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Question: I worked in a company for more than two years on an unlimited contract. A month ago, I submitted my resignation, but the company refused to accept it. Two weeks later, I submitted my resignation by email, but my company replied through email, rejecting the resignation and asking me to continue working till the manager decides the matter. Is sending a resignation through email acceptable before the Ministry of Labour and court? Is the company allowed to reject such a resignation? Am I currently considered to be serving the notice period, which as per my labour contract is for two months?

Answer: An employee’s resignation comes into effect from the date that it is submitted to the employer. The consent of the employer is not required. Thus, the company’s rejection of the resignation has no legal grounds. Submitting resignation through email is acceptable by law as long as the delivery of the same is proved. Therefore, the questioner is currently serving his notice period. I would advise him to complete the notice period and immediately file a complaint before the Ministry of Labour.

Unpaid annual leave

Question: I have worked in a company for two years on an unlimited period contract. Two months ago, I asked the company to grant me annual leave for a month. When I returned from leave, however, the company asked me to sign a paper stating that the annual leave shall go unpaid. I declined to sign. My manager then told me that the company cannot employ me any longer as it was facing financial problems. It asked me to search for another job, or face termination. A month later, I returned to the company as I could not find a job. I was immediately handed my termination letter although I had not been paid my salary for more than four months. Is the company’s action considered arbitrary dismissal? Am I entitled to a salary for the period when I was searching for a new job? Am I entitled to one-month notice pay?

Answer: The questioner’s termination might be considered arbitrary dismissal by a court. The company could also be asked to compensate the questioner with wages for 1-2 month depending on the length of service. The questioner is entitled to claim his salary for the period in which he was searching for a job as the law states that the company is responsible for providing work to the questioner as long as he is still under its sponsorship. As for the notice period pay, the questioner is entitled to one-month salary.

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