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Employment terms

Question: I am a business owner. My question is what are the penalties that the employer is legally entitled to impose on an employee according to the new Labour Law. Also, do I have the legal right to transfer the worker from the company in which he or she is currently employed to another company affiliated with me, without the worker’s permission? Please advise

Answer: With regard to your first question, according to Article 39 of the new Labour Law in UAE, 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 five days per month from the wage.

D. Suspension from work for a period not exceeding 14 days and non-payment of wage for the days of suspension.

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.

With regard to the second question, 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.

Assigning the worker another job or moving him or her to another company cannot be done without the prior consent of the employee. The employer shall not use any means that would oblige or force the worker, threaten him with any penalty to work for it, or compel him or her to undertake work or provide a service against his or her will as per Article 14 of the new law.

Article 12 also states:

1. The worker may not be assigned to undertake work that is fundamentally different from the work agreed upon in the employment contract, unless it is necessary in order to prevent the occurrence of an accident or to rectify the resulting damages, provided that the assignment is temporary and in accordance with what is specified in the Implementing Regulation hereof.

2. In cases other than those mentioned in Clause (1) of this Article, the employer may assign the worker to undertake work not agreed upon in the employment contract, provided that the worker provides his or her consent in writing.

3. If the worker has to change his or her place of residence in order to be able to undertake work that is different from the work agreed upon in the employment contract, then the employer shall bear all the related financial costs, including the costs of the worker’s relocation and residence.

Rent contract

Question: Three years ago, I rented my apartment to a person and according to the contract, the tenure of lease is three years, which ends in September 2022. It is also mentioned in the contract that the tenant must vacate the apartment at the end of the contract. My question is, do I legally have the right to evict the tenant at the end of the contract or increase the rent according to the current market price? Please advise.

Answer: According to Article 25 of Law No (33) of 2008, Amending Law No (26) Of 2007, Regulating the Relationship between Landlords and Tenants in the emirate of Dubai: Upon expiry of the tenancy contract, the landlord may request for eviction of the tenant from the property only in any of the following cases:

A) Where the owner of the property wishes to demolish the property to reconstruct it, or add any new construction, that will prevent the tenant from using the property, provided that the required permits are obtained from the competent entities.

B) Where the property is in a condition that requires restoration or comprehensive maintenance that cannot be carried out in the presence of the tenant at the property, provided the condition of the property is verified by a technical report issued by or attested by Dubai Municipality.

C) Where the owner of the property wishes to take possession of it for his or her personal use or for use by any of his or her relative of first-degree, provided the owner proves that he or she does not own any other property that is appropriate for such purpose.

D) Where the owner of the property wishes to sell the leased property.

So far as increasing the rent is concerned, the landlord can request for a rent increase by notifying the tenant no less than 90 days prior to the date on which the tenancy contract expires as per Article (13) of the above law, which states: ‘For the purposes of renewing the tenancy contract, the landlord and tenant may, prior to the expiry of the tenancy contract, amend any of the terms of the contract or review the rent, whether increasing or decreasing it. Should the landlord and tenant fail to arrive at an agreement, then the Tribunal may determine the fair rent, taking into account the criteria stipulated in Article (9) of this Law.

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Article (14) states: Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, if either party to the tenancy contract wishes to amend any of its terms in accordance with Article (13) of this Law, that party must notify the other party about the same no less than 90 days prior to the date on which the tenancy contract expires.