Will I be blacklisted?

I used to work as an accounts manager in a trading company for seven years. I had to leave the country after I met with an accident and could not come back.

By Mushtaq Ahmad Jan

Published: Fri 30 Mar 2012, 2:12 PM

Last updated: Thu 8 Dec 2022, 11:57 AM

When my visa expired, the company issued a visit visa, but I could not come back due to my illness. By the time I recovered, recession had set in forcing the company to close down. The owner of the company, being deeply in debt with a number of banks, left Dubai without settling dues. Is it possible for me to go back to Dubai on a visit visa and try for another job with another company? What should I do if the company has blacklisted me? Please, advise.

Three different legal issues have been raised in this question: ownership of a company and its liabilities, coming back to Dubai and working for another company, and about blacklisting.

A shareholder of a company may be held liable for his own acts. For instance, shareholders of a small company (which is a general practice here in the UAE) are often required to give personal guarantees for the company’s debts to the bank. Usually, a bank which lends also obtains post-dated cheques signed by the shareholders or director of a company.

Thus, a signatory of a cheque will bear criminal liability in case a cheque bounces. Thus, the signatory or the guarantors will be held liable in the event the company failed to pay its debts.

Keeping in view the above, the debts of the company will not affect any of the employee including you, however, being an accounts manager of the company, if you had signed any cheques on behalf of the company, then, you will be held responsible for the same.

Subject to the absence of any bounced cheque or any other criminal record, you can come to Dubai and work for any company due to two reasons (i) being an employee, you are not responsible for the debt of the company; (ii) your employment visa and labour contract are expired, consequently are not applicable any more.

Under UAE laws, if an employee leaves a job without completing two years, then, the Ministry of Labour will impose a work ban for six months or for one year. Both these situations are not applicable to you as you have completed seven years in the company and after expiry of your visa, you did not remain as an employee of the company, especially after the company had issued a visit visa for you. Furthermore, a work ban is not applicable if the current or new employer is based in a free zone in Dubai.

Dh30,000 to Dh21,000

I was working for a company here and resigned nearly 18 months ago. My total end of service benefits came to Dh50,000 which they promised to give in installments of Dh7,000. After three installments they stopped paying and then though there was a balance of Dh30,000, the company wanted me to settle at Dh21,000.

After waiting for nearly 1.5 years I had no other go than to accept the same as I thought something would be better than nothing.

They also took a written undertaking from me in Arabic. Is it legal and ethical? Can companies apply for such discount on finals settlement amounts? Please advice.

As per the applicable law, you were entitled to end of employment benefits as provided by the UAE Labour laws. Consequently, no company is entitled to reduce the amount. However, you agreed by your own free will, and signed the undertaking and thus entered into a settlement with the company which is binding upon you. You were supposed to sign after you understood the content of the undertaking as ignorance of law is not an excuse in law.

Security deposit

What can be done if the real estate company refuses to pay the building security deposit? We rented a flat in Dubai in 2009. During the course of our stay, the building was sold by the real estate agents from whom we rented out the flat, to another real estate agency.

While vacating the flat in De cember 2011, the new real estate company did not pay us the security deposit citing we should take the security deposit from the original real estate agents. When we approached the original real estate agency they refuse the payment giving some lame excuses. What can be done at such situations?

You entered into an agreement with the original real estate agent and paid the security deposit. Therefore, in the absence of any new agreement between you and the new real estate agent which must expressly mention that the new real estate agent is responsible for returning of the security deposit, the original real estate agent is responsible to pay the security deposit as the rent contract binds the original agent and not the new agent.

Freelancer licence

My wife is currently on my sponsorship and by profession she is cosmetologist. She wants to obtain a freelancer licence in her field. We tried obtaining it from Dubai Media city, but we understand that freelancer licence can only be issued to media professionals and not to beautician/cosmetologist. Can you please suggest how we can obtain the licence from any free zone and also the cost involved?

You can get a free zone licence from the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) as JAFZA allows such activities under activity Code No “930202 Ladies Cosmetic & Personal Care Center”.

Jebel Ali free zone companies may be formed within JAFZA as the following types of business (companies): Free Zone Establishment (FZE) and Free Zone Company (FZCO). A FZE formation can be with a single shareholder with a minimum capital of Dh1 million and FZCO can be formed with two to five shareholders with a minimum capital of Dh500,000. - Compiled by Ahmed Shaaban

Mushtaq Ahmad Jan is a lawyer at the Global Advocates and Legal Consultants, with a Master’s Degree in International Commercial Law, University of Hull, Kingston-upon-Hull, England.

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