I have worked in a company for one year under a contract for limited period which expires on December 2019. In my internal contract signed with the company, it is mentioned that at the end of my limited contract I must sign the new contract with a limited one and with the same terms and conditions. Am I obliged by law, upon the expiry of my current employment contract, to renew with a contract for a limited period? My employer mentioned that I have no choice only I must renew my labour contract with a limited period same as my previous contract and also with same articles and conditions as per the clause mentioned in my internal labour contract? 2.) Does the employer as per the UAE labour law have the right to file absconder complaint in the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation against the employee who is in annual leave outside UAE and got delayed for more than 10 days in returning to the UAE? 3.) Do I have the right to get air ticket in case I resign and leave the work and do not continue?

Upon the expiry of the questioner’s limited contract as per UAE Labour law he has the right to choose the type of contract he wishes to sign, therefore the questioner may renew with another contract for unlimited period and what is mentioned in the internal labour contract that the employee has no choice but only renew with a limited contract is considered against the UAE labour law. As per the Ministry of Labour rules the employer has no right to file absconder complaint against any employee who was on annual leave and got delayed outside of UAE. Finally, the employee has the right to get the air ticket at the time he leaves the work unless he is going to join with a new employer.

Is the Labour Law applicable to the general managers and in the same time a partner of companies who did not get salaries for more than six months? My visa is from Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) [now General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai] not from labour ministry.

Labour cases in the UAE are governed by Federal Law No 8 of 1980 Regulating Labour Relations.Therefore you should know that the partners in a business are not considered as “employees”, instead they are treated as “investors” in the business. However, if you hold an employee position, additional to your status as a manager, you will be considered as an ‘employee’ working in the company. For example if the company set your salary and other allowance and annual leave for one month, therefore if the intention of the parties is a business relationship not a labour relationship is sufficient in respect of the jurisdiction of the Dubai Civil Court to hear the case, not the Labour Court.

Based on that, your dispute regarding unpaid salaries as well as end of service gratuity will be referred to the competent Civil Court if you are partner in a business or to the labour court in case you have labour contract.

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