Dubai: If you are planning to quit your full-time job in the UAE, you may have several questions swirling through your mind – when should I inform my employer? What if my manager does not accept or acknowledge my resignation? And how can I make sure I don’t have any problems moving to a new job?
Gulf News spoke with legal experts in the UAE to find out the steps employees should take to ensure they do not have any legal or financial liabilities when they resign from their full-time job. It is important to note that the steps below are for employees who have a full-time job and are based on the UAE’s new Labour Law – Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2022 – and its governing regulations.
1. Read your employment contract to ensure that you are serving an appropriate notice period.
The notice period for a full-time employee who plans to terminate a work contract can be anywhere between 30 to 90 days, according to the UAE Labour Law. Your labour contract will specify the notice you need to serve to your employer. If you want to know how you can get a copy of your labour contract, read our detailed guide here.
Failing to serve your notice period can lead to financial liabilities, as you may be asked to pay your salary for the notice period you do not serve, according to Priyasha Corrie, a Partner at Keystone Law Middle East LLP.
“Under Article 43(3) of the new UAE Labour Law, the party that does not comply with the notice has to pay to the other party compensation, i.e., 'payment in lieu of notice', equivalent to the employee's salary for the entire notice period or the remaining part of the notice period,” she said.
If you are resigning during your probation period, however, there are certain other aspects to keep in mind, including the possibility of a labour ban. To know more about what the UAE Labour Law says about resigning during the probation period, read our detailed guide here.
Under Article 43(3) of the new UAE Labour Law, the party that does not comply with the notice has to pay to the other party compensation, i.e., 'payment in lieu of notice', equivalent to the employee's salary for the entire notice period or the remaining part of the notice period.
2. Send your resignation in writing
Corrie also advised employees to ensure that they inform their employer of the decision to resign in writing, whether through an email or a letter. It is important to clearly state your notice period and last day of work, as per the requirements mentioned in your labour contract. This requirement is as per Article 43 (1) of the UAE Labour Law.
What if my employer does not respond to my resignation email?
According to Dr Ibrahim Al Banna, CEO of Ibrahim Al Banna Advocates and Legal Consultants, while an employee is required to send his or her resignation in writing, an acknowledgement from the employer is not required, as per the UAE Labour Law.
“The employer is not required to expressly acknowledge the notification,” Dr Al Banna said.
3. Receive all your end-of-service dues
Once you have completed your term of service as a full-time employee, your gratuity will be calculated as per Article 51 of the UAE Labour Law. It is important to note that gratuity is calculated on an employee’s basic pay.
“While calculating the gratuity of a foreign employee, the employer shall, in accordance with Article 51 (5) of the Labour Law, calculate the same based on the last basic salary to which the employee was entitled to, whether he or she receives a salary on a monthly, weekly or daily basis,” Dr Al Banna said.
“While computing the gratuity of a foreign employee, the amount ascertained as gratuity shall not exceed the remuneration of two years that is payable to him or her. Above all, the employer, while ascertaining the amount to be paid as gratuity, is entitled to deduct any amount which is due to either the employer or any other person or entity in accordance with law or judgment delivered by a competent court,” he added.
4. Ensure that your work permit is cancelled
Once the permit and visa is cancelled, the employee shall have only a period of 30 days to either commence an employment relationship with another entity or to make an exit from the UAE.
As per Article 7 (3) of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 Concerning the Executive Regulations of the Labour Law, the employer has to apply to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) to cancel the work permit. According to Dr Al Banna, the employer is also required to apply for the visa cancellation with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai or the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP), if the employee was on the company’s sponsorship..
“Once the work permit and the visa are cancelled, the information stating that the permit and visa has been cancelled would be entered in the database of MOHRE and GDRFA. But the access to the said database has been restricted to employers,” Dr Al Banna said.
While you cannot access the authorities’ database as an employee, you should receive a cancellation papers from your employer, which provide details of when the work permit and visas were cancelled and how long you have to stay in the UAE.
“Once the permit and visa is cancelled, the employee shall have only a period of 30 days to either commence an employment relationship with another entity or to make an exit from the UAE. In the event of failure to commence a new employment relationship or make an exit, the employee shall be liable to pay an amount ascertained as fine for remaining without a valid reason accompanied by a valid visa,” Dr Al Banna said.
5. Reach out to MOHRE for any questions
The lawyers who spoke with Gulf News also advised readers to speak to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation if they needed any guidance on the new Labour Law. To raise your questions with the Ministry, you can call them on 600 59 0000 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org