I am a woman who has worked in a company for five years under a limited contract, which is going to expire in two months [March 2017]. Upon the expiration of my labour contract, I will leave this company and will not renew my labour contract as I am planning to work for my own company. Last year, I asked the company to give me a leave for six months without pay. The company approved my request, so I left on an unpaid leave for six months. After six months, I resume work. My first question here is related to my service period, as the company says that, as per the law, the said unpaid leave period shall not be included in the service period, How will be my end-of-service gratuity calculated as per the UAE Labour law? Do I need to take a no-objection certificate in case I want to work with a new company?

Article No. 132 of the Federal Labour Law No. 8 of 1980 states the following: “A worker who has completed a period of one or more years of continuous service shall be entitled to severance pay on the termination of his employment. The days of absence from work without pay shall not be included in calculating the period of service. The severance pay shall be calculated as follows: 21 days’ remuneration for each year of the first five years of service and 30 days’ remuneration for each additional year of service provided that the aggregate amounts of service pay shall not exceed two year’s remuneration.”

As for no-objection certificate to transfer to the new sponsorship, the questioner does not require such a certificate as per the Ministry of Labour rules since she has completed more than two years in service.


New job offer

I have been working with a company in Dubai for the past one year under a limited contract. Now as due to some changes and good opportunity offered to me by another company, I’m thinking of resigning and joining that company. Please advise whether it will be possible for me to do so. Can the present employer impose a ban on me? In that case, how can it be lifted? What service benefits am I supposed to get? Do I need to give one-month notice to my company in case I decide to resign and leave the company?

I would like to advise the questioner not to terminate the employment contract since the same is for limited period. In case of termination, he will be against the Labour Law and he will not be entitled to his labour dues except for the leave dues. Further, the questioner might be requested to compensate the employer if proved that the employer has been affected from the termination of contract. The employer has the right to request the Ministry of Labour to impose a one-year ban on the questioner which shall be irrevocable unless the same employer requests to do so. Finally, the employee is not obliged by the UAE labour law to give the employer one-month notice in case he has decided to submit his resignation and leave the work as long as his labour contract is for a limited period.


Illegal employee

I had worked in a company for two years on a visa issued by another company. A year ago, the company where I work issued me a visa. A month ago, my company terminated my service for no valid reason. When I claimed my labour dues, my company said that they would calculate my end-of-service gratuity for one year only as my employment during the two previous years was against the labour law. I have been trying to settle the dispute with my company amicably for a month now without success. In case I fail to reach an amicable settlement with the company, shall I request the Ministry of Labour to refer the case to the court concerned? How will the court treat my case and settle the end-of-service gratuity? My employer says in case I file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour, it will be rejected as I had worked with the company illegally and against rules for two years. Please advise.

The court concerned will calculate the questioner’s end-of-service gratuity from the beginning of his actual employment with the company, not from the issuing date of the visa and work permit. Finally, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation will transfer the questioner’s complaint to the labour ministry since the questioner is holding a work permit issued by the labour ministry.


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