No offs? Workers must be compensated


No offs? Workers must be compensated

Published: Mon 25 Feb 2013, 8:55 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 5:20 AM

Our company has sent a memo stating that from 2013 all offs/leave for employees have been cancelled because they want to increase the sales and revenue. These include National Day, Eid Al Fitr, Eid Al Adha, and all government holidays. They did not mention anything about overtime or compensatory offs. Can a company deny its staff leave and weekly offs? Where can I register a complaint against the company?

Article 81 of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regulating labour relations states: “Where the circumstances of the work require a worker to work on public holiday or rest day in respect of which the worker is entitled to full or partial pay, the worker shall be granted compensatory leave in respect of such day(s), together with a bonus equal to 50 per cent of his remuneration. If the worker is not compensated for such day(s) by leave, his employer shall pay him a bonus equal to 150 per cent of the basic remuneration in respect of the days worked.”

Therefore, your employer may require you to work during public holiday(s) and day(s) off provided your employer compensates you with (i) a holiday on another day; and (ii) 50 per cent extra salary of your basic monthly salary, on pro rata basis. In the event the employer does not compensate with a holiday on another day then the employer should compensate you by paying 150 per cent of your basic monthly salary, on pro rata basis.

In the event your employer does not comply with the provisions of Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regulating labour relations, you may file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour.

No contractual agreement means no restriction

I am a manager in a real estate company. I have an employee who worked in my company for six months on a mission visa. After the tenure of the mission visa he agreed to join us on an employment visa. He now refuses to sign the new labour contract with the reason that he does not agree with a point in our contract which says: “Not to join any competitor for two years after cancellation”. We have decided to let him go, but is there any way I can put a restriction on this employee from joining the same field since he worked in our company on the mission visa and received training for free?

This particular employee and your company never executed an employment contract as he was employed by your company on a mission visa.

Further, there is no agreement between your company and him, which restricts him from working with another company who is 
in the same business of your company.

Therefore, your company is unable to restrict him from working with another employer who may be in the same business of your company.

Visa rejection due to ‘security reasons’

My friend has been working for 11 years in the UAE. His last job was with a company in Hamriya Free Zone, which he held for two years. He recently cancelled the visa for a job with a company in another Free Zone, but his visa has been rejected due to ‘security reasons’. Now he is facing a problem with only 10 days in hand after cancellation of his current visa. What can he do to stay in the UAE?

Your friend may, directly or through his prospective employer, approach the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (Immigration Department) and/or the visa issuance department of the Free Zone where he seeks employment to check the exact cause of rejection of his employment visa on ‘security reasons’, and thereafter, address the concern of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (Immigration Department) so an employment visa may be issued.

In the event the 10 days are not sufficient to carry out the aforementioned, your friend may leave the United Arab Emirates and in his absence, the prospective employer of your friend may approach the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs to check the exact cause for rejection of his employment visa on security reasons.

Will resignation lead to ban?

I am under a private company visa in Dubai as a salesman. But I am planning to resign from this company and join another employer. I have completed one year and one month. I now draw a salary of Dh1,000 a month plus accommodation and transportation. My new company is offering me a salary of Dh3,000 per month. Will I be slapped with a ban? Will I be denied an NoC?

You have not mentioned whether your employment contract with the current employer is for a limited duration or unlimited duration. Article 117 (1) of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 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.”

In the event you are employed on an employment contract of limited duration, the notice period may vary between 30 days to 90 days, depending what is the notice period stipulated in the employment contract.

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 ban imposed on you in case you wish to resign from your current employment.

Ashish Mehta, LLB, F.I.C.A., M.C.I.T., M.C.I.Arb., is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates, a legal consultancy firm in Dubai. He also practises in India, United Kingdom and Singapore. He has worked with international and commercial legal procedures, providing analysis and counselling on complex legal documents and policies such as commercial transactions, securitisation, real estate acquisitions, financial restructuring for distressed assets, mergers and acquisitions, arbitration and litigation issues. Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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