Question: I have been working in a private company for the past five years. A month ago, the company fired me and sent me a letter on the mail, asking me to collect my dues. I had to sign and say I received all my dues, but the company did not pay them. Instead, it told me to go to court. I was exposed to fraud by the company, What recourse do I have under these circumstances?
Answer: The employee’s signature is considered as evidence of receiving the dues if it happens after the end of the employment relationship. It is decided in Dubai Courts that the contents of any letter issued by the worker shall not be deemed to relinquish any right prescribed for him under the contract of employment or in violation of his legally prescribed rights, except that if this waiver is issued after the end of the working relationship between the two parties. In this case, the letter is considered as valid [Labour Cassation No. 1 — 2005 Session 19-6 June 2005].
But even though you have the right to file a case in the court, you will be responsible to prove that the employer didn’t pay you, using any kind of evidence like witnesses, testimony, investigation, oath, experts … etc. The estimation of such evidence will be the court’s decision.
A similar example has been examined by the court that says, “The employee had argued that he did not receive his labour dues from the company and that it had made him sign on the papers submitted from it without knowing their contents due to his ignorance of the language in which it was written. And the employee requested that the case be referred to the investigation to prove that. It was decided, according to Article 37 of the Evidence Law, that proof may be permissible with the testimony of witnesses, while it should have been proven in writing if the court decided for good reasons to allow evidence to testify. Hence, the judgement is not discouraged if it responds to the employee’s request in this regard (Labor Appeal No. 2003/197). The trial court has full authority to collect and understand the reality in the case, in assessing documents, declarations and other documents, and extracting the non-judicial acknowledgement and its appreciation as evidence in the case without being monitored by the Court of Cassation when its extraction is valid and has a fixed origin in the papers. (No. 371/2011, commercial session 4/18/2012).
Regarding the service certificate, the employer shall provide the employee upon his request with such certificate. This is assured as per Article 125 of the UAE Federal Labour Law “The employer shall provide the worker, at the latter’s request upon expiry of his contract, with an end-of-service certificate, which shall be free of charge and shall specify the service commencement and end dates, total period of service, the nature of the work he was performing and his last wage and supplements, if any. The employer shall return any certificates, documents and tools belonging to the worker.”
Question 2: I have been working in a company for five months. In my internal labour contract, it is mentioned that my probation is for one year. What is standard probation period as per the UAE Law? In case my employer terminates my labour contract during the probation period, can I claim for arbitrary dismissal?
Answer 2: The UAE Labour Law, Article 37 states the following: “A worker may be engaged on probation for a period not exceeding six months, during which his services may be terminated by the employer without notice or severance pay; provided that a worker shall not be engaged on probation more than once in the service of any one employer, Where a worker successfully completes his period of probation and remains in his job, the said period shall be reckoned towards his period of service.”
Therefore as per such article, the employer has no right to increase the probation period, contrary to UAE Labour Law.
Finally, as per UAE Labour Law, the employer has the right to terminate the employee without reason and the employee has no right to claim for compensation as long as he did not finish the probation period.