Dubai - If you work in the UAE, you have undoubtedly heard of the ‘Labour ban’. But what is it?
Which actions can lead to a Labour ban? And can you ever work again in the UAE if it is imposed on you? Here is an explainer.
What is a Labour ban?
A Labour ban can be issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) or the General Directorate of Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).
A Labour ban issued by Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) means that the employee is not legally allowed to work in another company in the UAE for a period of one year.
The ban is imposed when the employee violates the provisions of the UAE Labour law and/or related ministerial resolutions and circulars or when he does not observe the terms and conditions stipulated in his employment contract.
Grounds for a Labour ban
The grounds of a Labour ban issued by the GDRFA are different from those issued by MOHRE.
This could be based on other reasons not related to employment issues, such as serious criminal offences, security reasons, illegal entry to the UAE and so on.
Article 120 of UAE Federal Labour Law no. 8 of 1980
Article 120 of UAE Labour Law provides the conditions in which an employer is allowed to terminate the employment contract without giving a notice. The article states:
An employer may dismiss a worker without notice in any of the following cases:
1. If the worker adopts a false identity or nationality or submits forged certificate or documents;
2. If the worker is engaged on probation and is dismissed during the probationary or on its expiry;
3. If the worker makes a mistake resulting in substantial material loss for the employer, on condition that the latter notifies the Ministry of Labour of the incident within 48 hours of his becoming aware of its occurrence;
4. If the worker disobeys instructions respecting industrial safety or the safety of the workplace, on condition that such instructions are in writing and have been posted up at a conspicuous place and, in the case of an illiterate worker, that he has been acquainted with them orally;
5. If the worker does not perform his basic duties under the contract of employment and persists in violating them despite the fact that he has been the subject of a written investigation for this reason and that he has been warned that he will be dismissed if such behavior continues;
6. If the worker reveals any secret of the establishment in which he is employed;
7. If the worker is finally sentenced by a competent court for an offence involving honour, honesty or public morals;
8. If the worker is found in a state of drunkenness or under the influence of a drug during working hours;
9. If, while working, the worker assaults the employer, the responsible manager or any of his work mates;
10. If the worker absents from his work without a valid reason for more than 20 non-consecutive days, or more than seven consecutive days, in any one year.
On whom can a Labour ban be imposed?
A Labour ban can be imposed on a skilled or non-skilled worker.
If, as an employee, you have violated the UAE Labour Law and its related executive resolutions, a Labour ban can be imposed on you.
It is also not limited to only those who have a residence visa issued by the employer.
Even if you are on a family visa, as long as you have a work permit and a Labour contract, a Labour ban can be imposed on you, if you commit any violations that entail its imposition.
How is a Labour ban imposed?
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.
When can the employer apply for a Labour ban?
A Labour ban may be imposed 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 Article 120 of 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 a new non-skilled worker who did not complete six months of service with their respective employers.
How long can the ban be for?
The Labour ban can be for one year or permanent.
Does this mean my residence visa will also be cancelled?
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.
However, if the banned person is on the sponsorship of his parents or family he may maintain his 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 until the lapse of the ban period.
How can I check if there is a Labour ban imposed on me?
You can call MOHRE on 800 60 or visit their website. You can also visit a Tasheel centre.
Can I contest the Labour ban?
You can contest a Labour ban by submitting a grievance to MOHRE through one of its Tasheel centres, via the MOHRE website –www.mohre.gov.ae or email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find a Tasheel centre near you, click here: https://www.mohre.gov.ae/en/services/labour-offices.aspx.
You must attach all supporting documents with your grievance, which prove that you do not deserve a ban.
You will then receive a reference number to follow up on your 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.
Can I get a Labour ban cancelled?
No, you cannot cancel a Labour ban or get it waived by paying a fee.
Lapse of a Labour ban
A labour ban is lifted automatically after the lapse of the ban period imposed by MOHRE. The ban period starts immediately after the employee departs the country.
- Information courtesy government.ae