Non-competition clause in job contract
Question: I have been working in a private company for four months now. It is stated in the employment contract that I cannot work for a competing employer for two years. My question is, do I have the right, according to the new Labour Law, to resign from work during the probationary period? Does the non-competition condition apply to me if I resign during the probationary period? Is it possible to quit work without issuing a notice?
Answer: According to the new Labour Law, you have the right to leave the job during probationary period, but only after notifying the employer at least one month prior to the date you wish to terminate the contract. Article (9/3 and 9/4) states:
‘If the worker wishes to move during the probationary period, to work for another employer in the State, he or she shall notify the original employer of the same in writing within not less than one month from the date of his or her wish to terminate the contract. Then, the new employer shall compensate the original employer for the costs of recruitment or contracting the worker, unless otherwise agreed upon.’
‘If the expatriate worker wishes to terminate the employment contract during the probationary period, to leave the State, he or she shall notify the employer of the same in writing not less than 14 days from the date specified for the termination of the contract. If he or she wishes to return to the State and obtain a new work permit within (3) three months from the date of departure, the new employer shall pay the compensation stipulated in Clause (3) of this Article, unless in case of an agreement between the worker and the original employer to the contrary.’
The non-competition clause does not apply in case you resign within the probationary period as per Article 12/5 of Cabinet Resolution No (1) OF 2022 on the implementation of Federal Decree law No (33) of 2021, regarding regulation of labour relation, which states:
‘The worker shall be exempted from the non-competition clause stipulated in Article (10) of the Decree-Law under the following conditions: A) If the worker or the new employer pays to the previous employer, compensation not exceeding three months of the worker’s wage as agreed upon in the last contract, subject to the previous employer’s written consent thereto. B) If the contract is terminated during the probationary period. C) Any professional categories that are in demand in the national labour market and determined by a resolution of the Ministry in accordance with the workers’ classification approved by the Cabinet.’
Moreover, it may be agreed in writing not to apply the non-competition clause after the termination of the employment contract as per the same article No 12/4.
Seeking refund of amount paid for property purchase
Question: Four months ago, I bought a property from a real estate developer. I paid 30 per cent of the property value and the rest in instalments for two years through post-dated cheques paid to the developer. The property will be ready at the end of 2022, according to the developer. My question is: Do I legally have the right to cancel the property purchase agreement and get a refund of the amount paid because of my current financial constraints and knowing that I will not be able to honour the cheques?
Answer: As a general rule, if a contract is valid and binding, none of the contracting parties may revoke, modify or rescind it — except by mutual consent, under a court order or under the provision of Article 267 of the Civil Transactions law.
You have the right to terminate the purchase contract, but you cannot get back the entire amount paid because the termination will be on your responsibility and this may subject you to lose all or some of the amount paid, depending upon the percentage of completion of the property, subject to the Off-plan Sale Agreement, unless there is a breach committed by the developer. You should refer to the conditions mentioned in your contract regarding termination and compensation, which all contracts usually contain.
Where a purchaser fails to fulfil his or her contractual obligations under an Off-plan Sale Agreement concluded with a developer and according to Law No (19) of 2020, Amending Law No (13) of 2008, Regulating the Interim Real Property Register in the emirate of Dubai, the purchaser may face the following:
A) Where the percentage of completion of the property project exceeds 80 per cent, the developer may terminate the Off-plan Sale Agreement, retain up to 40 per cent of the value of the property unit stipulated in the Off-plan Sale Agreement and refund any amount in excess of this to the purchaser.
B) Where the percentage of completion of the property is between 60 and 80 per cent, the developer may unilaterally terminate the Off-plan Sale Agreement concluded with the purchaser, retain up to 40 per cent of the value of the property stipulated in the Off-plan Sale Agreement, and refund any amount in excess of this to the purchaser.
- Ask the Law: Can real estate agency charge tenant additional fees for access to common facilities?
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- Ask the Law: Can an employer terminate a worker without issuing a warning?
- Ask the Law: Can wife seek divorce if husband refuses to support her financially?
C) Where the percentage of completion of the property is less than 60 per cent, the developer may unilaterally terminate the Off-plan Sale Agreement concluded with the purchaser, retain up to 25 per cent of the property value as stipulated in the Off-plan Sale Agreement and refund any amount in excess to the purchaser. Where the developer has not commenced work on the project for any reason beyond his or her control, without negligence or omission on his or her part, or where the project is cancelled pursuant to a final reasoned decision of Rera [Real Estate Regulatory Authority], the developer must refund all payments made by the purchasers, in accordance with the procedures and rules stipulated in the above-mentioned Law No (8) of 2007.
As a conclusion, the rules and procedures stipulated in this Article will not preclude the purchaser from having recourse to courts or arbitration and the court will decide about this matter while reviewing the documents.