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Question: I worked for a company for five years outside the UAE. The company has signed a declaration with me stating that I have received all my rights for the period in which I worked for the company durinjg this period, but I have not received anything. A month ago, the company fired me and refused to give me my end-of-service benefits for the period in which I worked outside the Emirates, on the pretext that I signed a declaration that I received the end-of-service money. Do I have the legal right to file a lawsuit to claim my dues even though I signed the declaration?

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Answer: As a general rule, the waiver of the employee’s rights is considered null and void if it exists before the termination of the employment relationship between the parties because it contradicts the provisions of Article 65, Clause 3 of Labour Law No. 33 of 2021, which states that “Each provision contradicting the provisions hereof, even if it was existing prior to its enforcement, shall be deemed null and void, unless it is more beneficial to the worker. Each discharge, reconciliation or waiver of the rights arising for the worker hereunder, shall be null and void if it violates its provisions.”

This means that you are entitled to file a case for your end-of-service rights and prove that your work outside the country was for the same company.

It has been decided by the Labour Cassation Court No.107/2003 that depriving the worker of his rights or waiving these rights stipulated in the articles of the law or included in the employment contracts, during the existence of the labour relationship, is an invalid agreement that the employer cannot argue with, even if this happened with his consent.