Question: Could you please explain if the concept of employment-related bans still exists in the UAE? If so, under what circumstances can an employee be banned? I work in a private company in mainland Dubai.
Response: Pursuant to your queries, as you are employed by a private mainland company in Dubai, the provisions of Federal Decree-Law No.33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations (the 'Employment Law') and those of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 on the Implementation of Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 Regarding the Regulation of Employment Relations (the 'Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022') are applicable.
In the UAE, during the probation period, an employee should serve a notice period of 14 days in case he/she is travelling outside the UAE, or one month if he/she intends to join another employer in the country. This is as stipulated in Article 9(3) and 9(4) of the Employment Law. In the event the employee does not serve the notice period, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (the 'MOHRE') may impose an employment ban of one year on the employee.
This is in accordance with Article 9(6) of the Employment Law, which states: "A foreign employee who leaves the UAE without complying with the provisions of this Article shall not be granted a work permit to work in the UAE for a period of (1) one year from the date of his departure."
Further, an employee who is absent from work without a valid reason before the expiration of the employment contract may be imposed with a ban of one year. This is in accordance with Article 50 of the Employment Law, which states: "1. A foreign employee who is absent from work, for illegal cause, before the expiration of the employment contract, shall not be granted another work permit to join another employer in the UAE, pursuant to provisions hereof, for a term of (1) one year from the date of absence from work, and no Employer who is aware of such absence may employ him or keep him in his service within such period.
2. The Ministry may exempt certain job categories, skill levels, or manpower from paragraph (1) above, in accordance with the controls and procedures set by the Executive Regulations of this Decree-Law.
3. The Employer shall report to the Ministry the absence from work according to the procedures set by the Executive Regulations of this Decree-Law."
Article 28 (1) of the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 states that in the event an employee is absent from work without informing the employer for a continuous period of seven days, he/she may possibly get one year of employment ban.
However, in accordance with Article 11 and Article 28 (2) of the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, an employment ban may not be applicable to the employees who hold a family-sponsored UAE residence visa; whosoever applies for new work permit in the same entity; employees who hold professional qualifications, skills or knowledge that the country is in need of; golden residency visa holders; and any professional categories according to the need in the UAE and as mentioned by the MOHRE.
Therefore, as an employee, it may be prudent for you to resign from your employment by serving the stipulated notice period. However, if you fall under the exempted categories as mentioned above, there may be no employment ban imposed on you.
The number of days of any approved unpaid leave availed by the employee will not be included in calculating the service period
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