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Does the labour ban affect the status of a person's residency visa? Image Credit: Pexels

Dubai: If you have been working in the UAE, you may have heard of the term 'labour ban'. But what exactly is the ban? And when can an employer impose a labour ban on an employee?

Firstly, a labour ban is imposed on a worker when he or she violates the provisions of the UAE Labour Law or related ministerial resolutions and decrees or when he or she violates the terms and conditions stipulated in his employment contract. However, the ban is applied after a detailed process is followed by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) at the request of the employer, and after a thorough investigation.

Here is a detailed guide on how it is imposed, the conditions that need to be met, how a labour ban may affect your visa status and whether you can appeal and cancel a labour ban.

What is a labour ban?

According to UAE’s official government portal – u.ae – an employer can request for a labour ban if the employee:

· Illegally terminated the employment contract or did not observe the provisions of the UAE Labour Law. For example, not respecting the notice period mentioned in his non-limited contract or terminating his limited contract before the end of its duration

· Committed any of the violations listed in the UAE Labour Law

· Worked with another company without obtaining a work permit from MOHRE

· Stayed in the UAE after the termination of his employment contract, for any reason, for more than two months without legal justification

Additionally, a labour ban is imposed on new non-skilled labour, who did not complete six months of service with their respective employers, according to u.ae.

Is a labour ban applicable to all workers?

A labour ban may apply on all employees in situations where the employee violates the UAE Labour Law and its related executive resolutions.

The ban is not limited to people having employment residence visa, but it also applies on any person who is issued a labour permit, a labour card or a labour contract if he or she commits any violations, which entail the imposition of a labour ban.

According to u.ae – this also means that a labour ban can be issued against a working student under the visa sponsorship of his father or university or a working woman under the sponsorship of her husband.

Are only unskilled workers subjected to a labour ban?
A labour ban is not limited to unskilled labour. Labour ban may apply on all employees in situations where the employee violates the UAE Labour law and its related executive resolutions.

Can a labour ban be applied through an online service?

According to u.ae, there is no eService to apply for a labour ban against an employee. Ban applications require an investigation from a legal researcher in MOHRE who would invite both parties, the employer and employee, take their statements, judge the seriousness of the request and decide whether to accept it or not.

Does a labour ban affect the status of a person’s visa?

The labour ban may impact the validity of your visa, depending on whether you are sponsored by your employer or are on a family visa.

The labour ban cancels the work permit of the employee. Upon cancellation, the respective employer must also proceed to cancel the residency visa of the employee since it was originally based on the work permit.

What happens if I’m under a family sponsorship?

If the banned person is on the sponsorship of their family, then they can maintain their residency visa but cannot work or be issued another work permit for the duration of the ban. If the banned person is outside the country, no new work permit will be issued to him or her until the lapse of the ban period.

How can I check if I have a labour ban?

The only method to check if you have a labour ban is by contacting MOHRE through their hotline – 800 60, through the MOHRE website – www.mohre.gov.ae, by sending an email to ask@mohre.gov.ae, or visiting a Tasheel centre. Tasheel centres are MOHRE’s customer care service centres.

To check regarding a labour ban, you will need to provide personal details such as:

· Your residency and identity information – Emirates ID and Passport number
· Date of Birth
· Nationality
· Name of the company sponsoring your residency visa – if you want to check your employment details, you can do this by accessing your labour contract online.

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Can I contest a labour ban?

If an employee does plan on contesting the labour ban, they are required to submit their grievance to MOHRE through their hotline – 800 60 – or through MOHRE website – www.mohre.gov.ae – or a Tasheel centre.

The official portal – u.ae – states that an employee must have proof that the labour ban is illegal by providing supporting documents.

Upon submitting a grievance, the worker will receive a reference number to follow up on his request. MOHRE will form a special committee chaired by the undersecretary and certain directors of departments to study these requests and decide whether to lift or maintain the ban. Afterwards, the employee will be notified of the decision of the committee.

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Can I work after my labour ban period is over?

You can only work after the labour ban period is officially over. U.ae states: “A labour ban is lifted automatically after the lapse of the ban period imposed by MOHRE. Please note also that the ban period starts immediately after the employee departs the country.”