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Dubai office staff working Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Do you want to change your job, but your current employer is delaying the process of cancelling your work permit? Well, you can now contact the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) to request for the cancellation of your work permit, under certain circumstances, as per a new Ministerial Decree issued by the Ministry.

MOHRE has issued several Ministerial Resolutions or decrees following the implementation of the new UAE Labour Law - Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 – which came into effect from February 2, 2022. One of these decrees is Ministerial Resolution No. 47 of 2022, which was issued on February 4, 2022, and provides details on the process that will be followed for the settlement of labour disputes and complaints.

While Articles 1, 2 and 3 of this resolution provide details of the procedure that will be followed for filing a complaint, Article 4 of the resolution covers the controls that have been put in place for the cancellation of the work permit.

Also, Article 5 provides conditions where a worker can request for his or her work permit to be cancelled without the consent of the employer. These include cases where the establishment is not properly registered with the Ministry or if the Ministry is unable to reach the employer within five working days from the date the complaint was registered. However, the Ministry may put an employee’s request for cancellation of work permit on hold if he or she is found to have failed in his or her contractual obligations to the employer.

Here is a detailed look at what the resolution says about cancellation of work permits.

Article (4) - Controls for Cancellation of a Work Permit after Referral to the Labour Court

1. Without prejudice to the provisions of Article No. 3 hereof, in cases where the labour complaint leads to the worker’s cessation of work, his/her work permit will be cancelled after 6 months from the date of referring the complaint to the labour court.

2. Regarding complaints referred to the judiciary prior to the issuance of this decree, the period referred to in Paragraph (1) of this Article shall be calculated from the date of issuance of the decree herein.

Article (5) - Cancellation Request

1. Based on a complaint by the worker requesting the cancellation of his / her work permit, without the consent of the employer, the following actions must be taken:

a) In the event that the Ministry finds that the worker is registered with a fictitious employer or establishment, the cancellation procedures shall be completed according to the worker’s request with taking legal action against the worker and the employer.

b) If the Ministry is unable to reach the employer within five working days from the date of registering the worker’s complaint, or in the event that the employer responds and requests an additional period to resolve the complaint, the period is extended by an additional five working days. The cancellation procedures will then be completed upon the worker’s request unless the employer provides evidence that the worker is under investigation by the competent authorities for a crime related to his/her work.

c) In cases where the work permit is cancelled by the Ministry, the worker is obligated to change his/her residency status within the specified period, in accordance with the applicable legislation in this regard.

d) Any fines due (if any) for the delay in issuing or renewing the work permit shall be transferred to the establishment’s file.

2. The Ministry may postpone the decision on cancellation of the work permit without referring to the employer or the worker in the event of a labour case being discussed before the court until the validity of the claim is confirmed in the following cases:

a. If the employer claims that the worker abandoned the job although the employer did not violate the worker’ rights during the probation period.

b. If the unexpected absence report filed by the employer is found to be accurate.

c. If the worker failed to fulfil his contractual obligations.