Question: I am a company owner. A month ago, I found out that one of the employees worked for a competitor during his annual leave. My question is: Am I legally entitled, according to the new labour law, to interrupt the leave of this employee and his request for investigation, and then terminate his services and deprive him of his end-of-service benefits? Please advise.
Answer: Despite the fact that the new labour law, in its Article 16, obliges the worker not to work for others, in violation of the provisions hereof and other applicable legislation in this regard; at the same time it does not deprive the employee from his end-of-service benefits, except in case the employee did not complete a year of continuous service.
The employer, as per Article 44 of the new labour law, may dismiss the worker without notice after conducting a written investigation with him and the dismissal decision shall be in writing and justified and the employer or its representative shall hand it over to the worker in any of the following cases:
1. in case the worker disclosed one work secret related to industrial or intellectual property, which resulted in losses to the employer, missed opportunity or achieving a personal benefit for the worker or
2. the worker joins another establishment without abiding by the rules and procedures prescribed in this regard.
The annual leave is one of the employee’s rights and the employer cannot cut the employee’s annual leave to conduct an investigation with him or to terminate him.
You can conduct this investigation when he returns to his job because if either party to the employment contract wishes to terminate the contract in accordance with the provisions of this Decree-Law and its Implementing Regulation, while the worker is on the leave, the validity of the notice period agreed upon in the employment contract shall not begin, except from the day following the day scheduled for the worker’s return from the leave, unless both parties agree otherwise. (Article 35 of the new labour law)
As per Article 29 of the new labour law, the employer may specify the dates of the leaves according to work requirements and in agreement with the worker, or grant them alternately among the establishment’s workers, in order to secure its work progress. But the new law does not give the employer the right to cut the employee’s annual leave for any purpose so the employee has the right to reject or accept the employer’s request in this regard.