Are you eligible for air ticket from your employer in UAE? Find out
This is in accordance with Article 131 of the Employment Law.
Q-I have been a resident of the UAE for the past 25 years. My recent employment was at a private hospital in the emirate of Dubai, which was terminated at the end of my probation period. However, I requested my employer to grant me an additional period of three months before the cancellation of my residence visa to allow me to search for a new employment, to which my employer agreed verbally. Thereafter, at the end of the additional three months, my employer called upon me to sign the documents to cancel my residence visa and I complied with my employer's request. However, I have not been paid my salary for the six days for which I was employed during the month of October 2019. Further, my employer is demanding from me the three months of salary and medical insurance charges. On the other hand, my employer is refusing to provide me with an air ticket to my home country. Does my employer have the right to demand from me the three months' salary and the medical insurance cost? Am I eligible for an air ticket to my home country?
Pursuant to your queries, we assume that your employer is based in the mainland of the emirate of Dubai and therefore, the provisions of Dubai Law No. (11) of 2013 concerning health insurance in the emirate of Dubai (the 'Dubai Health Insurance Law') and Federal Law No. (8) of 1980 regulating employment relations in the UAE (the 'Employment Law') shall be applicable.
In response to the first part of your query, it may be noted that an employer is under an obligation to provide their employees with a medical insurance coverage and the employer is liable to bear the charges for the employee's medical insurance coverage. This is in accordance with Article 10 (1) and Article 10 (2) of the Dubai Health Insurance Law, which states:
The employer shall be obliged to do the following:
1-Cover the employees by health insurance in accordance with the health insurance policy applicable thereby; providing to comply with the provisions of this law and the resolutions issued pursuant thereto.
2-Bear the costs for such health insurance coverage rather than making the beneficiaries do so."
It is the sole responsibility of the employer to bear the costs of their employee's medical insurance coverage. Therefore, any demand made by an employer to their employee for payment of costs arising out of the employee's medical insurance coverage is in violation of Article 10 (2) of the Dubai Health Insurance Law.
In response to the second part of your query, upon the termination of an employment, an employer is liable to bear the costs for the employee's repatriation to their home country. This is in accordance with Article 131 of the Employment Law, which states:
"Upon expiry of contract, the employer shall bear the cost of the employee's repatriation to his point of hire or to any other point that was mutually agreed upon. Where an employee joins another employer upon expiry of his contract, the latter shall bear the cost of the employee's repatriation at the end of his service.
Without prejudice to the foregoing, if the employer fails to return the employee or to pay his repatriation expenses, the competent authorities shall do so at the employer's expense and may then recover any expenditure incurred in this connection by attachment.
Where the reason for the termination of the contract is attributable to the employee, his repatriation shall be at his own expense if he has the means to pay."
Considering the aforementioned provisions of the Dubai Health Insurance Law and the Employment Law, it may be noted that your employer should bear your medical insurance coverage costs. Further, your employer is under an obligation to provide you with an air ticket for your repatriation to your home country and you are entitled to receive remuneration until the last day of your employment with your employer. As you have mentioned that your employer has refused to settle your dues and repatriation costs, you may file a complaint with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
Know the law
Upon expiry of contract, the employer shall bear the cost of the employee's repatriation to his point of hire or to any other point that was mutually agreed upon
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: email@example.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.
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