Do I need an NOC?
A reader from Dubai asks: I have worked for an advertising company on an unlimited contract for the last three-and-a-half years. I have now resigned as I received a better offer from a publishing house. I am on my husband's sponsorship but I hold a valid labour card with my present company. As per the new law, do I require an NOC from my present employer? I checked with my company's HR department and they said this law does not apply to me as I am on my husband's sponsorship and that I will not get a six- month ban. They are not willing to tell me the same in writing. However, my new employer is insisting on an NOC in Arabic. Currently I am working on my notice period. Also I did not receive pay during my maternity leave. I was on maternity leave from February to the first week of July. Am I entitled to my maternity pay if I resign? Kindly let me know what I am entitled to when I resign?
I would like to inform the questioner that as she is on her husband's visa she does not need an NOC from her company, but she will need an NOC from the husband. However, the questioner might need an NOC from the company to work for the new company if her labour contract includes a non-competition provision.
As for gratuity, and as per Article No. 137 of the UAE Labour Law, if an employee who is working under an unlimited contract decides to resign by their own discretion after a continuous period of service not less than one year and no more than three years, then he will be entitled for a one third of his gratuity, however if his period of continuous service was more than three years and less than five years, then he will be entitled for two-thirds of his gratuity, provided that the calculation of such gratuity will be based on the last salary received by the employee. Also, the questioner will be entitled to receive the unpaid previous maternity pay in addition to any bonus, if any or if applicable in the company, plus she can claim for compensation of the due leave days, if any.
Therefore, taking into consideration the provision of the above article, whereas the questioner has resigned by her own free will after working for a period that exceeds three years and less than five, then she is entitled for two-thirds gratuity (which totals 21 days for each year service), in other words the questioner will be entitled for payment of 14 days for each year's service.
Questions answered by Advocate Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Bahr Advocates and Legal Consultants.