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Dubai: Losing a job is never easy. However, the uncertainty that comes with looking for employment can be somewhat put to rest if you receive all your entitlements as a worker in the private sector in the UAE.

The UAE’s Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the regulation of Labour Relations, also referred to as the UAE Labour Law, provides various rights to workers whose contract has been terminated by the employer. Here are some rights that you have in such a situation:

1. Get a notice period of at least 30 days

According to Article 43 of the Labour Law, which is titled ‘Notice of termination of employment contract’, a notice period of 30 to 90 days needs to be served, regardless of which of the two parties (employer or employee) decides to terminate the work contract. This notice period can be waived off as well, if both the parties mutually agree to do so.

Another interesting clause of the Article states that in case the employer is the one who terminates the contract, the employee can take a working day off per week (without pay), to look for other job opportunities.

Article 43 (3) – The party in breach of the notice period shall pay the other a compensation called pay in lieu of notice, even if no harm results from the failure of notification. The compensation shall be equal to the wage of the worker for the entire notice period, or the remainder thereof.

Read more about notice period requirements that employers and employees (in cases of resignation) should fulfill, here.

However, it is important to note that there are certain cases where an employee may have committed serious mistakes and fraud. In such situations, an employer is not legally required to provide a notice before firing the worker. To know more, click here.

2. Receive severance pay

You are also entitled to receive your gratuity, depending on the tenure you have served, provided that you have completed at least one year of continuous service. As per Article 51(2) of the UAE Labour Law, here is how gratuity is calculated:

a. 21 working days' wage for each of the first five years of service.

b. 30 working days' wage for each subsequent year of service.

Here, the wage refers to the basic wage or basic salary as per your employment contract.

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The Article also states: “A foreign worker shall be entitled to a severance pay for the fractions of the year in proportion to the period of service, provided that he or she has completed one year of continuous service.”

To know more about how your period of service is calculated and how it affects your gratuity, read our detailed guide here.

3. Receive an experience certificate

Article 13 (11) of the UAE Labour Law states that providing an experience certificate to a worker is part of the obligations of an employer in the private sector. The clause states: “[The employer shall] provide the worker, upon the latter's request at the expiry of the employment contract, with a free of charge end-of-service certificate, which shall specify the service commencement and end dates, the total period of service, the position or the nature of work performed, the last wage, and cause of end of the employment contract, provided that the certificate does not include anything which might harm the reputation of the worker or reduce his opportunities of finding a job.

Want to know more about what the obligations of an employer are, as per the UAE Labour Law? Click here. 

4. Have your repatriation ticket cost covered

If you do not plan to continue working in the UAE, you are also entitled to a repatriation ticket you’re your employer.

Article 13 (12) of the Labour Law states: “[The employer shall] bear the cost of the worker's repatriation to his or her point of hire or to any other point that was mutually agreed upon, unless the worker joins another employer, or the employment contract is terminated for reasons due to the worker; in which case, the costs shall be borne by the latter.”

5. Encashing unused annual leave

You may have some annual leave days left to use when your employer terminates your contract. As per Article 29 (9) of the UAE Labour Law: “A worker shall be entitled to be paid for his or her days of leave if he or she leaves work before the use thereof, irrespective of the length thereof, for the period for which he or she did not use the leave. The worker shall be entitled to the leave pay for the fractions of the year in proportion to the period of service, and the same is calculated on the basis of the basic wage.”

Also, Article 19 (2) of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, states: “If the worker’s service ends, he shall be paid a cash allowance for the balance of his legally due annual leave, according to the basic wage.”

Do you have any questions related to the UAE’s Labour Law, or other topics covered in Living in UAE? Write to us at readers@gulfnews.com