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Probationary performance review. Image Credit: Gulf News

I’ve been working in a private company on a limited two-year contract for over six months. A month ago, my employer terminated my services without cause. The termination is within my probation period, according to my employer, who is also saying that he doesn’t have to pay end-of-service benefits because I hadn’t completed a year in service. My employer says my probation is for 12 months, not six, as I did not meet the requirements within six months the probation can be extended to another six months. This was mentioned in my offer letter, which I signed. Is this true and where do I stand if I signed the letter? It also says I’m entitled to an air ticket only after completing two years, but do I have a right to claim that now instead?

Article 37 of the Federal Labour Law 8 of 1980 states: “A worker may 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 their 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, based on the above mentioned article the probation period cannot be extended and the employer has violated the labour law. If terminating someone after their probation on a limited contract, the employer should pay three months full salary plus end of service benefits. You now have the right to file a complaint and provided you are not going to join a new employer, you can claim for an air ticket.

I was working as a sales manager in a company on a two-year limited contract and resigned because they weren’t paying my salary on time. Work accepted my resignation and I worked a 60-day notice period. But after completing my notice, they refused to cancel my visa. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation found no amicable agreement and referred my case to court. The court ruled in my favour and the judgement was arbitrary dismissal due to salary not being paid on time. After the order, however, my employer is harassing me. They refused to cancel my visa and are threatening to put a one year ban on me because they say I broke my contract. I had earlier signed papers saying I couldn’t join a competitor. Now I’ve got a new job in another company in an entirely different business and my new employer already has a permit for me. They are just waiting on my visa to be cancelled so they can process a new one. What should I do?

Get the court’s decision ratified by the judgements execution section. Take that ratified decision to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and request the ministry to cancel the work permit without a ban as the judgement ruled in your favour for arbitrary dismissal. The ministry will respect this decision. You shouldn’t take threats from your old employer seriously. Just don’t give your old employer your passport for whatever reason.

Questions answered by Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Shaiba Advocates and Legal Consultants.