Question 1: A questioner from Dubai asks: I worked in a company for more than 2 years. During my probation period, I worked on a visit visa provided by another company.
After six months my company obtained an employment visa for me. Now, my company has terminated my services. I asked my company to settle my end of service dues. My company refused to give me my full rights. They are telling me that my employment period started from the day they provided me the employment visa only, whereas the visit visa period will not be counted.
The company was responsible for delaying my employment visa. Recently, I made a complaint to the Ministry of Labour. The sponsor has refused to settle my dues in the Labour Ministry. The Labour Ministry forwarded my complaint to the Labour Court.
My question here is: Which day will the court recognise as my starting date? Is it from the day I started with the visit visa or employment visa? How do I prove to the court the day I started work? Please advise.
Answer: To answer this question, I would like to clarify to the questioner that the Labour Court will consider the starting date of the questioner from the actual date of his work, regardless of the issuance of the employment visa. The questioner can prove the starting day from the bank statement salary, which will prove the starting day of the questioner, or from the day indicated on the appointment letter given to the questioner by the company. It can be proved by witnesses as well.
Question 2: A reader from Dubai asks: I have been working in a company for more than two years. For two months, my company has renewed my labour contract and made me sign a limited contract, which will be expiring on June 2015. At present I want to leave the job for a better offer from a new company. My questions are: Is there any possibility to get my entitlements including my commission? In my labour contract my commission is mentioned. My contract is for a limited period. Is it possible to work with a new company without getting any ban. My previous service with the current employer is more than two years. Please clarify.
Answer: To answer this question, I want to clarify the questioner that, in this case, if he resigns from the work, this act is contrary to the Labour Law, and because the contract is a limited contract, he cannot break it unless the contract period is expired. In the case that the questioner breaks the contract, he will have to compensate the company and also will lose his end of service benefits and the commission as well. Additional to that, the sponsor has the right to request the labour office to put one year ban due to this violation.
Question 3: A questioner from Dubai asks: I am working for a building maintenance company. My labour contract states that the working hours per day are eight hours. My company is saying that, as per UAE Labour Law, working hours are eight to nine hours. From the day I started working for this company, I used to work for 9 hours a day without any extra payment. As per UAE Labour Law, what is the standard number of working hours? Is it eight or nine hours and what is my right in this regard? Can I claim for extra hours? I did work extra time for the company for more than six months.
Answer: I would like to clarify to the questioner that the UAE Labour Law, article 65 states 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 home and place of work shall not be included in his hours of work.”
Therefore, as per the above-mentioned article, the questioner has the right to claim for his overtime from the day he start working overtime and until now. Otherwise the questioner has the right to file a complaint before the Ministry of Labour in this regard if there is no amicable settlement with the employer.
* Readers’ questions are answered by advocate Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba Advocates and Legal Consultants.
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