Acording to UAE Labour Law, after 45 days of paid maternity leave is over, a person can extend the leave by up to 100 days of unpaid service. Image Credit: Supplied

Maternity leave

Question: I have worked in a company for two years. Currently, I am eight months’ pregnant. My question is: Am I entitled to maternity leave in case my company is under a Free Zone Authority? According to my employer, such rules are not applicable because my company is under a free zone and not under the Labour Ministry. In my employment offer letter, it is mentioned that I am entitled to maternity leave for two weeks with one month’s basic salary only because my company comes under free zone rules. My questions are: 1) In case I am entitled to such leave, what is my right? 2) Is the Labour Law applicable in my case?

Answer: According to UAE Labour Law, Federal Law No (8) Of 1980, Article No 30:

“A female worker shall be entitled to maternity leave with full pay for a period of 45 days, including the period preceding and the period following her pregnancy, on condition that she has been in her employer’s service for a continuous period of not less than one year. If she has not completed the aforesaid period of service, she shall be entitled to maternity leave with half pay.

On the expiry of her maternity leave a female worker may be absent from her work without pay for a maximum period of 100 consecutive or nonconsecutive days if such absence is due to an illness, preventing her from resuming her work and if the illness is confirmed by a medical certificate issued by the medical service specified by the competent health authority or if the latter authority confirms that the illness was related to the woman’s pregnancy.

The leave provided, as mentioned in the preceding two paragraphs, shall not be deducted from any other period of leave.”

Finally, according to UAE Labour Law, a female employee is entitled to maternity leave even if a company is not under the Ministry of Labour. The UAE Labour Law is applicable to all companies whether they are under the Ministry of Labour or under a Free Zone Authority.

Blank cheque

Question: Four months ago, I lost a cheque with my signature on it. However, the amount, date and beneficiary were not written on the cheque. I was in a hurry and did not file a report for the lost cheque at the police station. Soon after, I was out of the country for an urgent matter. When I came back from abroad, I was stopped by the police at the airport on the charge of issuing a cheque without sufficient balance. I told them about the loss of the cheque and that the one who had presented the cheque at the bank was a thief, but police impounded my passport and I was referred to Public Prosecution. My question is: How do I prove before prosecution that the cheque was stolen from me and that the beneficiary of the cheque had nothing to do with me and I did not know him? Also, how can I come out of this case, knowing that the amount mentioned on the cheque is large and I do not have enough funds to support it?

Answer: I would like to clarify to the questioner that the plaintiff has to prove his right and the defendant has to disprove it as per Article 1 of the law on evidence in civil and commercial transactions. In criminal cases and as decided by the courts, “The principle is that crimes of all kinds — except for what is exempted in a special text — may be proven by all legal methods, including evidence and presumptions.

Cassation No 213/2020 Penalty states: “Legal methods are the same even in civil or criminal law. They include written evidences whether they are official or customary statements, correspondence, letters, cables or similar papers. They also include testimony of the witnesses, presumptions, acknowledgement and interrogation of opponents, oath, survey and action establishing legal status and expert assignment.”

You may use whatever evidence you want to prove your right especially documents, witnesses and expertise.

Article (88) of Federal Law No (35) of 1992, Concerning the Criminal Procedural Law, states: “The member of the public prosecution shall hear the witnesses, which the parties ask to be heard, unless he deems it useless. He may hear those witnesses considered by him useful to be heard as concerns the established facts or those evidencing the crime, its circumstances and its imputation to the accused or his innocence therefrom.

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Article (96) of the same law, states: “Should the investigation require the assistance of a physician or other experts to establish a status quo, the member of the public prosecution shall issue an order of assigning him to submit a report on the task he was assigned for.” The expert shall submit his report in writing at the time fixed by the member of the public prosecution.

And after all, the main issue in criminal trials is the way the judge is convinced based on the evidence presented to him, so he may have his belief from any evidence or match that he is comfortable with as long as this evidence has its correct approach from the case papers. (Cassation No 2019/1029 penalty.)