Dubai: Can employees file a complaint if asked to work beyond job scope?

KT reader wants to know what measures can be taken if the employer gives a poor performance review or fires the employee in this case

by

Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 24 Dec 2023, 8:41 AM

Last updated: Sun 24 Dec 2023, 10:41 PM

Question: I work in a private company in Dubai. If my boss asks me to work beyond the scope of my job, what should I do? I am in sales, but I have been asked to appear in promotional/marketing videos for the company, but I am really not comfortable doing this. If I refuse and it reflects badly on my performance review or I lose my job, can I file a complaint? How do I resolve this without creating any problems for myself?

Answer: It is assumed that you are employed by a mainland company in Dubai. Therefore, the provisions of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations are applicable.

In the UAE, an employer may not assign different roles to an employee other than those mentioned in the employment contract without the written consent of the employee. This is in accordance with Article 12(1) & (2) of the Employment Law, which states:

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“1. An employee may not be assigned another work which is substantially different from the work agreed upon in the Employment contract, unless such an assignment is necessary or aims to avoid an accident or rectify the consequences thereof, provided that the assignment is temporary as specified by the Executive Regulations of this Decree-Law.

“2. An employer may, in cases other than those stated in paragraph (1) above, entrust the employee with a work that is not agreed upon in the employment contract, with the written consent of the employee.”

Furthermore, an employer may not force or threaten an employee to perform a work. This is in accordance with Article 14(1) of the Employment Law, which states, “An employer may not use any means susceptible of obliging or forcing the employee, or threatening him with any penalty, to work for him, or forcing him to do a work or deliver a service against his will.”

If an employer pressurises an employee to perform work other than those mentioned in the employment contract based on the employee’s designation, then the employee may quit the employment without serving the notice period to an employer. This is in accordance with Article 45(4) of the Employment Law, which states, “The employee may quit work without notice and reserve all his entitlements at the end of service if the employer entrusts the employee with a work that is substantially different from the work agreed upon in the employment contract, without the written consent of the employee, except in cases stated in Article 12 hereof.”

Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, you may inform your employer that your employment contract states your role with the employer is only restricted to sales and not to be part of promotional/marketing videos of your employer. However, if your contract states that your role with your employer includes sales and other related activities which are indirectly related to sales such as using your services by appearing in promotional and marketing videos then you should not object to appearing in promotional and marketing videos of your employer.

Moreover, if your employer forces you to appear in promotional and marketing videos you may file a complaint with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiritisation (MoHRE) and based on its advice you may quit your employment without serving the notice period on grounds that your employer has breached the terms of your employment contract.

Additionally, if your employer terminates you from employment for the reason that you’re not agreeing to appear in its promotional and marketing videos, then you may file a complaint with the MoHRE and thereafter file an employment case against your employer in Dubai Court.

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

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