Is your employer threatening you with a ban? Read this
It is not mandatory for employers to issue a permanent confirmation certificate of employment at the end of probation period.
By Ashish Mehta
Published: Fri 18 Aug 2017, 5:07 PM
Last updated: Sat 19 Aug 2017, 9:20 AM
I am working for a free zone company in Jumeirah Lakes Towers. I just completed my probation a few days back but still haven't received my permanent confirmation certificate. I am planning to change my job, and my boss is not allowing me to do so. He says that he will get a labour ban imposed on me and also seek damages from me. In my contract it says that I will have to serve one-month notice and if I don't, I will have to reimburse an amount. I just want to know what I can possibly do or if I have to pay how much will be the amount?
It is presumed that your employer is an entity registered with the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and that your employment is subject to provisions of the Federal Law No 8 of 1980 on the Regulation of Labour Relations (the "Labour Law").
Pursuant to the first part of your question it may be noted that it is not mandatory for employers to issue a permanent confirmation certificate of employment at the end of probation period. The continuation of the employment relationship after the completion of the period of probation may be considered to be proof of successful completion of your probation period.
It is further noted that you wish to leave your employment whereas your employer seeks to get a labour ban imposed on you and also seek damages from you. However, it is learnt that labour bans are usually not imposed at the DMCC.
In respect of the reimbursement of amounts to your employer, it may be noted that you shall be only liable to compensate your employer for any prejudice suffered by the latter in the event you elect to leave the employment. The amount of such compensation is not supposed to exceed your 45 days' salary. This is in accordance with the provisions of 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 to the contrary."
However, the aforementioned provision shall only be applicable if you are working under a limited period contract. A limited period contract is usually executed for a pre-defined period and the end date of the contract is specified in the contract itself. Also it may be noted that apart from the amount of compensation as stated above, you shall not be liable to pay for any other compensation to your employer.
If, however, you are working under an unlimited period contract, it may be noted that you shall only be liable to serve a notice period of 30 days prior to the termination of your employment. This is in accordance with the provisions of Article 117 of the Labour Law which states
1. Either the employer or the worker may terminate an indefinite term contract for a valid reason at any time following its conclusion, by giving the other party a notice in writing at least 30 days prior to termination.
2. For the daily-paid workers, the notice period shall be as follows:
> One week: if the worker has been employed for more than six months but less than one year.
> Two weeks: if the worker has been employed for not less than one year.
> One month: if the worker has been employed for not less than five years."
Based on the foregoing provisions of the Labour Law you may try to prevail upon your employer in respect of your rights. Should you face any hardships or in the unfortunate event of a dispute you may consider to approach the competent forum at DMCC.
Airfare to home country
Since June 2013 till date, I am working under Dubai visa and my visa is expiring soon. I do not want to renew my visa. My question is that after completion of my two-year service when my visa expires, can I get airfare to go back to my homecountry? Also, how many days will I get as gratuity after two-year completion of my service?
It is noted that you are about to complete the term of your employment visa and that you do not wish to renew the same. It is presumed that your employment is subject to provisions of the Federal Law No 8 of 1980 on the Regulation of Labour Relations (the "Labour Law").
Pursuant to the first part of your question, it may be noted that upon completion of your employment visa, you are entitled to receive airfare for your return journey. This is in accordance with the provisions of Article 131 of the Labour Law which states:
Upon expiry of contract, the employer shall bear the cost of the worker's repatriation to his point of hire or to any other point that was mutually agreed upon. Where a worker joins another employer upon expiry of his contract, the latter shall bear the cost of the worker's repatriation at the end of his service.
Without prejudice to the foregoing, if the employer fails to return the worker or to pay his repatriation expenses, the competent authorities shall do so at the employer's expense and may then recover any expenditure incurred in this connection by attachment. Where the reason for the termination of the contract is attributable to the worker, his repatriation shall be at his own expense if he has the means to pay."
Further it may be noted as follows: Article 131 (repeated 1)
1. For the purpose of the preceding Article, the worker's "repatriation expenses" refers to the value of his travel ticket as well as the travel expenses of his family and the cost of shipping of his personal effects, as stipulated in the Labour contract or the firm's policies.
2. A worker who is provided with accommodation by his employer shall vacate it within thirty days from the date of termination of his service.
3. The worker shall not overstay in the accommodation beyond the specified period for any reason, provided, however, that the employer pays the worker the following:
> the expenses specified in paragraph 1 of this Article.
> severance pay and any other entitlements the employee is bound to pay in accordance with the employment contract, the firm's policies, or the law.
4. If the worker contests the amount of the expenses and entitlements referred to above, the Labour Department concerned shall urgently determine these expenses and entitlements within a week from notification, and shall promptly inform the worker accordingly.
5. In this case, the thirty-day grace period referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article shall be calculated to run from the date on which the employer deposits the value of the expenses and entitlements, as determined by the Labour Departments concerned, with the Ministry of Labour's treasury. If the worker does not vacate the accommodation within the said thirty-day period, the Labour Department, with the assistance of the authorities concerned in the emirate, shall take the necessary administrative measures for eviction.
6. The provisions of this Article shall not prejudice the worker's right to contest its application before the competent court."
Pursuant to the second part of your question, it may be noted that the gratuity or severance pay shall be payable to you upon termination of your employment and prior to the formal cancellation of your visa. And in this regard, it may be noted that your visa shall not be cancelled unless you sign an acknowledgement to the effect that you have duly received your entire end of service benefits.
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.