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The employer may dismiss the worker without notice after conducting a written investigation. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Breach of real estate contract

Question: Three years ago, I bought a property from one of the real estate developers and the property, according to the sales contract, had two rooms and a hall. However, now, the developer wants to hand over some other property to me, comprising just one room and a hall and the area is also less than what was agreed upon. I told the developer to either cancel the sale contract or give me the property that had been agreed-upon, but the developer has refused to do so. My question is: Am I legally entitled to file a lawsuit, cancel the contract, claim compensation and ask for a refund of the amount that I have already paid? Please advise.

Answer: You are entitled to file a case to terminate the purchase contract, ask for a refund of the money that you have already paid and request for compensation for the breach on the part of the developer because he has changed the agreement according to his own will, without your consent. However, this compensation claim will be a matter for the court to decide.

Article 523 of the civil transactions law states: ‘When the quantity of the thing sold is fixed in the contract and, in the absence of an agreement or custom, a deficiency or increment in it shows, the following rules shall apply:

If the increment or deficiency adds to the obligation of the purchaser beyond what he or she has intended to purchase or changes the nature of the transaction, then the purchaser may opt for cancellation of the sale unless the difference is trifle and it does not contradict the purpose sought by the purchaser.’

As a general rule, if one of the contractors breaches his or her obligations, the other one has the right to terminate the contract and ask for compensation. Article 267 states: ‘If a contract is valid and binding, none of the contracting parties may revoke, modify or rescind it except by mutual consent, order of the court or a legal provision.’

Article 272 states: ‘10 In bilateral contracts, if one of the parties does not perform his or her contractual obligations, the other party may, after serving a formal notification to the debtor, demand the performance of the contract or its rescission. 2) The judge may order the debtor immediate performance of the contract or grant him or her specified additional time, as he may order rescission with damages, in any case, if deemed justified.’

Article 274 states: ‘When a contract is or shall be rescinded, the two contracting parties shall be reinstated to their former positions, prior to contracting, and in case this is impossible, the court may award damages.

Dismissal from work without notice

Question: As a company owner, according to the new Labour Law in UAE, what are the penalties that the employer is legally entitled to impose on a worker and when does the employer have the legal right to dismiss the worker without any warning or notice? Does the worker deserve a ticket to return to his country at the end of his service? Please advise.

Answer: The penalties are stated in Article 39 of the new law which is as follows:

1. The employer or his or her representative may impose on the worker who violates the provisions of this Decree-Law, its Implementing Regulation and resolutions issued for its implementation, any of the following penalties: A) Written notice; B) Written warning; C) Deduction of not less than (5) five days per month from the wage; D) Suspension from work for a period not exceeding (14) fourteen days and non-payment of wage for the suspension days; E) Deprivation from the periodic bonus for a period not exceeding one year, regarding the establishments that adopt the periodic bonus system and the worker is entitled to obtain it according to the provisions of the employment contract or the establishment’s regulations; F) Deprivation of promotion at the establishments having a promotion system for a period not exceeding two years; G) Termination of service while preserving the worker’s right of end-of-service benefits.

2. The Implementing Regulation defines the conditions, rules and procedures necessary for the imposition of any of the penalties referred to in Clause (1) of this Article and the mechanism of grievance thereof.

Cases of the Workers Dismissal without Notice as per Article (44) are the following:

The employer may dismiss the worker without notice after conducting a written investigation with him or her 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) It is proven that the worker impersonated another person or submitted forged certificates or documents. 2) The worker committed a mistake that resulted in gross physical losses to the employer or the he or she deliberately damaged the properties of the employer and he or she acknowledged the same, provided that the latter informs the Ministry of Labour about the incident within (7) seven working days from the date of being aware of the occurrence of the incident. 3) The worker violated the instructions of the establishment’s by-law related to the safety of work and workers or the workplace, provided that they are written and hung in a visible place and the worker is informed about the same. 4) The worker did not perform his or her basic duties according to the employment contract and he or she continued breaching the contract despite conducting a written investigation with him or her for this reason and he or she is notified and warned of dismissal twice if this is repeated. 5) The worker disclosed a 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. 6) The worker is drunk during working hours, is under the influence of narcotics or psychotropic substances, or commits an action breaching public morals at the workplace. 7) The worker assaults during work, the employer, manager in charge, one of his or her superiors or colleagues at work, by word, action or any form of assault that is punishable under the legislation in force in the State. 8) The worker is absent without a legitimate reason or excuse accepted by the employer for more than (20) twenty intermittent days during one year or more than (7) seven consecutive days. 9) The worker exploited his or her position in an illegal way to obtain personal results and gains. 10) The worker joined another establishment without abiding by the rules and procedures prescribed in this regard.

Regarding gratuity and [repatriation] ticket, the court shall decide.