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UAE Labour Law: How much job termination salary are you entitled to?

UAE courts tend to favour employment contracts that are more favourable to employee

new-uae-labour-law-rules-post

The amount of money that is given to an employee on termination can vary depending on several factors, say UAE-based legal experts. Knowing the law, therefore, is vital.

When in doubt, employees should refer to their contracts, which should specify the amount that will be due to them on termination.

“It [compensation that one is supposed to receive upon termination] varies depending on the circumstances of each case,” says Jamie Liddington, Head of Employment at legal firm Hadef & Partners.

“An employee who is dismissed arbitrarily can expect to receive an award of compensation to include (among other contractual entitlements) – payment in lieu of any unpaid part of the notice period; payment in lieu of accrued but untaken annual leave; up to three months’ wages as compensation for arbitrary termination and end of service gratuity,” he told Emirates 24|7.

“Each employee’s notice period should be written in the contract of employment. All employees must be paid their full salary and benefits for the duration of the contractual notice period until their termination date,” says Thenji Macanda, Senior Associate at Taylor Wessing (Middle East) law firm.

What the law saysuae-labour-law-2015-expatmoney (1)

As per Macanda, if no notice period is specified in the contract of employment, then according to Article 117 of the UAE Labour Law, at least 30 days’ written notice should be provided. This period differs for daily paid workers who have been employed for less than 5 years.

“Article 118 of the UAE Labour law states that a contract of employment will continue to be valid for the notice period and the parties cannot agree to reduce or dispense with the notice period. If, however, an employer reduces the notice period and terminates the employee before the end of the notice period then in accordance with Article 119 of the UAE Labour law, the employee must be paid compensation in lieu of notice equivalent to the notice period. The parties can increase the notice period and if this is done, then the employee must be paid their contractual pay for the duration of the notice,” she elaborates.

When can your employer forfeit your termination compensation?

The law fully protects workers in the country but there are certain clauses under which there will be notice period from the employer’s side and subsequently no payments.

Liddington clarifies that employees who are dismissed “for cause” (under Articles 88 or 120 of the Labour Law) will not be entitled to receive notice of termination (or payment in lieu of notice) and they are likely to forfeit the end of service gratuity.

Contract letter v/s Labour Law – what will hold?

What will hold – the contract letter that is signed between the employer and the employee or the labour law of the country in case of termination? Again, there is no clear cut verdict that can be followed here but the courts usually uphold the one that is more favourable to employees.

“Where there is inconsistency or conflict between the company supplementary contract and the Ministry of Labour contract/free zone contract, the courts tend to favour the employment contract that is more favourable to the employee,” says Macanda.

“As an example, if the company supplementary contract sets out a two month notice period (which is over and about the one month statutory notice set out in the Labour Law), the company will be held to the longer notice period of two months. We always recommend to employers that they should strive to ensure that the all contracts mirror each other as far as possible to avoid uncertainly,” she adds.

The Hadef expert says ideally, the Labour courts will allow the employee to rely on whichever (contract or Labour Law) is most favourable.

“Both the standard form (Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization or free zone) employment contract and any supplemental private contract are potentially enforceable documents and to the extent that the terms of any contract are less advantageous to the employee than the Labour Law, they will not be valid or enforceable.

“In the event that the terms of the contract(s) are more favourable than the Labour Law, the courts will apply the more favourable contractual term.  Where the terms of the standard form contract conflict with the terms of the private contract, the courts’ approach is to allow employees to rely on the more favourable of the two conflicting terms,” he adds.

COURTESY : Emirates 24/7

New UAE Labour Law: No employee consent on labour contract, no visa

Employee consent must for UAE work permit

A senior official at the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has stated the ministry will not approve any request to obtain a new work permit without a worker’s consent to the job offer.

Besides this, the clauses in the work permit must match the clauses of the labour contract that the worker signs upon arrival to the country to obtain a work permit.

The new law, which came into force in January this year, includes three main rules governing labour contracts for workers from abroad, terminating contracts between the employers and workers and the issuance of a new work permit to a resident worker.

Humaid bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs, noted that professionals and skilled workers must sign the contract while those applying for partially skilled or unskilled workers must have the employee’s thumbprint on the job offer letters.

