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 :

Labour card cancellation at Tas’heel only

The Ministries of Labour and Interior will jointly implement the electronic cancellation service for labour cards, with effect from Sunday.

The move comes in line with the first phase of the electronic link between the two ministries to boost the strategic partnership and achieve qualitative shift in exchange of data and information.

In accordance with this service, applicant firms seeking cancellation of work permits and labour cards will apply to the Tas’heel service centres set up for this purpose.

From Sunday the labour offices will not receive any application for the cancellation.

Humaid bin Dimas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry for the Labour Affairs, said the service comes within the framework of partnership with the Ministry of Interior to upgrade the federal services, save time and effort, and ease procedures in one transaction.

He called on firms to submit their applications directly to the 25 Tas’heel centres in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Al Ain City.

He added in Abu Dhabi the cancellation applications will be submitted to the printing offices partnering with Tas’heel system, indicating that the Ministry of Labour offices and branches will stop receiving the cancellation applications from Sunday

Man incurs hefty fines as labour card gets cancelled

An Arab expatriate has ended up as an illegal resident and has to pay hefty fines to the residency department after the Ministry of Labour cancelled his labour card without notifying him.
Nidal Al Taweel a 37-year-old-Jordanian, born and brought up in the UAE, has become an illegal resident after the ministry cancelled his labour card which led to the cancellation of his residency permit without notifying him.
The ministry refused to comment on the issue and said the case has been finalised by the ministry and Al Taweel has to contact the Department of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs for the cancellation of his residency.
Al Taweel told Gulf News that he filed a case against his sponsor towards the end of 2008 and after less than three months he was surprised to know that his visa had been cancelled without his knowledge.
Al Taweel said he used to work for Mega Vision in Dubai and he started having problems after a new management tookover. ”I went to complain at the Ministry of Labour for my unpaid salary and end-of-service [benefits] as I wanted to leave the job,” he said.
”At the Ministry of Labour, I did get the help I was expecting from the officials there. So I requested that my case be transferred to the Labour Court.
”Officials in charge of labour disputes warned me that if the Labour Court ruled against me, I will get a life ban on entering and residing in the UAE,” he claimed. He added that after many months of running between the Ministry of Labour and Labour Court, the company was ordered by the court to pay the employee Dh40,000 and a one-way ticket back home in case he was not working with another company.
Al Taweel said that his passport was held by the manager of the company.
”I went to Dubai Police and the Human Rights Section at the police to get my passport, but all of them said that this should be resolved between me and my sponsor and they cannot do anything for me,” he said. Al Taweel said that he was able to get his passport back only after the intervention of the Jordanian Consulate in Dubai.
Harrowing time
”When the sponsor handed over the passport to me, I realised my residency [permit] was cancelled,” he said.
”I never signed [saying] that I had received my end-of-service [benefits]. I have a court case against my sponsor and the court has ordered the sponsor to pay my end-of-service [benefits],” he said. ”I discovered that my visa had been cancelled less than three months after filing my complaint and during the hearing at the Ministry of Labour.”
He said the previous sponsor had closed down its operations in the UAE and left the country. After passing through a harrowing time with no income for two years, he said he has finally managed to get a new job.
”The new company applied for my visa, but the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs in Dubai said I will have to pay Dh27,000 for being an illegal resident in order to be able to get a new visa.”
According to Humaid Bin Deemas, Acting Director General, Ministry of Labour, who earlier announced that the Ministry of Labour cannot cancel labour cards of workers inside the country in absentia.
The procedure is to summon the worker and his employer to make sure that the worker has been granted all his rights. Only then can cancellation take place.
If the worker is out of the country for more than six months, it will be cancelled automatically.

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