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Ask the Law: Problems at work and credit card debt

All employees have right to see copy of employment contact

Gulf News

A reader from Dubai asks: My company has signed my labour contract but didn’t give me a copy so I don’t know whether my contract is limited or unlimited. Is this legal or not? There are a lot of accommodation and other problems. According to my appointment letter, they offer an HRA but are refusing to give it due to the global recession.

So can I resign on these grounds? What will my position be if my resignation is against the labour law. I work in the private sector. The company has signed a letter saying that if I leave my job before the end of my contract, I have to pay

Dh9,000. Is this legal?

I have completed eight months in this company. If I resign for the reason that I’m not getting my rights as per the labour law, what action can the company take? Note: I hold a diploma.


Answer: The questioner may obtain a copy of the employment contract upon reviewing the ministry as well as the typing offices which deal with the Ministry of Labour. Failure of the employer to give the questioner a copy of his employment contract is contrary to the law. The employer is bound by what is contained in the appointment letter, if the employer has failed to apply what is stated in the letter, the questioner should file a complaint before the Ministry of Labour.

With regard to the penalty clause of imposing Dh9,000: if the questioner’s contract is limited, in this case, by law he should compensate the employer for a period not exceeding 45 days of his salary or the remaining period of the contract (if the employer proves that the employee has caused damage and a loss to his company by breaking the limited contract) but if the labour court judgment states that the employee was forced to break the contract it is considered arbitrary dismissal.

In this case the labour court will direct the employer to compensate the employee. But if the contract is for an unlimited period and he has violated the labour law, such a clause will be at the court’s discretion, as the latter might reject such a clause on the basis that it is against the worker and in accordance with UAE Labour Law, article 7 which states: “Any stipulations contrary to the provisions of this law, even if it was made prior to its commencement, shall be null and void unless they are more advantageous to the worker.”

Anyway, I would like to advise the questioner not to submit his resignation now, as he has only completed eight months, and therefore, if he submits his resignation, the Ministry of Labour — as per the employer’s request, will impose a one-year ban due to him breaking the limited contract but if the labour contract is unlimited the Ministry of Labour will impose a six-month ban because the questioner did not complete two years in service but the questioner can lift the ban if he finds a new job with a salary of Dh7,000 as long as he is holds a diploma. But in case the labour court finds breaking the contract (limited or unlimited) is as per the labour law the Ministry of Labour as per this judgment will not impose a ban and also will allow the questioner to work for a new company on any salary.


Credit card debt

A reader from India asks: I was working in Dubai, the UAE for more than six years. Four months ago I went back home on vacation and didn’t return to the UAE due to my father’s illness and also my financial problem. I have a bank credit card and I didn’t pay it to the bank. Now I am unemployed and unable to pay it.

After a month my company called me to come back but I didn’t go due to family and financial problems. My company told me they were going to cancel my visa. My visa also expired on September 2012.

I came to know that the bank filed a police and Interpol case against me and my name is blacklisted and I can’t go back to Dubai or any other Gulf country.

But sir, I am Muslim. I want to go to Makkah (KSA) for the Haj this year. I also want to go to Gulf countries to clear my credit card amount.

But my friends are telling me now I will not be able to go to any Gulf country. So how can I pay the balance on my credit card? I want to settle that amount and I want to go for the Haj this year.

If you intend to repay the bank, you may delegate someone to make the repayment to the bank on your behalf and to get clearance from the bank to lift your name from the blacklist and Interpol list. Thus, you may further settle the matter with your company either by returning to work after the bank problem or ask the company to cancel your residence visa legally to avoid violating the Labour Law as well as the law of the Department of Naturalisation and Residence (Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs).