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Worker who breaks limited contract loses benefits

Employer may also seek compensation if contract is terminated prematurely

I have worked in a company for four years. My labour contract was for an unlimited period till October 2016 when my employer changed it to a limited one. A month ago, I submitted my resignation, which my employer accepted. However, he refused to pay me my end-of-service gratuity and instead asked me to pay him compensation for breaking the limited contract. He mentioned that the labour law does not entitle me to end-of-service benefits in this case. I have worked for more than three years on an unlimited period contract. It’s only last year that my employer changed it to a limited one. Can I request the labour court to apply the unlimited contract in my case? My employer also refuses to return my original certificates handed over to him when I joined the company. Is this not illegal? My employer also refuses to give me an experience certificate saying I broke a limited contract.

The limited contract is the only one applicable to the questioner in this case. The labour law does not entitle a worker on a limited period contract to claim end-of-service benefits if he breaks the contract. The worker will also be required to compensate the employer with an amount equivalent to 45 days salary if the employer can prove that he suffered damages due to the premature termination of a limited contract. The worker is entitled only to leave pay. Therefore, I advise the questioner to resolve this matter amicably with the employer so that he can transfer to a new sponsor.

Finally, Article 125 of the Federal Law No 8 of 1980 states: “An employer shall provide a worker, if the latter’s request and on the termination of his contract, with a certificate of termination of service, which shall be free of charge. It shall specify the dates of his entering and leaving the employer’s service, his period of service, nature of the work he has performed, his last remuneration and any bonuses he has received.

It shall also be the duty of the employer to return any certificates, documents and tools belonging to the worker.”

Labour ban for absconding

I have worked in a company for more than three years. Seven months ago I went on my annual vacation, which was supposed to be for 45 days, but I did not return to Dubai. My employment visa expires in December. My company sent me an email asking for my resignation and original passport in order to cancel my employment visa, but I did not respond. My company then terminated my services. Is it possible for the company to cancel my visa without having my original passport? Can I return to the UAE? What kind of ban can my employer impose on me?

The questioner’s actions are in violation of the labour law. Therefore, after six months of absence, the residence visa of the questioner is automatically cancelled by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). Accordingly, his sponsor may submit an application to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation attached with the cancellation of the residency by the GDRFA and ask the ministry to cancel the labour card as well as to impose a ban, which in this case might be for a year. Therefore, the questioner might not be able to enter UAE till one year elapses.

Questions answered by advocate Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaib, of Al Shaiba Advocates and Legal Consultants.