Dubai: About to sign your labour contract? It is essential that you read all the details of the contractual relationship you are signing up for, to ensure you are aware of the salary and benefits.
A Gulf News reader recently wrote in sharing her husband’s experience, and how he was not provided the chance to read his detailed salary breakdown.
She said: “My husband signed an offer letter of an average amount salary and a labour contract, for which only the last page was shown to him. Since he was comfortable with the offer letter, he signed it. After a year, we found out that in his contract, an amount of Dh700 was allocated for the basic salary and Dh1,100 for allowances. Does that make sense? I am planning to go to the Labour office to check and see what their advice is or if we can file a complaint. Now, since he does not plan to renew his contract, he got a draft of his gratuity, which was based on the Dh700 basic salary. A low salary is fine as long as the company is transparent and does not take advantage of people. Now, my husband went to the company office to take his passport, gratuity and cancellation document, but they only gave the cancellation paper and half the gratuity. Why would they withhold the passport? Is it legal? Look forward to your advice.”
Gulf News raised the query with Mohamed Gamal, Legal Adviser at Kaden Boriss Legal Consultants Dubai, who said that a job offer letter must specify the work conditions, privileges and nature of work, in addition to the salary, the rights of each worker for vacations or otherwise, and the rights of the employer, in terms of the worker's commitment and work performance.
However, it is possible for the labour contract to amend any clause in the offer letter, as long as the two contracting parties – the employer and the employee – agree to them.
“This is based on what was settled by the Civil Transactions Law in Article 257, which states that ‘the principle in contracts is the consent of the parties and the contractual obligations they are bound to perform’. Based on this legal rule, the contract must be drawn up and signed on the principle of transparency, and the worker must ask about his rights in the work contract, based on the job offer he accepted, in addition to keeping a copy of the work contract. If he does not see the work contract, then the worker forfeits a right that the law gave him,” Gamal said.
However, Gamal added that the worker can prove the salary he has been receiving by referring to the Wage Protection System (WPS), where the salary is recorded.
The contract must be drawn up and signed on the principle of transparency, and the worker must ask about his rights in the work contract, based on the job offer he accepted, in addition to keeping a copy of the work contract.
“The reader can go to the Labour office to register the complaint and, of course, consult a lawyer or legal advisor on how to prove that right before the court,” he added.
Responding to the reader’s query on the employer withholding the passport, Gamal said that this goes against the ruling of the Court of Cassation, Appeal No. 112, session 1/21/1995.
“No party has the right to detain a passport, except for a judicial reason and from an official authority such as the police, the prosecution, or the court,” Gamal said.