Can my company force me not to travel during annual leave?
Know your legal rights in the UAE.
Question: I am an employee in a construction firm planning to travel to France on a two-week annual leave as flights have resumed operations. Can my company force me to stay in the UAE and not allow me to travel to see my parents in France during my leave days?
We assume that you are employed by a construction firm which is registered in the mainland of the UAE. Therefore, your employment is regulated by Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regulating Employment Relations in the UAE and the subsequent Ministerial Orders. Your employer may not force you to stay in the UAE during your annual leave and it is your discretion to travel outside the UAE during your annual leave.
In the event your employer possesses your passport and refuses to return it to enable you to travel, you may lodge a complaint with the police.
If you possess your passport, you may travel and if upon return your employer initiates any disciplinary or other action, you may lodge a complaint with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
However, on your return to the UAE, you should follow protocols laid down by the UAE authorities
Know the law:
If you possess your passport, you may travel and if upon return your employer initiates any disciplinary or other action, you may lodge a complaint.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.
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