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Salary due

Question: I have been working for a company in Dubai for the last five years on an unlimited contract. My salary is due for the past four months. I am planning quit and go back to my country.

If want to lodge a complaint but would like to seek answers to the following questions:

a) Will my visa be cancelled before the payment of dues if I resign? b) I will have grace period of 30 days after cancellation. What if my employer doesn’t pay my gratuity within these days c) Can still claim my dues after leaving the UAE? d) Can I claim for my air ticket cost? In my internal labour contract it is mentioned that at the time of termination or resignation the company is not entitled to pay for air ticket. Please advice.

Answer: If you have filed a complaint with the Ministry of Labour (Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation), an arbitrator will try to resolve the issue by calling you for meeting with your employer.

If you don’t reach and amicable solution, you can refer the complaint to the competent labour court for consideration. In that case, your visa will remain valid until the court gives a decision in the case.

However, if you want to leave the UAE, you could apply to the Ministry of Labour (Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation) for the cancellation of your visa. Meanwhile you could engage a lawyer who could follow up the case on your behalf. While signing the visa cancelation application, you should specificially mention that your end of serve benefits are still pending

As per Dubai Supreme Court, an employee has the right to claim for air ticket to his/her home country at the time of end of service and visa cancellation provided he’s not joining a new company in the UAE. So your internal labour contract which says that you can’t claim air ticket is null and void in this case.

Am I entitled to bonus?

Question: Two months ago my previous employer terminated me without prior notice. However, the company settled all my dues. The company paid bonus to all employees except me. I would like to know whether I am eligible for bonus as it is paid at the end of the year and my service was terminated two months before the completion of the year.?

Answer: Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 is silent regarding the payment of bonus to employees.

Payment of bonus is at the discretion of the employer unless your job contract mentions it along with the manner in which it will be calculated and paid. In some companies, employees are paid bonus as a customary practice. If that’s the case with your company, you may request your ex-employer to pay it to you as well as per Article 1 of the Labour Law, which reads ‘Remuneration’ is defined as,: “All payments made to the worker on a yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, piece work, or production or commission basis, in return for the work he performs under the contract of employment, whether such payments are made in cash or in kind.

Remuneration shall include the cost of living allowance. It shall also include any grant given to the worker as a reward for his honesty or efficiency if such amounts are provided for in the employment contract or in the internal regulations of the establishment or have been granted by custom or common practice to such an extent that the workers of the establishment regard them as part of their remuneration and not as donations.

It is assumed that you have already signed the end of service settlement with your previous employer and have cancelled your visa as well. If this is case, you may have to file a civil claim against your previous employer to claim bonus provided your ex-employer is obliged to pay bonus in accordance with the terms of your employment contract.

Ask the Law questions are answered by lawyer Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Shaiba Advocates and Legal Consultants.