Question: I have worked in a private company for two years. Currently, they have dismissed me due to my absence for a period of five continuous days, according to the employer’s statement, and they refused to give me my rights due to this absence.
Accordingly, I checked with the Ministry of Labour and they mentioned that the company is not subject to the Ministry of Labour law, because it is a semi-governmental company. My question is, do I have the legal right in this case to file a lawsuit directly before the labour court? Does the company have the right to fire me and deprive me of my labour rights because of this absence? Is the labour law applied to my case? Please advise.
Answer. To answer such question, I would advise the questioner that:
In case the company is a semi-government entity, the Human Resources law should be applied, not the Labour Law. The lawsuit should not be filed before the labour courts or directly, because the Administrative Courts (Civil Courts) will have the jurisdiction in your case and it should be preceded by a complaint submitted to Dubai Legal Affairs Department which will work as a mediator to solve the dispute amicably.
In case the dispute is not solved amicably, you will be granted the referral letter which will enable you to file the lawsuit before the Administrative Courts. You will not be able to file the lawsuit directly to the court without this referral letter.
Regarding your termination, it is not stated by the Human Resources Law that the absence for 5 days will be a cause for termination, neither it is mentioned that you will be deprived of your rights in case the termination was because of this cause. As per Dubai Government’s Human Resources Management Law No. (8) O]of 2018 in its Article (118) and Article (128)
“a. The service of an Employee will be terminated in case of his absence or failure to report to work for more than fifteen (15) consecutive working days or twenty-one (21) non-consecutive working days within a Year without a prior permission or an acceptable reason.
b. Where the Employee whose service is terminated under paragraph (a) of this Article provides any reason within one (1) month from the date of being notified in writing of the termination of his service, his case must be referred to the Work-related Offences Committee to verify the authenticity and the validity of this reason and to make the appropriate decision in this regard.
Moreover, a non-UAE National Employee will, as per Article (133) and upon the end of his service, be entitled to end-of-service gratuity as follows:
1. One month’s Basic Salary per Year for the first five (5) Years of service;
2. One and a half month’s Basic Salary per Year for the following five (5) Years of service; and
3. Two (2) months’ Basic Salary per Year for Years in excess of the above-mentioned periods.
The end-of-service gratuity will be calculated based on the last Basic Salary received by the Employee during the last continuous period of service and any part of a month will be rounded up to a full month. An Employee will not be entitled to end-of-service gratuity if his actual period of service with the Department is less than one (1) year."