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You cannot be banned after finishing 2 years of employment

Ashish Mehta
Filed on March 17, 2017 | Last updated on March 18, 2017 at 08.26 am
You cannot be banned after finishing 2 years of employment

I'm working as security guard in a company and my salary is Dh1,782. My visa expired on January 21 and it was recently renewed. Now, I have got an opportunity in a bank and they have offered me a job as department coordinator on a salary of Dh6,000. I have completed Bachelors of Commerce. My degree is attested from HEC (Higher Education Commission Pakistan) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan. I want to know if there will be any ban on me if I resign now from my company and join the bank?

Pursuant to your question, it is advised that if your employment contract is of unlimited duration, you are within your rights to terminate your employment by giving a prior notice of 30 days. This is in accordance with Article 117 of the Federal Law No. 8 ("Labour Law") of the UAE, which states: "(1) Both the employer and the worker may terminate a contract of employment of unlimited duration for a valid reason at any time following its conclusion by giving the other party notice in writing at least 30 days before the termination."

However, if your employment contract is of limited duration, you will be liable to compensate your employer with an amount not exceeding your 45 days' remuneration. This is in accordance with Article 116 of the 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 provisions pertaining to imposition of labour ban follows the provisions of Article 128 and Article 129 of the Labour Law. Article 128 deals with the provision of law in respect of termination of a limited period contract and it reads as follows: "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."

Further, the provisions of Article 129 deals with the provision of law relating to unlimited period contracts: "Where a non-national notifies the employer of his desire to terminate a contract of unlimited duration and leave his work before the expiry of the statutory period of notice, he shall 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 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 terminates 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 and Social Affairs 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. Since you are holding a bachelor's degree, the minimum salary that should be offered by your new employer must be atleast Dh12,000 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 the Ministry of Labour, with effect from October 1, is not imposing labour ban on employees who have completed at least two years of employment (limited duration or unlimited duration) with their employer. You may approach the Ministry of Labour to clarify any further queries related to imposition of labour ban.

Forcing person to sign document is offence

I have been working in my company for more than three years as a sales associate. As I proved my performance, my employer assigned me to another branch to improve the sales. But due to low customer inquiry and demand, I wasn't able to do my task well. Because of this, my employer is forcing me to resign.

When I said "no" to their demand, they started creating a problem by tracking my daily sales and asking me to sign on it. If I do not sign, they tell me it is insubordination.

Do I need to resign or wait for them to terminate me? If I file my resignation, will I get a ban as my contract is limited?

In view of the circumstances, you may take legal recourse against the employer for forcing you to resign. Forcing a person to sign on a document or provide a signed document against his will is a criminal offence described under Article 397 of the Federal Law No. 3 of 1987 on the Issuance of Penal Code which states: "Whoever by force or by threat, obtains a document, a signature thereon, an amendment thereto, cancellation or destruction thereof, shall be punished by term imprisonment."

Pursuant to the above mentioned law, you may consider lodging a criminal complaint against the employer who is forcing you to submit your resignation letter against your consent. Further, you may approach the Ministry of Labour to file a complaint against the employer for pressurizing you to submit your resignation.

Since you have completed three years with your employer, no labour ban may be imposed in case you resign from your employment. You will be liable to compensate your employer with an amount not exceeding 45 days' remuneration or the residual period of your contract as your employment contract is of limited duration.

This is in accordance with Article 116 of the 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 that 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 of the contrary."

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: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.





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