Contract can be ended if parties agree

 

Contract can be ended if parties agree

Published: Mon 11 Mar 2013, 9:25 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 5:07 PM

I am working in an LLC based in Abu Dhabi. My contract is unlimited. I handed in my resignation this month. I will complete two years with my current employer in May, but my employer has told me that he will not cancel my visa after a 30 days notice period since I signed the job offer where a 90 days notice period is mentioned.

Kindly advise whether I can go to the Labour Court with my case, or do I have to serve 90 days’ notice?

Article 113 of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 states: “A contract of employment shall terminate in any of the following cases:

  • if both parties agree to its termination, on condition that the worker’s consent is given in writing;
  • on the expiry of the period prescribed in the contract, unless the contract is expressly or tacitly extended in accordance with the provisions of this Law;
  • if either of the parties of a contract concluded for an unlimited period expresses his intention to terminate the contract; provided that the provisions of the Law regarding the period of notice are observed and on grounds accepted for the non-arbitrary termination of the contract.”

In accordance with the aforesaid provisions of Article 113, you may terminate the employment contract. Further, you may resign by issuing a 30-days notice period in accordance with Article 117 (1) of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 related to labour regulations which states: “Both the employer and the worker may terminate a contract of employment of unlimited duration for a valid reason at any time following its conclusion by giving the other party notice in writing at least 30 days before the termination.”

Article 117 (1) of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 related to labour regulations shall prevail over the terms of your offer letter pursuant to Article 7 of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 related to labour regulations which states: “Any stipulations contrary to the provisions of this Law, even if it was made prior to its commencement, shall be null and void unless they are more advantageous to the worker.”

You may approach the Ministry of Labour in case your employer refuses to comply with the provisions of Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 related to labour regulations.

Electronic renewal

I am a civil engineer working with an MNC here in Dubai for the past five years. I worked for three years on a limited contract which was renewed for another two years with special e-signature on the same contract without amending the date which has expired now in February 2013.

Now if the contract is renewed again for the third phase, will it be limited or unlimited?

Also, is it possible to change the contract to unlimited first before renewal since the labour card has expired?

We understand that your limited period labour contract expired in February 2013. Your labour contract will be renewed for a limited period at the time of its renewal as per the electronic renewal procedure. Thereafter, you and your employer may mutually amend the labour contract to an unlimited period and file it with the Ministry of Labour.

Employment ban

I am working for an LLC in Dubai and my three-year visa expired in December 2012. My company agreed and renewed my visa for another two years in February 2013.

As soon as my visa was stamped (for post quantities calculation technician as I am a Civil Engineer and had recently done my Masters), they started negotiating with me and gave me an amendment letter with half the salary and five working hours.

In this case, if I refuse to sign on the amendment letter, will a ban be imposed on me and what is the ban period in case they cancel my visa?

Will I be entitled to my leave salary which is due for the past two years, and gratuity?

It is learnt that, currently, the Ministry of Labour does not impose a ban on the employee if the employee has completed one year of continuous employment with his current employer. Since you have completed continuous employment for over one year with your current employer, there should be no employment ban imposed on you in case you wish to resign from your current employment. Accordingly, you may decide whether to decline signing the amendment letter or not.

Your question doesn’t specify whether you are employed on a limited period or unlimited period contract.

If you are employed on an unlimited period contract, you may resign by serving 30 days notice to your employer in accordance with Article 117(1) of the Federal No. 8 of 1980 regulating Labour Relations.

However if you are employed on a limited period contract, you may resign in accordance with the notice period specified in your employment offer letter or the employment contract.

You are entitled for leave salary in respect of any days of annual leave not taken in accordance with Article 79 of the aforementioned law which states: “Where a worker is dismissed or leaves his job after the period of notice prescribed by law, he shall be entitled to remuneration in respect of any days of annual leave not taken. Such remuneration shall be calculated on the basis of the remuneration that he earned on the date on which the leave became due.”

Further you are entitled to gratuity in accordance with Article 132 of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regulating Labour Relations which states: “A worker who has completed a period of one or more years of continuous service shall be entitled to severance pay on the termination of his employment. The days of absence from work without pay shall not be included in calculating the period of service. The severance pay shall be calculated as follows:

  • 21 days’ remuneration for each year of the first years of service.
  • 30 days remuneration for each additional year of service provided that the aggregate amount of severance pay shall not exceed two year’s remuneration.”

In the event you are employed on an unlimited period contract you shall be entitled for severance pay in accordance with Article 137 of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regulating Labour Relations which states: “Where a worker who is bound by a contract of unlimited duration leaves his work of his own accord after continuous service of not less than one year and not more than three years’ he shall be entitled to one-third of the severance pay provided for in the preceding article; where the continuous period of service exceeds three years but does not exceed five years, he shall be entitled to two-third of such severance pay; where the continuous period of service exceeds five years, he shall be entitled to the full severance pay.”

However in the event you are employed on a limited period contract you are not entitled for severance pay in case you leave your employment before expiry of contract period in accordance with Article 138 of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regulating Labour Relations which states: “Where a worker who is bound by a contract for a limited period leaves his work of his own accord before the expiry of his contract period, he shall not be entitled to severance pay unless his continuous period of service exceeds five years.”

By Ashish Mehta (Legal view)

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