Question: I received a cheque against a loan I gave to a person a year ago. However, the bank refused to honour the cheque because it was more than six months old. It asked me to contact the cheque’s issuer, but I don’t know if he will respond positively and pay me. I have learnt that he is leaving the UAE. I admit my mistake in not encashing the cheque on time, but I want to know if the bank is entitled to refuse the cheque because it is dated back by six months. What is the legal stand on this matter? What should I do to recover my money?

Answer: The bank is entitled to reject a cheque dated back by more than six months unless the cheque’s issuer amends the date. I advise the questioner to deposit the cheque in his own account. This will result in his bank informing him in writing that it cannot accept the cheque. He may then file a police complaint. If the police reject his complaint, the questioner may file a case in the civil court to claim his dues. If the questioner proves his case, the civil court will oblige the cheque issuer to pay the amount. The questioner also has the right to request the court to impose a travel ban on the cheque issuer till the matter is settled.

Resignation under limited contract

Question: I am a woman who has worked in a private company in Dubai for almost four years. My limited contract expires in March this year. I was made the employment offer in February 2010. The letter stated that my gross salary would be Dh18,000, plus accommodation provided by the company. The company would also provide me a return air ticket home every two years. However, the contract drawn up by the Ministry of Labour showed my salary as Dh10,000 plus accommodation. I raised an objection with my manager and he promised to fix the issue, but till date nothing has been done. I started working at this company in January 2010 on a visit visa I procured. In February 2010, I was provided a residence visa by the company. I plan to resign in March as I have a better job offer, but I need some clarifications. Will my gratuity amount be calculated from the day I started working or from the day I was provided a visa by the company and signed the labour contract. Is the gratuity calculation in my case 14 days a year or 21 days a year after I submit my resignation? Is it mandatory for me to serve my notice period? Do I need a no-objection certificate from this company to join another company? How do I prove my current salary in court?

Answer: The working period shall be calculated by the court starting from the day the worker joined the company. As for the gratuity, it is calculated based on the last salary received by the worker regardless of the salary mentioned in the employment contract. The questioner can prove that she was paid a salary higher than that mentioned in the employment contract by submitting proof, including bank statements. End-of-service gratuity is calculated on the basis of 21 days for each year of service. Resigning after the completion of a limited contract is not a violation of the labour law. A no-objection certificate is not required any more as per labour ministry rules. As long as the questioner has completed more than two years in service, she can join another company. Finally, the questioner is not bound to serve a notice period because her employment contract is a limited one.

Ask the Law questions are answered by Advocate Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Shaiba Advocates and Legal Consultants.

— Compiled by Bassam Za’za’, Legal and Court Correspondent