Company retaining passport

Law prohibits employers from keeping employee passports regardless of company policy

  • Posted by Bassam Za' Za', Legal and Court Correspondent
  • Published: 16:16 February 14, 2013

Questioner from Dubai asks: I have worked with a company for more than 2 years, since then the company retains my passport and passports of all employees; the company forced all of us to sign a letter which states that the interior system of the company gives them the right to do so. Thus, if any one of the employee requested his passport, the company refuses on the basis that the same is contrary to rules of the company. We get passport only when we go for leave to our home country and we give it back when we return back. My question is there any law prohibits employers from retaining the worker’s passport. Please advice.

I would like to assure the questioner that the law prevents the employer or others from retaining the passport on the basis that it is a document related to the person and no one should retain the same except the competent judge if necessary. There is also a decision by the Minister of Interior that prevents companies from retaining workers' passports. Therefore, the system of the company mentioned by the questioner has no consideration because it is contrary to the Law as well as the decision of the Minister of Interior.

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