“All permits are based on a transparent relation between employers and workers, following the newly launched decrees by Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation earlier this year,” said Al Suwaidi.

Employers must provide the job offer and conditions containing a comprehensive description of rights and duties between both parties, he highlighted.

The Ministry, he said, has approved 11 languages in which job offers, labour contracts and other conditions may be printed, and that must be handed to workers aside from Arabic and English so that there are no contradictions.

“New permits issuance approval shall be granted following the confirmation of the establishment’s commitment towards labour laws, decisions and requirements stipulated in terms of applying for ‘quota’.

“The establishment must print job offers that contain a comprehensive description of labour rights and obligations between both parties through Tas’heel service centres. If the establishment was registered in the ministry’s system, then hand in the offers to workers for signature from first, second and third level professions or otherwise require a thumbprint for those occupying fourth and fifth levels,” Al Suwaidi explained.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation announced yesterday that it has issued more than 252,000 new work permits since the beginning of the current year.

According to the employment classification adopted by the Ministry, first category of employment includes specialised occupations, which require a high degree of scientific, technical, and executive skills and a university degree at a minimum.

Second category employment includes technical occupations that require the availability of “cognitive, scientific and technical” abilities; practical and supervisory skills with a 2-3 years degree from an institute post high-school.

The third category of employment requires practical and technical skills that cover the entire scope of the job, and a high-school degree.

The fourth category of employment includes occupations that require the availability of practical and technical skills that cover part of the job and in this category, individuals need to be prepared and trained for two years on average.

The fifth category of employment is considered a limited skills category, and includes occupations that require the availability of practical and technical skills related to a small part of the job and can be acquired during training in less than a year.

All these rules also apply to workers residing in the country. A signature/thumbprint on the job offer letter is required prior to obtaining a new work permit.

Courtesy : http://www.emirates247.com/

New UAE Labour Law: 7 points your employment contract must include

Should you insist on retaining original job offer with you?

Since January 1, 2016, the UAE has implemented sweeping reforms to the old Labour Law, plugging loopholes that now make employees even more content and secure in their workplace.

Primary changes in the new regulations pertain to employment contracts for workers hired from abroad, termination of job contracts, and issuance of new labour permits to resident workers.

According to new regulations, any offer letter made to a foreign worker is legally binding once accepted and signed by both parties.

This means that the employment contract should be based on the offer letter signed by both parties. The contract, however, must include a set of information.

The resolution issued by the Minister of Labour mandates that employers will be required to disclose to the Ministry the terms of the offer made to a foreign worker.

As per law, the following seven points need to be specified in all employment contracts.

These include:

1) Wages/remuneration payable.

2) Date of the employment contract.

3) Date of commencement of the employment contract.

4) Nature of the contract (limited or unlimited).

5) Nature of the work.

6) Duration of the contract (for fixed term contracts).

7) The location of employment.

According to the ministry, it has begun implementing new procedures for issuance of work permits where employers are obliged to provide the job offer and annexes containing a comprehensive description of rights and duties between both parties.

The documents must be signed (or bear the thumbprint, depending on job classification) after which a copy of the job offer should be presented to obtain an authorisation to enter the country followed by the issuance of a work permit and signing of the contract.

The ministry praised the reaction of many companies to the newly launched decrees that have been applied since January.

“Many of the establishments that have applied for new work permits under the new decisions proved their commitment to establishing a transparent working relationship with workers who were brought from abroad, therefore, they proved their sincere commitment to protecting workers through innovating new methods that will monitor the workers’ signature/thumbprint and follow up on all processes,” says Humaid Bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs at the ministry.

“Since the implementation of the new decisions, the ministry cooperated with a number of enterprises that have applied for new work permits in order to determine the procedures followed to brief workers on job offers. Officials in some of these facilities said they dispatched HR employees to a labour-sending country to closely brief the workers on job offers and then signed it followed by a photograph for documentation purposes.”

Who keeps the original job offer contract – you or your employer?

Are you worried about your original job offer not being with you?

If this important document is with the company you are employed with, it is well within the legal rights of your boss and you have nothing to worry about.

The Ministry of Labour has called upon employers to keep the original job offer contracts, signed by both parties, in case of legal disputes.

The ministry’s undersecretary has said that workers may contact the ministry in case they find a false signature on the job offer before signing the employment contract.

