 13 months. My labour contract was endorsed only two months after I started work. As per my labour contract, I have completed 11 not 13 months. I intend to resign. My contract is renewable on a yearly basis. I wonder how many months I have really completed in service with that company — 11 or 13 months? Please advise.

A: According to Articles 35 and 36 of the Federal Labour Law, only the official labour contracts endorsed by the Ministry of Labour are taken into account in any dispute that may arise between workers and employers.

The labour contract shall specifically indicate the dates of work commencement and conclusion, besides its nature of the job, location, duration and wage amount.

As such, you have only completed 11 months in service. Only the date of your labour contract endorsement by the Ministry of Labour is acknowledged.

Should you wish to resign, you have to give your employer a resignation notice of at least one full month prior to quitting.

Q: I recently signed a contract with a new company in Abu Dhabi, after quitting a job in another company. However, I have not been working for the past two months because I am still on a visit visa. Is the new company entitled to force me to start working though I’m still on visit visa? As far as I know, this is legally prohibited. Under which conditions shall I be able to start work? Is it possible to seek another employment with any other organisation since the new company is not willing to pay for my ‘non- working’ time?

A: People on visit visa are not legally permitted to work. The company, which you have moved to, cannot force you to start working. This is a sheer violation of law. Both you and the company shall be liable to fine and other penalties.

The company, as per the law, should first complete the set procedures requisite for labour contract. It should be endorsed by the Ministry of Labour as well. — Compiled by Ahmed Shaaban

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