A questioner asks: I am an owner of a company. A month ago I discovered that one of the employees disclosed information to competing companies, which led to great damage to the company.
What is the appropriate action to take against this employee, and do I immediately inform the police, or do I investigate him and then inform the police? Please advise.
To answer such question. I would advise the following:
You can do both of them on the same day: Start with the investigation, and then lodge a complaint against him with the police.
As per Article 44 of the Labour Law ("The employer may dismiss the worker without notice after conducting a written investigation with him and the dismissal decision shall be in writing and justified and the employer, or its representative, shall hand it over to the worker in any of the following cases: The worker disclosed one work secret related to industrial or intellectual property, which resulted in losses to the employer, missed opportunity or achieving a personal benefit for the worker.")
Disclosing confidential information on the occasion of work is a criminal act as per UAE Laws.
Federal Decree - Law No. (34) of 2021 regarding combating rumours and cybercrime in its Article 45 deals with this case and states ("Shall be punished by imprisonment for a period of no less than (6) six months and a fine of no less than (200,000) two hundred thousand dirhams and not more than (1,000,000) one million dirhams or one of these two penalties, anyone who discloses confidential information obtained by reason of or because of his work or by virtue of his profession, or distorted it, using one of the information technology means, without being authorised to disclose it or without the person concerned secretly authorising its disclosure or use. If the offender uses this information for his own benefit or for the benefit of another person, this is considered an aggravating circumstance.")
Moreover, UAE Penal Code No. 31 of 2021 states that ("Shall be sentenced to detention for a minimum period of one year and to a minimum fine of twenty thousand dirham or one of these two penalties whoever by virtue of his profession, craft, position or art is entrusted with a secret and divulge it in cases other than those allowed by law or if used for his own personal interest or for the interest of another person, unless authorised by the confiding person to disclose or use it.")