UAE law: Can I request for my gratuity without resigning?
Is it possible to access the gratuity amount while still employed?
Question: This might sound silly, but is there any way I can apply for my gratuity amount without resigning? I have been working in a firm in Dubai for the last 20 years. My daughter is about to get married and I desperately need the cash. Please advise.
Answer: Pursuant to your queries, we assume that you are employed in a firm based in the mainland of Dubai. Therefore, the provisions of Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 Regulating Employment Relations in the UAE (the ‘Employment Law’) are applicable.
It should be noted that the Employment Law is silent with regards to payment of gratuity to the employee while he or she is still employed. Generally, gratuity is calculated as mentioned in Article 132 of the Employment Law, when an employer-employee relationship ends.
An employee is entitled to gratuity if his or her service period with the employer is at least one year; he or she is not terminated from employment on grounds as mentioned in Article 120 of the Employment Law; if the employee does not leave the employment on his or her own accord without serving notice period; and other conditions mentioned in Article 121 of the Employment Law.
However, considering your long-term relationship with your employer, you may make a written request to release your gratuity as on date. Based on this, your employer may consider your request and may release your gratuity amount or a part of it.
While releasing the gratuity in advance, your employer may also take a signed undertaking from you, confirming that you have already withdrawn a certain amount. Thereafter, while you are resigning or retiring, your employer will deduct this amount when paying your end of service benefits.
This is in accordance with Article 135 of the Employment Law, which states: “The employer may deduct any amounts due to him from the employee's end of service remuneration.”
Alternatively, you may consider requesting your employer to grant you a loan against your gratuity.
It is recommended that you contact the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation for more clarification regarding the said matter.
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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