UAE employee rights after being fired: Notice period, extra day off; all you need to know

If the employer terminates the job contract, the worker is entitled to one unpaid leave per week during notice period to search for another employment


Ajanta Paul

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Published: Sun 2 Jun 2024, 1:00 PM

Last updated: Sun 2 Jun 2024, 10:27 PM

Employment transitions, whether termination or resignation, can be a complex process, and the notice period is critical in ensuring a smooth departure for both employers and employees. This period allows seamless and organised handover of responsibilities, safeguarding the interests of both parties involved.

In the UAE, an employer or an employee may end the job contract by serving a notice period specified in the agreement. Either party may terminate the contract by giving the other a written notice, thereby facilitating an orderly exit or transition.

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Understanding the process of the notice period is essential for an effective work environment. This article explains the intricacies of the notice period in the UAE, the legal framework, and best practices for both employers and employees to follow.

When an employment contract may be terminated

Following are the situations in which an employment contract may be terminated as per the UAE labour law:

  1. If the term of the contract expires and is not extended or renewed
  2. If both the employer and employee mutually agree in writing to end it
  3. If either party wishes to end it, provided that the terminating party observes the provisions of termination of the employment contract and the notice period agreed upon (details below)
  4. In the event of the employer’s death if the subject of the contract is related to its entity
  5. In the event of the worker’s death or full permanent inability to work, based on a certificate issued by a medical entity
  6. Where a worker faces a final court judgement of a freedom-restricting penalty for a period of not less than three months
  7. If the establishment is closed permanently, in accordance with the legislations in force in the UAE
  8. If the employer becomes bankrupt or insolvent, or faces any economic or exceptional reasons that prevent the continuation of the project
  9. If the worker fails to fulfil the conditions for renewing the work permit for any reason beyond the control of the employer.

Employee rights when terminated

An employee may terminate the contract without notice if the employer does not fulfil the conditions laid down in the employment contract; assaults the employee; or assigns the employee another work without his or her consent.

If an employer does not serve the notice period to the employee, then monetary compensation is must. The compensation shall be equal to the salary of the employee for the entire notice period, or the remainder thereof.

Either party in the employment contract can terminate the contract for any ‘legitimate reason,’ provided that the following conditions are met:

Written notification: A written notification must be given to the other party.

Notice period: The terminating party must serve a notice period of 1 month (30 days) to 3 months (90 days).

Following provisions must be followed:

Work requirements: The work agreed in the contract must be performed during the notice period.

Full wage entitlement: The worker is entitled to their full wage as per the contract for the entire notice period.

Job search leave: If the employer terminates the contract, the worker is entitled to one unpaid leave day per week during the notice period to search for another job.

Failure to serve notice period: If a party fails to serve the notice period, they must pay the other party a ‘notice period’ allowance.

This allowance is equal to the worker’s wage for the full notice period or proportional to the remaining period.

The allowance is calculated according to the last wage received by the worker.

— Note that the notice period may be reduced or exempted on mutual agreement between the two parties, with no infringement of any parties’ rights.

Termination during probation period

In the UAE, an employer may place an employee on probation for not more than six months. The employer may terminate the employment contract during this period, by serving 14 days’ notice provided that the employer has not breached the contractual obligations.

An employee who wants to resign and join another employer in the UAE during the probation period needs to serve one-month notice. The new employer shall compensate the current employer with recruitment or contract costs.

An employee may also resign by serving 14 days’ of notice to the employer if the former intends to depart from the UAE.

If an employer or an employee does not serve the notice period during the probation period, then the party who fails to do so should compensate the other.


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