Does an employer have the right to punish an employee for misbehaviour? What disciplinary action can be taken by the employer?

Federal Law No 8 of 1980 (amended) provides clear provisions for employers to take disciplinary action against employees. There are certain cases wherein an employer may fine or even dismiss an employee for misconduct and breach of duties. It is important for employees to understand the circumstances in which these penalties can be imposed.

According to Article 102 of the UAE Labour Law, there are seven disciplinary measures that an employee should be aware of.

However, Article 102 law states that disciplinary punishment may be imposed by an employer or a representative in the following forms: Warning, fine, suspension from work with reduced pay for a period not exceeding 10 days, forfeiture of deferment of periodic increment in establishments where such increments system is applied, forfeiture or deferment of promotion in establishments where promotion system is applied, dismissal from service but reserving right to end-of-service benefits and finally, dismissal from service together with forfeiture of all or part of the benefits, provided that penalties shall not be imposed for reasons other than those specifically prescribed in Article 120 of the law.

I am an employer in Dubai. In what cases does an employee lose his entitlement to severance pay?

Article No 139 of Federal Law No 8 of 1980 states that a work shall forfeit all entitlement to severance pay in any of these two cases:

If the person is dismissed from the service for any of the reason specified in Article 120 of the UAE Labour Law or if he/she leaves work in order to avoid being dismissed in accordance with the article.

If the person leaves work of his/her own accord and without notice, otherwise then in either of the cases specified in Article 121 of the law (in the case of contracts of unlimited duration), or before completing of continuous service (in case of contracts for a limited period).

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