Termination of Employment on an office desk. Image Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Question: I have been working in an establishment for more than eight years but it has just been sold to a new employer. One month ago the new employer terminated my employment contract and currently I am working my notice period. I claimed for my labour rights from the new employer but as per the law who is responsible for paying my end of service benefits for the past eight years? If my new employer refuses to pay can I claim from the previous employer? Or do I have the right to claim from both?

Answer: Federal Labour Law No.8 of 1980, article no.126 says, “Where a change occurs in the form or legal status of the establishment, contracts of employment that are valid at time of the change shall remain in force between the new employer and the workers of the establishment, and their service shall be deemed to be continuous. Both the original employer and the new employer shall be jointly liable for a period of six months for the discharge of any obligations resulting from contracts of employment during the period preceding the change; after the expiry of this period the new employer shall solely bear liability.”

Therefore, the UAE Labour Law does not entitle the previous employer and the new employer to agree on breaching the above article, so in this event the employee can claim both from the previous and new employer to pay you your labour rights.

Question: I have been working for a company for four months; I am currently on probation but my employer is forcing me to accept an increase in the probation period by another six months. In my labour contract my salary increment will only be adjusted after the end of my probation. Is this legal and will I be terminated if I object? If terminated, do I have the right to claim for compensation and is a notice period included in the calculation of end of service rights?

Answer: UAE Labour Law Article 37 says, “A worker may be 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 the 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 as per such article, the employer has no right to increase the probation period, he is contrary to UAE Labour Law, in the event of failure to reach an amicable solution, the questioner shall file a complaint before the Ministry of Human Resource and Emiratisation in this regard. As per the UAE labour law, the notice period is included while calculating the end of service rights.

Finally, as per the UAE labour law, the employer has the right to terminate the employee without reason and the employee has no right to claim for compensation as long as he did not finish the probation period.