Dubai: With a new labour law coming into effect in the UAE from this month, there are various aspects of an employer-employee relationship that will be governed by the amended legislation.
Articles 11 and 12 of the new law cover situations where either a company hires workers from another company to complete certain tasks or if an employer asks its own employee to fulfil duties that may not necessarily be part of the work contract signed between the two parties.
Article 11 of the new UAE Labour Law, titled ‘Entrusting certain employer's works to another party’, looks at which company is responsible for ensuring that worker’s rights are fulfilled, if work is outsourced to another organisation.
As per the Article, unless the two parties agree otherwise, the company which is providing the outsourcing services should ensure that the employees or workers receive all their entitlements and dues.
Perhaps the truest concrete example I may use to explain the aforementioned Article will be related to construction works, where a contractor asks another contractor’s permission to assign all or part of his work to the latter. Here, the latter will have sole responsibility towards the employee’s rights and compensations according to the law.
Gulf News also spoke with Ahmed Gabr, Legal Adviser at Elnaggar and Partners, who explained how the law would apply to workers.
“Perhaps the truest concrete example I may use to explain the aforementioned Article will be related to construction works, where a contractor asks another contractor’s permission to assign all or part of his work to the latter. Here, the latter will have sole responsibility towards the employee’s rights and compensations according to the law,” he said.
So, the company that is providing the employees to complete the job is considered responsible for the employees’ entitlements.
Gabr added that the law could also be used within a big organisation, where a company may assign work to its subsidiary or sister company, where each of them is identified as a separate employer.
“As a result, the assignee employer is responsible towards the employees with respect to all of their rights mentioned therewith in the labour law, unless otherwise agreed between the employers,” he added.
Can my company ask me to do a role which is not part of my employment contract?
On the other hand, Article 12 in the new Labour Law looks at the situation where a worker is assigned to a new assignment. Here is a look at what the Article states, in detail.
2. The employer may assign the worker, in cases other than those referred to in Clause (1) of this Article, to perform a kind of work that is not agreed upon in the employment contract, provided that the worker agrees in writing.
3. If performing the work that is not agreed upon in the employment contract requires that the worker change his place of residence, the employer must bear all the financial costs resulting therefrom, including the costs of the worker's displacement and residence.
Situation 1: In emergency conditions, or as a result of certain accidents
Commenting on how this part of the law may affect workers, Gabr said that while the law does not allow an employer to assign a work to the employee other than the ones agreed to in the labour contract, the law gave permission to the employer to do so in certain conditions and only on a temporary basis, “…with the aim of preventing the occurrence of an accident or repairing what resulted from such accident,” as stated in the law.
“For example, an accountant may do an auditor’s work if he or she is qualified to do so in case the work is necessary and urgent. As another example, a watchman might be liable upon the request of the employer to rectify the remains of a fire, like cleaning the floor, if the fire was caused by the employee by smoking in a non-permitted area,” Gabr said.
Situation 2: If the two parties agree in writing
According to Article 12-2, the employer and worker might agree upon performing different work other than what is agreed in the contract, in case both of them have agreed to do so.
“Such agreement should be in writing and a confirmation email from the employee’s corporate email is enough as a reply to the offering email,” Gabr said.
He also added that Clause 3 of the Article states that if the employee has to change his or her location or residency to another place, which was not agreed in the contract, then the employer is responsible to compensate the employee and will bear all costs that might arise as a result.