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A criminal case can filed for certain misconducts even if the employee is on holiday Image Credit: Pixabay

Question: I am the owner of a company. A month ago, I discovered that one of the employees leaked information to competing companies and also stole sums from the company. Currently, this employee is on annual leave. What is the appropriate action to take against this employee, and do I have the legal right to suspend him from work? And if he is convicted, will he lose all his end-of-service dues?

Answer: You have the right to terminate him without notice after conducting an investigation with him, which we recommend, and you have the right to suspend him from work. In all cases, you have to file a criminal case against him, because stealing and disclosing data to a competing company are criminal acts by the UAE law.

Article 44 of the Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 states: The employer 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 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.

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What about suspension?

As for the suspension from work, Article 40 of the mentioned law gave the employer the right to suspend the worker temporarily from work for a period not exceeding 30 thirty days, in order to conduct a disciplinary investigation with him if the investigation interest so requires, along with suspending half the wage during the suspension period.

If the investigation concluded keeping the case, non-violation or punishment of the worker by warning, the worker shall be paid the wage that was suspended during the suspension period. The employer may also temporarily suspend the worker from work when he is accused of committing a crime of assault on oneself, money, or crimes related to breach of honor or trust, until a final judgment is issued by the competent judicial authority.

His wage shall be suspended for the suspension period. If a judgment is issued for not putting the worker into trial, he was acquitted for absence of felony or the investigation concluded keeping the case due to lack of evidence, he shall be returned to work, along with paying his full suspended wage.

As for your labour rights, the court will decide about it as per the documents and situation.