If a contract is revoked by the worker for reasons other than those specified in article 121, he will be required to compensate the employer for any prejudice the latter sustains as a result.
No ban if you finish 2 years of employment
I have been working at a medical centre as an insurance clerk for the last three years. After completing my first limited period two-year contract, the company renewed it with a revised salary of Dh4,550 per month. I am not happy with the growth prospects offered by the company. I have got a better offer, but I am not sure if I will get a labour ban. If I do, is there any way to get it lifted?
Since your contract is of limited duration, you will be liable to compensate your employer with an amount not exceeding your 45 days' remuneration in case you quit your current employment. This is in accordance with Article 116 of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 ('Labour Law') which states, "Where a contract is revoked by the worker for reasons other than those specified in article 121, he shall be required to compensate the employer for any prejudice the latter sustains as a result; provided the amount of compensation shall not exceed half the worker's remuneration for three months or the residual period of the contract, whichever is shorter unless the contract contains a provision on the contrary."
The provision pertaining to imposition of labour ban follows the provisions of Article 128 and Article 129 of the Labour Law. Article 128 of the Labour Law states, "Where a non-national worker leaves his work without a valid reason before the expiry of a contract for a limited period, he may not, even with the employer's consent, take up other employment for one year from the date on which he left his work. It shall not be lawful for any other employer who is aware of the fact to recruit such worker or keep him in his service before the expiry of such period."
However, it may also be noted that the foregoing provisions of Labour Law are not meant to be prejudicial to the interests of the employee and also they are not applicable in every case when an employee seeks to terminate the employment contract. The provisions pertaining to imposition of labour bans are applicable only in cases where an employee arbitrarily terminated the employment contract, that is, without a good reason on his part.
It may also be noted that labour bans may not be imposed in cases where the employer and the employee have mutually agreed to the termination of the contract, in accordance with the Article 130 of the Labour Law, which states: "The provisions of article 128 and 129 shall not apply to a non-national worker who, before taking up other employment, obtains the authorisation of the Minister of Labour with the approval of the original employer."
It may be noted that employment bans are not imposed if after termination of an existing employment contract, one is subsequently offered a salary prescribed for one's professional qualifications in accordance with Article 4 of the Ministerial Order No. 1186 of 2010 which states, "As an exception to the provision of the Item No. (2) of Article 2 of this Resolution, the Ministry may issue a work permit to an employee without requiring the two-year period in the following cases:
a) In the event that the employee is starting his new position at the first, second or third professional levels after fulfilling the conditions for joining any of these levels according to the rules in force at the Ministry, and provided that his new wage is not less than Dh12,000 at the first professional level, Dh7,000 at the second professional level and Dh5,000 at the third professional level."
It is learnt that Ministry of Labour, with effect from October 1, 2015, is not imposing labour ban on employees who have completed two years of employment (limited duration or unlimited duration) with their current employer.
Engineers can change job without fear of ban
I am working on a limited period contract of two years on an engineer's visa. I have been offered another job at a monthly salary of Dh10,000. I contacted the Ministry of Labour's call centre and was informed that I need a minimum salary of Dh12,000 to avoid a labour ban. How can I get the ban lifted if I resign?
Pursuant to your question, it may be noted that an employee who may terminate his employment before the completion of two years of continuous service, may not be imposed an employment ban if such employee is subsequently offered a salary in accordance with his professional qualifications.
You are an engineer and therefore you fall under the purview of the first professional level, under which Dh12,000 monthly salary is required to take up new employment before expiry of your limited contract. Since you are working on an engineer's visa, it is assumed that your professional education certificates are duly attested as per the requirements of the Ministry of Labour.
In this regard, it may be noted that certain professionals are exempted from imposition of a labour ban to change employment from one employer to the other.
This is in accordance with Article 2 of the Ministerial Order No. 13 of 1991 on "The organisation of the transfer of sponsorships of non-national labours the rules governing the same', which states, "Non-national labourers may be allowed to transfer one job to another and hence transfer of their sponsorship if they fall under the following categories:
(b) Doctors, pharmacists and male and female nurses
(c) Agricultural guides
(d) Qualified accountants and account auditors
(e) Qualified administrative officials
(f) Technicians operating on electronic equipment and laboratories
(g) Drivers who are licensed to drive heavy vehicles and buses."
You can get fired for not replying to warnings
We have served an employee of our company with a warning notice and advised the person to submit a written explanation within three days. Please advise what action we can take if the employee does not respond within this period.
Pursuant to your question, we advise that in case your employee does not provide you with explanation in writing to the warning notice served to him, you may once again call upon him to provide an explanation within the next few days as you deem appropriate. Despite your reminder if the employee does not respond, as an employer you have the right to terminate his employment. It should be noted that not responding to warning notice means that the employee is accepting the allegations mentioned in warning notice. This follows the Latin maxim 'Qui Tacet Consentire Videtur' which means "he who is silent is taken to agree".
Further, Article 120 (e) of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 states, "An employer may dismiss a worker without notice if the worker does not perform his basic duties under the contract of employment and persists in violating them despite the fact that he has been the subject of a written investigation for this reason and that he has been warned that he will be dismissed if such behavior continues;". Based on the above provision of law you may take action against such employee.
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom, Singapore 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.