GNcareers, from Gulf News

Ask the Law: ‘I was fired by my company - can I claim return ticket?’

Ask the Law: ‘I was fired by my company - can I claim return ticket?’Image Credit: Supplied

Reader question 1: I have just completed one year in service in my company. The company management terminated me without notice over disciplinary matter as per my company manager. According to the labour contract they should have provided air ticket both ways but they did not pay my ticket when I arrived in UAE. My contract is for 2 years with unlimited contract. They insist that I sign cancellation papers without even informing me of what my total dues are. Should my employer pay 3 months' salary as compensation for terminating my contract without reason?

Can I claim a refund of air ticket I bought? Can I ask them to provide my return ticket?

They hold my passport and I need to know which authority I should contact to get my passport back. What does the UAE Labour Law says about holding an employee passport by the sponsor? Can they force me to sign papers without giving my end of service benefits?

Answer 1: In case no amicable solution is reached with the employer, employee may file complaint before the Ministry of Labour to claim his rights. The questioner is not obliged to sign any paper made by the sponsor unless he obtains his rights, as he will be requested to sign a paper issued by the Ministry of Labour on his receipt of end-of-service gratuity. As for tickets, the questioner may claim the return tickets from his home country to UAE and vice versa if that is mentioned in the Labour Contract. As for the compensation for the arbitrary dismissal, the competent court will decide whether he was dismissed arbitrarily or not. With respect of the questioner's passport, he may file complaint before the concerned court to demand his passport. As per the Labour Law, the sponsor is not entitled to retain the worker's passport. Therefore, if the questioner has not been able to obtain his full right amicably before the Ministry of Labour, he may ask the ministry to refer the complaint to the competent court.

Question 2: A questioner from Dubai asks: I have taken a bank loan and the bank made me sign a blank cheque against that loan. Now I lost my job. I have submitted all documents to the bank and asked for more time to pay the due installments after I find a new job, but they rejected my offer. The bank is applying too much pressure and threatening me to pay the money right now otherwise they are going to use my guarantee cheque in police and put me behind the bars. What can I do? If the bank has the right to do so? And what is my right specially without job now. As per the UAE labour law is there any consideration in case a person lost his job he still get punished for bank loan? Please advise?

Answer 2: In his case, there is no choice but to settle this matter amicably with the bank, otherwise, the bank is entitled to follow all legal means to obtain its right.

Question 3: I would like to know my end-of-service gratuity as per UAE Labour Law, as I have worked in a company for more than 3 years. Presently I want to transfer to a new company after being terminated by the company. My question here is how does my end-of-service gratuity is calculated. My labour contract is for a limited period and my company manager is insisting that I should work for a notice period otherwise he will cut from my end of service. I am not claiming for arbitrary dismissal. Please advise me.

Answer 3: Article 132 of UAE Labour Law states the following - ''A worker who has completed a period of one or more years of continuous service shall be entitled to severance pay on the termination of his employment. The days of absence from work without pay shall not be included in calculating the period of service. The severance pay shall be calculated as follows:

1. 21 days' remuneration for each year of the first 5 years of service.

2. 30 days remuneration for each additional year of service provided that the aggregate amount of severance pay shall not exceed 2 year's remuneration''. Finally the questioner is not entitled as per the UAE labour law to work in a notice period as long as his contract is for a limited period.