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

Dubai: If an employee is absent from work for more than seven days and has not informed their employer about their whereabouts, the employer is legally entitled to register an Unexpected Work Abandonment (UWA) or Absconding Report against the employee, according to Ministerial Resolution No. 47 of 2022.

Following the implementation of the new UAE Labour Law in February this year, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) has issued several Ministerial Resolutions or decrees, which provide further details on the various situations and special conditions related to the implementation of the law.

One of the decrees issued by MOHRE is Ministerial Resolution No. 47 of 2022, which provides a detailed breakdown on how labour disputes and complaints will be settled as per the law.

Article 6 and 7 of this resolution discuss the registration and cancellation of an Unexpected Work Abandonment Absconding Report. Here is an in-depth look at what they say.

When can an employer file an absconding report against an employee?

As per Article 6 of the resolution, titled 'Registration of Unexpected Work Abandonment (UWA) Absconding Report', the employer may register an unexpected work abandonment complaint against a worker who absents himself or herself without lawful reason for more than seven consecutive days, provided that the employer is not aware of the worker’s whereabouts and is unable to communicate with him or her. The complaint shall be registered in accordance with the procedures manual issued by the Undersecretary for Human Resources Affairs.

How can I cancel an absconding report against me?

Article 7 of the resolution, titled 'Cancellation of Unexpected Work Abandonment Report' lists out situations when the Ministry may cancel a UWA complaint at the request of one or both the parties - i.e. the employer or the employee.

These include:

1. If it is proven that 7 consecutive days have not passed since the last working day or from the end of the leave or in cases of absence due to legitimate reasons.

2. If it is proven that the worker is present at the workplace, or if the worker was on a legally prescribed leave, whether the employer is aware of that or not at the time of registering the complaint.

3. With the consent of the employer to restore the labour relationship, provided that the establishment is still existing (not closed), and the employer undertakes to pay the fines due (if any) for not issuing or renewing the work permit.

4. If the cessation of work is pursuant to an agreement between the worker and the employer to terminate the employment relationship, or if the employer allows the worker to cease work or to search for another job opportunity.

5. If there is a legitimate reason for not reporting to work or any other reason in which the complaint is proven to be invalid.

How can I approach the Ministry to apply for a cancellation request?

MOHRE has a toll-free hotline - 800 60 - which you can call to follow up on any complaints or transactions that you may have with the Ministry.

For Labour complaints and legal inquiries and advice, the Ministry has also set up a Labour claims and advisory centre. To contact the centre, to know more about your rights as an employer or an employee, you can call 04 665 9999.