I have worked in a company for more than three years under a limited period contract. A month ago, my employer terminated my contract and currently I am working on a notice period for three months as per an internal letter I signed with the employer. My employer does not want to pay my end-of service dues and the salary for the notice period salary citing the internal letter which mentions that I do not have the right to get salary during the notice period. I signed the internal letter when I joined the company. I signed the official labour contract later. I informed the employer that I would file a complaint with the labour ministry. He said, in that case, he is going to delay the matter further as he would file a counter complaint against me in the labour ministry. As per the UAE Labour Law, how long can the employer delay a decision from the labour ministry in case he files a counter complaint? Can I file a case directly in the labour court to get a decision faster?

Article 6 (amended) of the Federal Labour Law No 8 of 1980 states: “Without prejudice to the provisions concerning collective labour disputes stated in this law, if the employer or the worker or any beneficiary thereof raised a claim concerning any of the rights accruing to any of them according to the provisions of this law, he shall submit a request thereof to the Labour Department concerned. This department shall summon the two parties to the dispute and shall take whatever it deems necessary to settle the dispute amicably. If the amicable settlement is not reached, the said department must within two weeks from the date of submitting the request refer the dispute to the court concerned. The submission must be accompanied with a note including a summary of the dispute, the arguments of the two parties and the observation of the department. The court shall, within three days from the date of receiving the request, fix a sitting to consider the claim and the two parties shall be notified thereof. The court may summon a representative of the Labour Department to explain the note submitted by it. In any circumstances, no claim of any entitlement due under the provisions of this law shall be heard if brought to court after the lapse of one year from the date on which such entitlement became due, and no claim shall be admitted if the procedure stated in this article are not adhered to.” As per the above-mentioned article, the employee has no right to file a direct labour case in the labour court. Finally, the questioner is not obliged to work during the notice period because his contract is for a limited period.


Cheque complaint

I have a cheque for Dh1 million which bounced. Two months ago, I filed a police complaint against the person who had signed the cheque. The complaint was forwarded to the criminal court, which sentenced the cheque owner to six months in jail. I came to know that he was caught and has been put in jail to serve the six-month jail term. He has not paid the cheque amount and the criminal court did not force him to pay the amount. In case I decide to file a civil case, will the civil court pass a judgement in my favour if I provide the court with a copy of the criminal case verdict, which was in my favour?

The criminal court, which passed the judgement against the cheque issuer must have provided him with options — that is, either pay the cheque amount, which means that the court will give him a chance to resolve the matter amicably and pay the cheque amount, or undergo a jail term or fine. This is the only procedure that shall be applied by the criminal court as per the criminal law. Since he did not pay the cheque amount, he went to jail. Therefore, the questioner shall file a civil case to claim the cheque amount. I would advise the questioner that the judgement of the criminal court does not necessarily mean that the cheque owner who got jailed by such court would be convicted by the civil court. Therefore, the questioner shall provide the civil court with documents and all pieces of evidence to claim the cheque amount.

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