I have been working in a private school for more than three years under a contract for a limited period, which expires in May 2017. I’m under my husband’s sponsorship and I have a work permit from the labour ministry. My questions here are: Can I legally leave work immediately or do I have to give 30-day notice to the school management as per the law? The school management may not accept my resignation as they say I must work until the midterm leave starts. In case they do not accept the resignation and I leave the school, will the Ministry of Labour impose a ban on me even if I am under my husband’s sponsorship? As per the UAE Labour Law, is it possible to pay for the notice period and leave the job immediately?

I would like to clarify to the questioner that she is working on a contract for a limited period and if the contract is terminated pre-term, she will lose her labour rights except the right related to leaves. The questioner might be requested to compensate the employer an amount equivalent to a salary for 45 days if the employer proved that he suffered a loss and damage due to such behaviour. The employer might request the Ministry of Labour to impose a one-year work ban due to this violation even if the questioner is not under the company’s sponsorship as per the ministry’s rules. The questioner can’t pay in order to lift the work ban. Finally, the notice period is not applicable in a limited contract as per the UAE Labour Law.

Maternity leave

I am a woman who works in an international company based in Dubai. My labour contract is under the Ministry of Labour and it is attested by the ministry. As per the offer letter I had signed two years ago when I joined the company, I am not eligible for maternity leave. I am entering the final stages of pregnancy and am supposed to go on maternity leave from next month. My company says in case I go on a long leave, it will be considered as annual leave. When I wrote to the company via email that I am supposed to get maternity leave as per the UAE Labour Law, they replied that I had agreed in the offer letter that I would not have maternity leave. My question is: Do I have the right to get maternity leave as per the UAE Labour Law even though it is not mentioned in the offer letter? Please advise and explain my rights under the UAE Labour Law in this regard.

I would like to mention that the UAE Labour Law or Federal Law No. (8) of 1980 Article 30 mentions the following: A female worker shall be entitled to maternity leave with full pay for a period of 45 days, including the period preceding and the period following her confinement, on condition that she has been in her employer’s service for a continuous period of not less than one year. If she has not completed the aforesaid period of service, she shall be entitled to maternity leave with half pay.

On the expiry of her maternity leave, a female worker may be absent from her work without pay for a maximum period of 100 consecutive or non-consecutive days if such absence is due to an illness preventing her from resuming her work and if the illness is confirmed by a medical certificate issued by the medical service specified by the competent health authority or if the latter authority confirms that the illness was caused by the women’s work or confinement. The leave period provided for in the preceding two paragraphs shall not be deducted from other periods of leave.

Therefore, as per the above-mentioned article, the questioner has the right to take maternity leave and the clause regarding the maternity leave which is mentioned in the offer letter will be considered null as it is against the labour law clause No. 30.

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