I have been working in a company for more than two years with an unlimited contract. In my internal labour contract, it is mentioned that my employer has the right to terminate my labour contract without notice. My questions are: As per the UAE labour law, does the employer have the right to mention such clause in the labour contract? Does the labour law permit the employer to terminate the employee’s service without notice?

To answer this question, I would advise the questioner that as per the UAE labour law, the employer has no right to mention in the unlimited labour contract that the employer has the right to terminate the employee’s service without notice; such a clause is considered illegal.

The employer has the right to terminate the employee’s service without notice only as per the Article no. 120 of Federal Law No (8) of 1980 which mentions the following;

“An employer may dismiss a worker without notice in any of the following cases:

a) If the worker adopts a false identity or nationality or submits forged certificates or documents;

b) If the worker is engaged on probation and is dismissed during the probationary or its expiry;

c) If the worker makes a mistake resulting in substantial material loss for employer, on condition that the latter notifies the Labour Department of the incident within 48 hours of his becoming aware of its occurrence;

d) If the worker disobeys instructions respecting industrial safety or the safety of the workplace, on condition that such instructions are in writing and have been posted up at a conspicuous place and, in the case of an illiterate worker, that he has been acquainted with them orally;

e) If the worker does not perform his basic duties under the contract of employment and persist in violating them despite the fact that he has been the subject of a written investigation for this reason and that he has been warned that he will be dismissed if such behaviour continues;

f) If the worker reveals any secret of the establishment in which he is employed;

g) If the worker is finally sentenced by a competent court for an offence involving honour, honesty or public morals;

h) If the worker is found in a state of drunkenness or under the influence of a drug during working hours;

i) If, while working, the worker assaults the employer, the responsible manager or any of his work mates;

j) If the worker absents from his work without valid reason for more than 20 non-consecutive days, or more than seven.

No pay for travel time

I have been working in a contracting company for a one year. My company bus takes two hours to take us from the company accommodation to the place of work and another two hours while going back. As per the UAE Labour Law, do I have the right to ask my company to pay for the hours spent from my accommodation to the place of work and also from my place of work to accommodation as an overtime. Please advise.

To answer this question I would clarify that Article no 65 of Federal Law No 8 of 1980 which mentions the following:

“The maximum normal hours of work of adult workers shall be eight a day or 48 a week. The hours of work may be increased to nine hours a day in commercial establishments, hotels and cafés and of guard duties and any other operations where such increase is authorised by order of the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs. The daily hours of work may be reduced in the case of arduous or unhealthy operations by order of the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.

The normal hours of work shall be reduced by two during the month of Ramadan.

The periods spent by a worker in travelling between his home and place of work shall not be included in his hours of work.”

Therefore, as per the above-mentioned article the employee has no right to claim for overtime for the period spent by the employee travelling between his home and place of work.

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