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Arbitrary dismissal

  • Published: 17:48 February 17, 2011


A questioner in Dubai asks: I worked for a company for more than two years under a contract for an unlimited period. Two weeks ago the company where I was employed dismissed me from work due to my absence from work without any excuse for five consecutive days. I returned to work on the sixth day, but thereafter I was absent once again for two days, however, when I returned to work I was dismissed from work without any notice, as the managing director said that such dismissal is pursuant to the article No. 120 of the Labour Law and also I am not entitled to end-of-service gratuity, according to the managing director, although I have provided a medical report for the absence period. My question here is: I would like to know the article No. 120 of the Labour Law in detail and what to do if my dismissal is not in conformity with article No. 120 of the Labour Law and whether the Ministry of Labour or competent court may legally oblige the company to reinstate me if proved that my dismissal from work is not in conformity with the said article.

I would like to clarify to the questioner firstly that the article No. 120 of the Federal Labour Law No. 8 of 1980 states the following:
“An employer may dismiss a worker without notice if and only if the worker:
1. Assumes a false identity or nationality or submits forged certificates or documents;
2. Is engaged on probation and is dismissed during or at the end of the probationary period;
3. Commits a fault resulting in substantial material loss to the employer, provided that the latter notifies the labour department of the incident within 48 hours of his becoming aware of its occurrence;
4. Disobeys instructions on the safety of work or workplace, provided that such instructions are in writing and posted at a conspicuous place and are communicated verbally to the worker, in case he is illiterate;
5. Defaults on his basic duties under the contract and fails to redress such default despite a written interrogation and a warning that he will be dismissed if such default is repeated;
6. Is finally convicted by a competent court of a crime against honour, honesty or public morals;
7. Reveals any confidential information of his employer;
8. Is found in a state of drunkenness or under the influence of a narcotic drug during working hours;
9. Assaults the employer, the manager in charge or any of his workmates during working hours; or
10. Absents himself from work without a valid reason for more than 20 non-successive days in one single year, or for more than seven successive days”.

Therefore, in my opinion, the questioner’s dismissal from work might be contrary to the article No. 120 of the Federal Labour Law No. 8 of 1980, according to the details provided by the questioner in his question.

Therefore, if the competent court found that the questioner has been dismissed contrary to the said article, the same may be considered as arbitrary dismissal, and thus the questioner may claim for compensation in addition to the other labour dues.

The court, however, will not oblige the employer to reinstate the employee in his job even if such dismissal is contrary to the Labour Law.

Questions answered by Advocate Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Bahar Advocates and Legal Consultants.