Is your employer asking for bank statement? Here's what to do
Dubai - The detention of a passport by the employer against the will of the passport holder is unlawful in the UAE.
I have been working as a Senior Auditor for a FZ LLC. On mutual understanding, my employer cancelled my visa after my contract term was completed. Now, however, they are withholding my passport and harassing me to give my personal bank account statement and threatening me.
I am ready to share my bank statements to any government authorities if required, but I am not confident about the reason my employer is asking for my bank account statement. I am also hesitant, as the company has a long track record of harassing and troubling employees after resignation. The company has relieved me and has taken by passport.
I urgently need to return to my home country for a family issue. Please advise me what legal recourse I have in this situation?
Pursuant to your questions, upon completion of the employment visa cancellation process, it is the responsibility of the employer to hand over the passport to you. It is neither mandatory nor a legal requirement for you to provide a copy of your personal bank statement to your employer.
You may advise your employer that you will not provide your personal bank account statement. However, you are willing to provide the same to the authorities in the UAE, if asked by the authorities.
The detention of a passport by the employer against the will of the passport holder is unlawful in the UAE. In relation to the aforesaid matter, you may lodge a complaint against your employer with the police and may also consider filing complaint to the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiritisation.
Ban depends on contract
I received an offer from a reputable UAE bank (Bank 'A') on an outsourced visa, which means they got my visa and changed my visa status, but I did not join, as almost at the same time I got an offer from another bank (bank 'B') which is also getting the visa from the same third party company.
As I now don't want to join bank 'A', what are the legal implications? I am a skilled employee and signed an unlimited contract with them. Can bank 'A' put any sort of ban on me? If they do, can that be contested? Do I need to pay any fee?
Pursuant to your queries, it should be understood that even though you work with a bank as an outsourced staff, ultimately the employer-employee relationship is between the outsourced company and you; not with a bank.
It is the discretion of the outsourced company if it allows you to work with bank 'B' as the bank 'A' under the roll of the same outsourced company which already recruited you. It depends on the contractual terms the outsourced company has with the bank.
If the outsourced company insists that you work with bank 'A' and you disagree, they may terminate your existing employment contract with bank 'A'. Bank 'A' cannot impose a ban on you but it may instruct the outsourced company to impose a labour ban on you, as the actual employer is the outsourced company.
Article 1 (II) 1 (unlimited contracts) of the Ministerial Decree 766 of 2015 on Rules and Conditions for granting a permit to a worker for employment by a new employer, states: "A new work permit may be granted to a worker upon the termination of the said worker's employment if both parties (worker and employer) mutually consent to terminate the contract provided the worker has completed a period of no less than six months with the employer; the latter provision is waived for workers that qualify for skill levels 1, 2 and 3, as per the ministry's classification."
Further, the automatic labour ban of six months is waived if the employee has skills or professional levels classified as level 1, level 2 and level 3 by the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiritisation. We assume you are a graduate 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.
Article 4 of the Ministerial Order No. 1186 of 2010 states that: "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."
Further, as an employee there is no need to pay any fees to the employer related to recruitment process. It is the obligation of the employer to bear all recruitment expenses.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.