In such cases, employers are required to bring the original job offer that will then be referred to the court for further inspection, he said.

courtesy : http://www.emirates247.com/

Revealed: Number of fixed-term and non-fixed term jobs approved in UAE

Ministry of Labour issued over 233,000 labour contracts in January, 75% are non-fixed term

The Ministry of Labour has reviewed over 250,000 job offers presented by private sector firms since the beginning of this year, and has issued 233,000 labour contracts, of which 75 percent are of non-fixed term.

Humaid bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Labour Affairs, said, “The number of job offers printed during the last month confirms the clarity and ease of a working relationship between employers and workers in accordance with the newly launched Decrees, which aims to establish and promote a balanced and productive working relationship between both ends, based on cooperation and transparency, in order to preserve rights.”

He said: “Workers must look into job offers and annexes in their preferred languages before signing the contracts to reach a healthy work relationship between both parties; annexes must be reviewed as they hold a number of labour laws and amendments.”

Al Suwaidi said the ministry has ratified a total of 233,190 new and renewed labour contracts during January, of them 75 percent were non-fixed term, equal to over 175,790, and fixed-term contracts reached 57,400.

“The rise in non-fixed term contract numbers indicates that employers have identified their choice of that type of relationship in accordance with the new Decrees, something contrary to that which prevailed in the labour market previously, as fixed-term contracts are considered the most commonly used by employers back then,” he said.

Bin Deemas believes that the picking fixed-term contracts applies mostly to labourers as it may seem that the nature of their occupations requires that type of contract, which carries both parties agreement to abide by legal responsibilities between each other, especially in the event of a party deciding to violate the terms of the contract or wish to end it without the consent of the other party.

Al Suwaidi said, “Conditions that must be followed in the event that one of the parties decided to end a fixed-term contract during the renewal period, starts by notifying the other party before the date of termination (in a specified period agreed by both ends) not less than one month and not exceeding three months, where those who decided to terminate the contract must complete the notice period then pay agreed dues not exceeding the total remuneration of three months’ salary, and this applies for both sides.”

Ministry tells employers to keep original job contracts

The Ministry of Labour called on employers to keep the original job offer contracts, signed by both parties, in case of legal disputes where the worker may deny the signature or thumbprint on the document.

The ministry has begun implementing new procedures for issuance of work permits where employers are obliged to provide the job offer and annexes containing a comprehensive description of rights and duties between both parties. The documents must be signed (or bear the thumbprint, depending on job classification) after which a copy of the job offer should be presented to obtain an authorization to enter the country followed by the issuance of a work permit and signing of the contract.

The ministry praised the reaction of many companies to the newly launched decrees that have been applied since January, as per the directives of Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Labour.

Humaid Bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, assistant undersecretary for Labour Affairs at the ministry, said; “Many of the establishments that have applied for new work permits under the new decisions proved their commitment to establishing a transparent working relationship with workers who were brought from abroad, therefore, they proved their sincere commitment to protecting workers through innovating new methods that will monitor the workers’ signature/thumbprint and follow up on all processes.”

“Since the implementation of the new decisions, the ministry cooperated with a number of enterprises that have applied for new work permits in order to determine the procedures followed to brief workers on job offers. Officials in some of these facilities said they dispatched HR employees to a labour-sending country to closely brief the workers on job offers and then signed it followed by a photograph for documentation purposes.”

He said: “Others contacted the employment agency in one of the Asian countries that had briefed workers on job offers, watch them sign it upon acceptance and then forwarded the letters to the concerned party to issue a work permit.”

Some employers have gone beyond the normal requirements and documented the employees’ signatures on the contracts by photographing them while they are signing.

Bin Deemas called on workers to contact the ministry in case they find a false signature on the job offer right before signing the labour contract. In such cases, employers are required to bring the original job offer that will then be referred to the court for further inspection.

Employers must keep a close eye on signed job offers and make sure that it has been signed by the worker as the responsibility is the employer’s. However, labour courts are the competent authority to deal with such issues.

The procedures apply to workers residing in the UAE and seek to move from one establishment to another, either by signing the proposed job offer or placing their thumbprint depending on their skill level, all before approaching the ministry to request a work permit.

courtesy : http://www.emirates247.com/

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