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It is important that employees in the UAE know their rights. Here are five things we learnt from Ask the Law this month.
1. Terminating limited contract
According to Article 113 of the Labour Law: Terminating a limited-period employment contract before expiry is against the labour law and the employer can request that the Ministry of Labour impose a one-year ban on an employee. An employee would also need to compensate the employer with 45 days’ salary. If an employee does still decide to leave, they will lose the end-of-service gratuity.
Limited-period contracts do not require a one-month notice period, and the employee is entitled to leave upon expiry without needing to give notice to the employer.
2. Salary deduction
As outlined in Article 55 of the UAE Labour Law: An employer has no right to force an employee to accept a salary reduction or increase working hours beyond what is stated in the labour contract - without paying overtime wages. The terms and conditions laid out in a limited-contract cannot be altered by an employer, nor can it be terminated if the employee has not violated the UAE labour law.
Termination of services due to a disagreement over salary reduction will be considered arbitrary dismissal. The employer must then pay the employee compensation and end-of-service benefits.
3. End-of-service gratuity must be based on latest salary
As per Article 132 of the Labour Law: The UAE Labour Law stipulates that an employee’s end-of-service gratuity will be calculated on the basis of the last salary received, regardless of the salary mentioned in the labour contract.
4. Annual leave entitlement
As per Articles 75 and 76 of the Labour Law: For each year of service, every employee shall be granted a period of annual leave of not less than:
a) Two days a month where the employee’s period of service is more than six months but less than one year
b) 30 days a year where the worker’s period of service is more than a year
Where an employee’s service is terminated, they shall be entitled to annual leave in respect of fractions of the last year.
The employer may fix the date of commencement of annual leave and, if necessary, have the right to divide such leave into not more than two periods.
5. Calculating end-of-service gratuity
In accordance with Article 132 of the Labour Law: The court will consider the starting day of employment as the day the employee started working for the present company, irrespective of when the employment visa was issued.
An employee can submit a bank statement (showing deposit of salary) to the court to prove the starting day of service. The appointment letter issued by the company is also proof of when an employee started working.
Original questions compiled by Bassam Za’Za, Gulf News Legal and Court Correspondent, and answered by advocate Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Shaiba Advocates and Legal Consultants.
Ministry of Labour call centre For any Labour issues, call 800 665
Locate your nearest Ministry of Labour office
Gulf News is not responsible for any amendments made to the UAE Labour Law. All labour disputes must go through the Ministry of Labour.
Source: Martin Fullard, Guides Writer, gulfnews.com