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According to UAE law, an employee can be kept under a probation period for a maximum of six months. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Extension of probation period

Question: I have been working for a private company for four months. I am on probation and my contract is limited. I do not wish to continue with this job. Do I have the right to quit my job immediately and without notice? Is the employer entitled to demand any compensation from me or seek a ban on me with the Ministry of Labour? Is the employer legally entitled to extend the probation period? Please advise.

Answer: According to UAE law, an employee can be kept under a probation period for a maximum of six months. Some companies also choose to have a shorter probation period of about two or three months. It is prohibited by law to extend the probation period of an employee beyond six months.

However, the employer has the right to terminate your services without providing any compensation benefits or notice. You are also not entitled to any gratuity if you leave your job during the probation period. Article 37 of UAE Labour Law states: ‘The employee may be appointed for a probationary period not exceeding six months and the employer may terminate the services of the employee during this period without issuing a notice or paying any end-of-service remuneration. Appointment of the employee on probation basis in the service of any one particular employer may not be made more than once. However, if the employee completed the probationary period satisfactorily, and remained in service, such period of service shall be computed while calculating the period of his or her service.’

Dubai court has ruled that: ‘A worker may be appointed under probation for a period not exceeding six months,and the employer may dismiss the worker during this period without warning and without an end-of-service reward and without compensation for dismissal.’ (No 2018/161 Labour cassation.)

The employee also has the right to resign at any point during the probation period, without providing a notice period. The employer is not entitled to demand any compensation if you terminate the contract during probation period.

As for the ban, the Ministry of Labour decides on each case and according to the rules and regulations of the ministry.

Motor insurance claim

Question: I have a comprehensive insurance for my new car. According to the insurance contract signed with the company, any repair work on the car needs to be undertaken within the agency’s network of service stations. Two weeks ago, the car met with a major accident. At the time of the accident, the car was being driven by my brother. Police report said that the accident was caused due to speeding and negligence. Subsequently, the insurance company refused to pay any compensation for the damages or for any repair work because it said that at the time of the accident, the car was being driven by someone other than the insured person. My question is: What is the legal view on this?

Answer: According to the Unified Motor Vehicles Insurance Policy against Loss and Damage, and under the Insurance Authority Board of Directors’ Decision No 25 of 2016, the policy and its schedules shall constitute one integral contract that controls the relation between the insured and the insurer. The policy binds the parties and every term or phrase to which a special meaning has been given in any part of the policy or its schedules shall have the same meaning elsewhere, unless the context otherwise stipulates.

The insurance company shall compensate the insured for loss or damage that occurs to the Insured Motor Vehicle and its accessories, including damaged parts and spare parts, if loss or damage arises from an accidental run-over, collision, turning over, or any incident, or as a result of an unexpected mechanical breakdown or as a result of wear-and-tear of parts.

However, some exclusions are specified under Chapter 4 of the unified insurance policy mentioned above whereby, the insurance company will not be required to pay any compensation based on several issues. Driving the vehicle at an excessively high speed or the vehicle being driven by someone other than the insured person at the time of the accident are not one of these exclusions. Which means that the insurance company has to pay the compensation to you for the damaged vehicle.

The insurance company may have recourse to the insured or the motor vehicle driver or both, as the case may be, in terms of the amount of compensation paid in some cases. For instance, if the accident is proven to have been caused intentionally by the insured or the motor vehicle driver. The insurer may charge the insured an amount that will be deducted from the due amount of compensation with respect to any accident caused by the insured person himself or herself or by any person authorised by the insured person to drive the motor vehicle or in cases that are deemed to have been committed by an unknown person, according to Schedule 3.

It has been decided by Dubai court that: “According to the provisions of the first clause of the unified insurance policy on cars against loss, damage and civil liability, issued by Ministerial Resolution No 54 of 1987, the insurance company is obligated to compensate the insured for the loss or damage that befalls the insured car, its accessories and its spare parts, whenever the loss or damage was a result of a collision, without regard to the error or negligence attributed to the car’s commander in his or her leadership at the time of the accident, unless one of the excluded cases contained exclusively from the provisions of that chapter is present.” (In Cassation No 14/2006, Civil.)

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Among the exclusions is the damage caused to the car as a result of its use for purposes other than those specified in the insurance policy, or as a result of violating the laws if the violation involved an intentional felony or misdemeanour, or the car was being driven by a person who was not authorised to drive or who was driving while under the influence of drugs or alcoholic drinks.

The insurance company may not enter into any external agreement that may reduce the coverage provided under this policy or depriving the insured or the beneficiary of this policy from exercising the right to claim for compensation. Any external agreement between the insured and the insurance company that will reduce the coverages hereunder shall be deemed void.