Q. I have been working in a company for more than one year, but due to business problem my company can’t pay my salary on time. I used to get one salary every three months. They verbally asked me to take unpaid leave and work as a freelancer and come back to work after 3 to 4 months. I left the company for 2 months. Later I came to know that my company filed an absconding complaint against me in the Ministry of Labour to get rid of my salary and end of service dues. I tried to convince the ministry that the complaint was false, but unfortunately I failed. Is it not the responsibility of the Ministry of Labour to protect the worker? What shall the worker who was subjected to this problem do in this case and what is the way to lift the absconder ban? As per the Labour Law when can the employer file an absconder complaint against the employee. Please advise me.
A. I would like to tell the questioner that taking unpaid leave and work as freelancer is contrary to the law. Also the employer is obliged to pay the worker’s salary as long as such worker is on the employer’s sponsorship even if no work has been assigned to such worker. Therefore, the questioner was having two options in this case; first, to file a complaint before the Ministry of Labour to inform them about the request of the sponsor and second, the questioner should have requested the sponsor to make such request in writing of which the worker shall have kept a copy for the purpose of protection if the sponsor files absconder complaint, as in accordance with the Labour Law, the sponsor has the right to file absconder complaint in case of the absence of worker from work for more than 7 days continuously. As for the current absconder complaint against the questioner, you have no choice but to try to prove before the ministry that he had not absconded from the sponsor and such complaint is malicious, in return, the ministry will investigate this matter. Otherwise he has to request the Ministry of Labour to refer the case to the competent court and the questioner will have more chance to prove his case. In case the judgement in favour of the questioner then the absconder ban maybe lifted.
No emergency leave provision
Q. I have been working in a company for more than two years. Six months back, I had an emergency leave for 20 days. My father was sick and I went to see him. Now I’m applying for annual leave for 30 days and my company refuses to grant my request and they are allowing me to go for 10 days only. According to their explanation I can’t take annual vacation for more than 10 days because I just had an emergency leave for 20 days and that leave was deducted from my annual leave. I want to know what the rights of the employee are regarding emergency leave as per the Labour Law. Please advice.
A. I would like to clarify to the questioner that as per the Federal Labour Law no. 8 for 1980, there is no emergency leave and the same is subject to the consent of the employer as well as the system applicable in the company. Besides, the employer is not obliged by law to grant such leaves.
Q. I have been working in a company for more than two years. Presently, I have a better job opportunity with another company for a salary and entitlements better than mine. My current contract is for unlimited period and provides for 3 months notice period. My questions in this regard are; 1. If I submit my resignation from work, am I entitled to work within the notice period, am I against the Labour Law if I don’t work the notice period, am I against the Labour Law if I don’t work within the notice period? Is it possible to compensate the employer instead of working within the said period? 2. Is the work relationship deemed terminated for me once the resignation is submitted? 3. To my knowledge, as per the Labour Law, the notice period is one month; after all, do I need a No Objection Certificate from the existing sponsor in order to work with a new sponsor? Please advise me, thank you.
A. I would like to clarify to the questioner that in accordance with the Labour Law if the employee, who is under a contract for unlimited period, wished to submit his resignation from work, in this case, he shall give notice to the employer on the same and shall work within such period if so required by the employer, i.e. the Labour Law obliges the employee to work within such period and the latter is not entitled to refrain from working within such period, otherwise he will be contrary to Labour Law and be subject to penalty, but he may immediately leave work if the employer allowed him to do so. The contract shall remain in force until the end of the notice period in accordance with the article no. 118 of the Federal Labour Law no. 8 of 1980. As per the law, notice period is one month and may be agreed to increase the same and may not decrease it. Finally, I would tell the questioner that according to the Ministry of Labour’s decisions now applicable, the questioner has completed two years with the existing employer, so he may work with a new sponsor without a need for No Objection Certificate from the existing sponsor.
Questions answered by Advocate Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Shaiba Advocates and Legal Consultants