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Living In UAE Ask Us

UAE: Planning to resign? Here is how to write a resignation letter

Five things to remember when drafting your resignation letter



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Dubai: Whether you found a better job opportunity, or are planning to move back to your home country, resigning from a job can be a stressful experience. How do you inform your manager of your decision to resign? What should you mention in your resignation letter? And how early or late should you let your company know about your decision to leave?

Gulf News spoke with legal and human resources (HR) experts in the UAE to find out exactly what you should mention in your resignation letter and how you can make sure you leave your job on good terms with your company.

Should I inform my employer about my decision to resign before submitting the resignation letter?

Although you are not legally required to inform your employer about your intention to resign, it is common courtesy to discuss this with your employer in person before sending an official letter of resignation.

Aaron Portero, managing director at Connect Resources, a UAE-based recruitment agency, explained the benefits of giving your employer a heads up before you file your papers.

“It might result in a fruitful two-way discussion in which you can explain why you are leaving. Additionally, it helps the employer establish a long-lasting relationship and have a better understanding of the employee. Also, leaving a job in a positive way can help you later on by giving you references for jobs or allowing you to work for the same company again,” Portero said.

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Which details should my resignation letter include?

Here are the basic details you must include in your resignation letter to ensure a hassle-free exit from your job:

1. Give a reason

“You should give a reason for leaving, as it always helps foster a good working relationship. Whether it is for financial advantages, other perks, or any other reason, the company’s management and Human Resource may decide from the reason [provided] whether there are any issues or concerns that need to be rectified or something that the company can improve and take necessary steps of action,” he said.

Portero added that if you do not give any reason as to why you left, it may lead to speculation and misunderstanding surrounding your departure.

You should give a reason for leaving, as it always helps foster a good working relationship. Whether it is for financial advantages, other perks, or any other reason, the company’s management and Human Resource may decide from the reason [provided] whether there are any issues or concerns that need to be rectified or something that the company can improve and take necessary steps of action

- Aaron Portero, managing director at Connect Resources

2. Always state your notice period

Portero advised employees to always check their contract to know the notice period they are required to serve. If you send the resignation letter without looking at the notice period, you might be in violation of the UAE’s labour law and the resignation might be considered invalid.

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“You may have resigned but check your employment contract to find out how much notice you need to give your employer, include a statement that states that you are going to resign, mention your last date of work and explain in brief the reason for resignation,” Portero said.

What is my notice period?

Sridevi Sidharthan, Principal Associate at Mahmood Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy, said that there are a few essential details regarding notice periods that the worker should keep in mind to mitigate risks and protect yourself from any legal consequences. One of the first factors to consider is whether you have completed your probation period.

“If you are resigning after the probation period, the notice period is in accordance with Article 43 of the UAE Labour Law – Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021. As per the Article, the notice period is not less than 30 days and not more than 90 days,” she said.

“The notice period during the probation period, as per Article 9 of the Labour Law, is 30 days if the employee wishes to join another employer and 14 days if he or she intends to return to their home country,” Sidharthan added.

Leaving before the required notice period

“If an employee plans to resign prior to the completion of the full notice period as prescribed in the employment contract, the employee must obtain the employer’s approval for his or her earlier release,” Sidharthan explained.

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If you fail to get an approval from your employer for leaving the company before the notice period is completed, you may be required to pay ‘payment in lieu of notice’, as per Article 43 of the Labour Law.

“[This payment] equates to the salary of the unserved notice period. Nevertheless, the employer may determine to waive the compensation at its sole discretion,” she said.

If an employee plans to resign prior to the completion of the full notice period as prescribed in the employment contract, the employee must obtain the employer’s approval for his or her earlier release

- Sridevi Sidharthan, Principal Associate at Mahmood Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy

3. Mention any transition related details, if required

Portero also highlighted that if you want to leave your current job without any hiccups, you should state if an existing co-worker is taking over your role and say something positive about your experience working with them. Also, offer your assistance with the transition, and formally thank the company. Along with this, it is also good practice to thank co-workers.

Going back to your home country

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If you are resigning from a company because you have decided to return to your home country, it is important to state that in the reason of your resignation letter, according to Waddah Abdulhaq, associate at Mahmoud Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy.

“Article 13 of the Labour Law obliges the employer to cover the repatriation expenses of the employee. Hence, it’s important that the employee indicates his intention in the resignation letter to return to his home country in order to confirm his entitlement to the repatriation expenses coverage by the employer,” he said.

Article 13 of the Labour Law obliges the employer to cover the repatriation expenses of the employee. Hence, it’s important that the employee indicates his intention in the resignation letter to return to his home country in order to confirm his entitlement to the repatriation expenses coverage by the employer

- Waddah Abdulhaq, associate at Mahmoud Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy

4. Address it correctly

“The resignation letter must always be addressed to the human resources department within the company and the employee’s line manager or department head. This is required to ensure that the resignation is served through the proper channels within the company,” Abdulhaq said.

According to the legal experts, it is also important to adhere to any company policies related to serving resignation letter when serving your resignation letter, provided that the policy is not in violation of the Labour Law or its Executive Regulations.

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5. Send it via email or hand it over in person

The resignation letter can be served in the form of a printed letter or submitted via email. Article 43 of the UAE Labour Law – Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 – requires an employee to inform the employer “in writing”, in case he or she wishes to resign.

“If the employee opts to serve the resignation in the form of a printed letter, the employee must ensure that the letter is accurately dated at the date of issuance and sealed with his or her signature. Importantly, the employee must obtain the management’s acknowledgment of receiving the letter,” said Abdulhaq.

He also advised employees to provide two original resignation letters signed by the management in which a copy is maintained with the management, while the other letter is kept by the employee.

What shouldn’t be included in a resignation letter?

Your resignation should be drafted in a professional manner and while you can include feedback, including any positive or negative experiences you may have had, it is extremely important to not make any defamatory statements, Abdulhaq said.

“The resignation letter served by the employee should not include any defamatory statements naming the management or colleagues as the same may subject the employee to criminal proceedings as per Article 425 and 426 of Federal Decree Law No. 31 of 2021 - also referred to as the UAE Penal Code - if the statements are untrue and result in damages to the defamed manager or colleague,” he said.

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“It is also advised that the employee does not mention the next employment, as the employee is not obliged to mention the next employer, job title or offered salary to the current employer,” Abdulhaq said.

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