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UAE LABOUR & IMMIGRATION HELP

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New UAE labour law for terminating employees, new contracts

Law to be enforced in 2016; Aims to regulate relations between employers and workers.

The UAE intends to enforce a new labour law at the start of 2016 to better regulate the relationship between employers and workers and curb violations to ensure both parties will get their rights, the press reported on Tuesday.

The new law 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.

“These rules will take the labour market to a new stage based on a strong and balanced relationship between all parties and on agreement and transparency in contracting to guarantee the rights of all parties,” Labour Minister Saqr Gobash said.

The first rule in the law, published by the Dubai-based Arabic language daily ‘Emarat Al Youm’, requires the employer to issue a “clear and detailed” contract for the foreign workers to be brought from abroad, including all duties and rights for the two parties, job terms and other requirements in a language understood by the worker.

The contract must be signed by the worker before it is submitted to the labour ministry for the issuance of a work permit, which must not be altered at any stage.

“The same measures apply to workers who reside in the UAE. In this case, the employer must also get the worker’s signature,” it said.

Contract termination

The second rule, which governs contract termination, includes an agreement by the employer and the worker to end their two-year contract.

Another case includes a decision by the employer to terminate the contract before it expires.
In this case, the employer must give at least one month notice to the worker and pay the worker all dues during that period.

“The notice period must also not exceed three months and must be agreed by both parties,” it said.

The new rule also governs cases in which the employer or the worker terminates the contract without abiding by the legal procedures.

Another case involves a decision by the employer to terminate the worker’s services for committing offences including assaulting or insulting the employer.

Regarding unspecified contracts, the employer seeking to terminate a worker’s contract must also give a notice of not less than one month and not exceeding three months.

“In all contract termination cases, any party has the right to go to court to seek compensation and any other rights,” it said.

Under the new rule, the work contract is considered null if the employer is found to have violated the law including failure to pay the worker for two months.

In case a worker could not start his job because of the closure of the company, the labour ministry will send inspectors to check the company’s status before issuing a decision within two months.

As for cases considered by the labour court at the ministry, it will issue a final decision forcing the employer to pay the worker two months’ salary or to compensate him for service termination or depriving workers from end of service benefits.

New job contracts

The new rules also cover new job contracts to workers whose contracts have expired or terminated by an agreement between the employer and the worker provided the worker has completed at last six months with his employer.

According to ‘Emarat Al Youm’, the new law specified three cases involving termination of work contracts.

They include agreement by both parties provided the worker has spent at least six months with the employer, termination of the contract by either party for some reason, and termination of the contract by the employer without reason.

The new law allows the issuance of a new work permit in cases where the employer is found to have violated his commitments, including failure to pay workers for two months, a complaint by the worker that he is not able to start his job because of the company’s closure, and a labour dispute at the ministry’s court.

Ministerial decisions 764, 765 and 766 aim to improve labour relations based on sponsorship.

Source : http://www.emirates247.com/

Know the Law: When, why UAE employer can withhold your gratuity

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There are areas where employer can build case for not paying employee in service for more than one year: legal experts.

The UAE labour law dictates that gratuity or end-of-service benefits are payable to employees who have completed one year or more in continuous service.

Despite meeting that criterion, there are a few clauses that can keep an employee from receiving the payment.

The first most obvious clause is less than a year of service, which is common knowledge.

“Where an employee is engaged under an unlimited term contract, no end-of-service gratuity (ESG) will be payable where the employee has been continuously employed for less than one year,” Jamie Liddington, Head of employment at Hadef & Partners, told this website.images (2)

There are other areas as well where the employer can build his case for not paying the employee despite being in service for more than one year.

It’s also important to understand some core points of difference when it comes to gratuity for those under a limited or unlimited contract, and here are the scenarios that can keep you away from getting your gratuity amount in your bank account.

According to Liddington, those under unlimited term contract may have to skip this amount if s/he “has been continuously employed for more than one year but resigns without providing the minimum period of notice required under the contract and without reasonable grounds to show that [firstly] the employer had, at the time of the resignation, failed to honour his contractual obligations to the employee or [secondly] he was assaulted by the employer or his employer’s legal representative.”

Then, there is a list under article 120, which employees should be aware of when it comes to gratuity entitlements.

Speaking to Emirates 24|7, Sara Khoja, Partner at law firm Clyde & Co says: “An employee who is terminated under article 120 of the Federal Labour Law, Law no 8 of 1980, is not entitled to end -of-service gratuitimagesy benefit or notice.”

Another scenario when the gratuity payment can be withheld is when “the employee has been continuously employed for more than one year but the employee’s employment is terminated for a reason set out under Articles 88 or 120 of the Labour Law,” states the expert at Hadef & Partners.

Khoja explains the clauses in article 120, under which gratuity will not be paid.

These include:

• Termination during probation or on its expiry.

• If the worker has adopted a false identity or nationality or submitted forged certificates or documents.

• If a worker makes a mistake causing substantial material loss to the employer provided the employer notifies the relevant labour department within 48 hours of the accident.

• If the worker disobeys instructions regarding industrial safety or the safety of the workplace provided the instructions have been issued in writing and are posted conspicuously in the workplace in a language accessible to the employee or explained to him orally.

• If the worker does not perform his basic duties under the contract and persists in violating these despite being investigated and receiving a written warning notifying him of termination in the event of repeat offences.

• If the worker reveals his employer’s trade or business secrets or confidential information.

• If the worker is finally sentenced by a competent court for an offence involving honour, honesty or public morals.

• If the worker is drunk or under the influence of an illegal drug during work.

• If while working the worker assaults the employer or his manager or a colleague.

• If the worker is absent from work without a valid reason for more than 20 non-consecutive days or more than 7 consecutive days.

Those working in another company without getting set approvals from the employer can also jepoardise their gratuity.

“Article 88 concerns working for another employer (without permission) during a period of annual or sick leave,” says Liddington, and this can lead to problems for the employee.

In cases where an employee is engaged under a limited or fixed term contract, “no ESG will be payable where the employee resigns before completing five years of continuous service unless he can show that (i) the employer had, at the time of the resignation, failed to honour his contractual obligations to the employee or (ii) he was assaulted by the employer or his legal employer’s legal representative,” he explains.

As per Khoja, those engaged on an unlimited term contract may get a reduced amount if the minimum term is completed.

If an employee “resigns in the first five years of employment, the end of service gratuity entitlement is reduced to 1/3rd if the employee has between 1 and 3 years of service and to 2/3rd if the employee has between 3 and 5 years of service. The employee may resign without suffering any reduction in gratuity if he has 5 years of service or more.

“If an employee is engaged on a fixed term contract then he must complete the duration of the term in order to be entitled to gratuity. If he has 5 years or more of service then he can resign without completing the term of his fixed term contract and will still be entitled to end of service gratuity,” she adds.

The above information is relevant for UAE onshore companies and not those domiciled in the DIFC, which has a different employment law – Law No 4 of 2005 as amended.

courtsey: Emirates 24/7

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