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


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

Work permits will not be issued without new contract from 2016

Ministry to refuse work permits without signed unified contracts starting 2016

Dubai: Residents cannot renew their work permits nor will they be issued new permits if an employer fails to provide a signed unified contract starting 2016, the Ministry of Labour revealed on Tuesday.

The unified labour contract, to be implemented from January 1, standardizes employment terms, making them more transparent. The contract is expected to improve regulation and transparency of the UAE labour market.

The contract was drafted by the Ministry as part of the three new decrees, which are aimed at enhancing the UAE labour market conditions and consolidating the contractual nature of labour relations.

All employees across the country will be presented with a unified, standard, employment offer that contains clear and enforceable terms and conditions of employment, prior to the worker’s entry into the UAE.

The contract will need to be signed by both the employer and the worker.

Humaid Bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs, said, “The new measures implement three new decrees issued by Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Labour, recently with regards to regulating the labour market, starting by unifying a contracts model approved by the ministry for all labour relations.”

During a meeting held in Abu Dhabi, attended by 300 employers and government relations representatives, Bin Deemas reviewed the new measures the ministry is implementing to ease the process of extracting work permits for employees coming from outside or those residing in the country, while maintaining rights of both sides.

Labour Mobility

Bin Deemas pointed out that the new procedures of recruiting foreign workers from outside the country on a two-year work visa goes through three stages.

Firstly, the employer applies for quota regardless of the number of workers recruited, the second demands printing the offer letter handed to the worker containing a comprehensive description of their rights and duties, terms and conditions, through “Tas’heel” service centres or through the ‘MoLApp’ smartphone application.

“Furthermore, within the second phase, employers should electronically sign a job offer, send it to the worker regardless of their location — whether electronically to the worker himself or through an employment agency. If he accepts the terms and conditions, he then signs it (those who fall in the first, second and third occupational levels) or [put a] fingerprint (for workers in lower work levels),” Bin Deemas said.

The offer letter will be in both Arabic and English in addition to a third language that the worker understands, which can be available on the ministry’s website ‘’ containing comprehensive details of terms, regulations and labour laws. Bin Deemas said that “each worker can review their work contract through the ministry’s website after registering on the site using the passport number, nationality and transaction number as each has its own code.

During the final stage (the work permit extraction), employers attach the signed offers by the worker for initial approval, where the ministry works on reviewing the application to make sure it meets all the requirements and then issues the permit, which allows the worker to come to the country.

“Employers face a 14-day deadline to complete signature procedures following the worker’s entry into the UAE, if the worker complains of any delays then the ministry will allow him to seek a new offer,” he said.

“The electronic system of the ministry will not allow new job offers for workers following the initial approval stages, and replacing work permits will be treated according to specific procedures…,” he said.

Under the new measures, Bin Deemas pointed out that “it’s not mandatory to include a medical report with job offers, especially as today we are electronically linked with the public administrations of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, which does not issue workers with a residence visa with medical report.”

Referring to the contracts renewal process, Bin Deemas said that the worker’s signature is also a prerequisite for the ministry, as it grants workers a free will whether to renew the contract after accepting highlighted privileges and requirements or simply chose to end the relationship and find a better offer or move back home, something that establishes a healthy working relationship ending misunderstanding between both parties.

Courtsey : Gulf News

You can quit job without notice if employer fails to meet obligations

The employee must immediately report non-payment of salary to the Ministry of Labour and file a complaint against the employer.

My friend is working as an accountant since one year at an entity based in the UAE. However, she has not received her salary for two months, owing to the fact that the employer has taken in its possession ATM Cards of all its employees. The employer deposits salary in the accounts of each employee in accordance with the Wage Protection Scheme regulations, but subsequently, the employer withdraws the money using the employees’ ATM cards.

Under these circumstances, can she shift to a job without getting a labour ban?

It is presumed that your friend’s 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 your friend shall be within her rights to terminate her current employment, as her employer has failed to fulfil its obligations towards her as its employee, as your friend has not received her salary for the last two months. However, your friend must immediately report non-payment of salary to the Ministry of Labour and file a complaint against her employer.

Therefore, if your friend should decide to terminate her employment, she may not face the imposition of an employment ban, as the reason for termination of employment contract may be attributable to the employer. This is in accordance with the provisions of Article 121, which states: “A worker may leave his work without notice in either of the following case:

(a) If the employer fail to comply with his obligation towards him, as provided for in the contract or in this Law;

(b) If he is assaulted by the employer or the employer’s legal representative.”

Pursuant to the last part of your question, it may be noted that the acts perpetuated by your friend’s employer may actually amount to unauthorised use of ATM cards, which is a punishable offence in the UAE. Owing to this, your friend along with other employees of the same entity may also consider to approach the police and file a complaint against her employer. However, in any case, it is advisable for your friend to simultaneously file a complaint against her employer at the Ministry of Labour as well.



Overstayed from Visit Visa

Dear sir,

I am the sponsor of two visitors in Dubai, they are overstayed for 20 days I want them to leave now, could you tell how much I will get fine for them and where can I pay these fines (Exact Location)and when should I purchase their air ticket before or after paying the fine and does they give me any clearance certificate of exit from Dubai airport?

looking forward to your kind and soonest reply.

Thanks and Best Regards,

Dh20,000 salary must to sponsor parents in UAE

Expatriates earning less than Dh20,000 salary will not be able to sponsor their parents on residence visas in the UAE, XPRESS can reveal.

The new ruling requires applicants to provide evidence of either having a minumum salary of Dh20,000 or a monthly pay of Dh19,000 plus a two-bedroom accommodation. The development has left many long-term residents here at their wits’ end.

Can the company I work with sponsor my sister-in-law? Is it okay if I ask my employer to sponsor my sister-in-law and to secure the necessary employment visa for her to work in Dubai?

Either the company in which the reader works may apply for a visit or residence visa for the questioner’s sister-in-law, or the questioner himself may ask the Department of Naturalisation and Residence to issue a visit visa for his sister-in-law after meeting the conditions requested by the Department of Naturalisation and Residence in Abu Dhabi in this regard.

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