Question: I have worked in a company for more than two years, but my visa was not sponsored by my company in the first year. The company adjusted my visa status and obtained the employment visa for me only a year ago.
The company terminated my service abruptly because of a dispute. It also did not allow me to work for the notice period as mentioned in my unlimited labour contract.
When I claimed my labour dues, the manager said that my service period would be calculated as only one year and that my employment without the company’s visa in the first year was against the labour law.
My employer had delayed obtaining the company visa and whenever I asked for my labour permit, he used to say my visa was under process. In case I fail to reach an amicable settlement with the company, shall I request the Ministry of Labour (Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation) to refer my case to the court concerned? What will be the likely stand of the labour court with respect to my end-of-service gratuity for the first year of service?
The salary I had been drawing of late was more than the salary mentioned in the labour contract. I want to know whether the gratuity will be calculated on the basis of the last-drawn salary?
My employer is also not ready to pay the salary for the notice period saying I had not worked during the period though it was the company that did not allow me to work.
Answer: I would like to clarify to the questioner that the labour court will calculate the questioner’s end-of-service gratuity from the beginning of his actual employment date with such company, not from the adjustment date of the employment visa.
As per the UAE Labour Law, the end-of-service gratuity is calculated on the basis of the current salary not the salary mentioned in the labour agreement. Finally, the employee, as per the labour law, is entitled to the notice pay as long as he was ready to work during that period.
Final payment agreement
Question: I had worked with a company for more than two years. Three months back, the company terminated my service but I was allowed to work during the notice period. As per the amicable written agreement signed between me and my employer, the company would pay all my labour dues in six post-dated cheques to be paid in six months.
Therefore, I signed the form before the Ministry of Labour (Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation) stating that I had received all my labour dues. My employer cancelled my labour card and visa. A month ago, I joined a new company. I encashed the first cheque but the second cheque was returned by the bank without payment.
I came to know that the employer has closed that bank account. When I approached the employer, he said the company does not have money right now and that I have to wait.
I feel that my previous employer was cheating me by making me sign the amicable agreement out of court. As per the UAE Labour Law, do I have the right to approach the Ministry of Labour again to claim my labour dues and file a new labour complaint against my previous employer?
Answer: I would like to clarify to the questioner that he does not have to file a new case with the Ministry of Labour (Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation) as he has already signed the form before the ministry stating that he had received his rights in full from the employer.
Since the questioner has the agreement signed with the employer stating that the said cheques are towards his labour dues, he has to file a criminal complaint against the cheque issuer before the criminal court as well as a civil case against the company in the event of non-payment of amounts mentioned in the cheques.
— Questions answered by lawyer Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Shaiba Advocates and Legal Consultants