Planning to switch jobs? Know how to avoid ban

Employees who terminate their employment after the completion of two years of continuous service, may not have to face an employment ban if both the employer and the employee have agreed to such termination.

I am a BBA (Honours) graduate and currently employed on a limited contract of two years on a salary of Dh4,500.

If I want to switch my company on a salary more than Dh5,000 but less than Dh12,000, can my new employer request to cancel my ban? What is the surety that the ban will be cancelled depending upon my aforementioned qualification.

Also, my current employer had written in my offer letter that if I am transferred locally to other emirates, my salary will be increased as per life style of that emirates but in labour contract they had not written such things and told me at the time of signing that it is just formality, just sign it. What should I do?

If they are shifting me to Abu Dhabi, what are the mandatory things the company is bound to do with respect to health insurance, minimum salary package, transport and other things?

It is presumed that your employment is subject to provisions of the Federal Law No 8 of 1980 on the Regulation of Labour Relations (the “Labour Law”). Pursuant to your question (as per my understanding), it may be noted that employees who terminate their employment after the completion of two years of continuous service, may not have to face an employment ban if both the employer and the employee have agreed to such termination of the employment contract.

This is in accordance with Article 2 of the Ministerial Order No. 1186 of 2010 on “Rules and Conditions of Granting a New Work Permit to an Employee after Termination of the Work Relationship in Order to Move from One Establishment to Another” (the “Ministerial Order”), which states:”The following two conditions must be met in order to grant the work permit mentioned in Article (1) of this resolution:

1. Agreement between the employee and the employer to conclude the work relationship.

2. The employee must have spent at least two years with the employer.”

Pursuant to the foregoing, if you can secure a no-objection letter from your current employer no employment ban should be imposed on you.

However, your prospective employer may not be able to help you in the removal of your ban, if a ban is imposed.

Further, it may be noted that your professional qualification may not be sufficient to remove any employment ban on you.

Also, it may be advised that where an employee executes two employment contracts, the provisions which are more beneficial to the employee will always be applicable. This is in concurrence with the provision of Article 7 of the Labour Law which states: “Any stipulations contrary to the provisions of this Law, even if it was made prior to its commencement, shall be null and void unless they are more advantageous to the worker.”

Hence, if it is mentioned in your offer letter that you shall be entitled to more benefits in the event you are transferred to another emirate, your employer should provide the same.

However, this is an ambiguous matter as your definition of more benefits may be different from that of your employer.

Employee liable to pay if labour contract is limited

I am working as a teacher at a private school in Abu Dhabi on a two-year contract. As of July, I have completed one academic year and I will be resigning in the next few days. I have given my employer a little over 60 days written notice. I have a few questions about my entitlements upon my resignation. I have been advised that my school will try to strip certain privileges, such as the return ticket, summer salary and they may deduct 45 days’ pay.

But my contract does not state whether it is limited/unlimited. However, I assume it is limited since it is a fixed term of two years. Since I am resigning before the end of two years, will I be ordered to pay 45 days salary? Page 1 of the contract states: “If you decide to leave the school before the completion of the contract you will lose your entitlement as per UAE Labour Laws.” What exactly does that entitlement refer to? Could it be our bonus at the end of the contract, or our summer salary?

Article 14.5 states: “The teacher is entitled to two months paid annual holiday if she has completed one whole academic year.”

As more teachers have resigned, the school has stated they will not pay the summer salary. Article 6 states the school is responsible to provide a return flight home each academic year. Some teachers have been denied this flight since resigning.

It is presumed that your employment is subject to provisions of the Federal Law No 8 of 1980 on the Regulation of Labour Relations (the “Labour Law”).

Pursuant to the first part of your question, it may be advised that your employment contract is of limited duration since it is specifically mentioned in your employment contract that it shall be for a period of two-years.

Further, it may be advised that you will be liable to pay compensation equal to 45 days’ remuneration, should you choose to resign. This is in accordance with Article 116 of the Labour Law which states: “Where a contract is revoked by the worker for reasons other than those specified in article (121), he shall be required to compensate the employer for any prejudice the latter sustains as a result: provided that the amount of compensation shall not exceed held the worker’s remuneration for three months or the residual period of the contract whichever is shorter unless the contract contains a provision to the contrary.”

In view of the foregoing, it may be advised that the only way you may be precluded from paying this compensation is if your employer foregoes this compensation amount against your termination of employment contract. You may further note that since you are working under a limited period contract, you are not required to serve any notice period as such.

Further it is noted that a particular clause in your employment contract provides that you shall not receive your entitlements if you should decide to leave your employment before the completion of two years.

The clause as such is compliance with Article 138 of the Labour Law which states: “Where a worker who is bound by a contract for a limited period leaves his work of his own accord before the expiry of his contract period, he shall not be entitled to severance pay unless his continuous period of service exceeds five years.” Pursuant to this it may be noted that the entitlements here would mean the severance pay, which is paid to outgoing employees in accordance with Article 132 of the Labour Law which states: “A worker who has completed one or more years of continuous service shall be entitled to severance pay at the end 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’ wage for each of the first five years of service.

2. 30 days’ wage for each additional year of service provided always that the aggregate amount of severance pay should not exceed two year’s wage.”

Further, you may note that you shall be entitled to receive your leave salary for the number of days of paid leave that were not availed by you.

This is in accordance with Article 79 of the Labour Law which states: “A worker who is dismissed or who leaves his job after the period of notice prescribed by law shall be paid for any accrued annual leave days. Such payment shall be calculated on the basis of the worker’s wage as on the date when the leave became due.”

It may also be advised that since the contract terms provide for payment of a paid annual leave or “summer salary” for a period of two months, you may claim the same from your employer.

Further, on the issue of flight tickets, the UAE Labour Law mandates that the employer should bear the cost of repatriation of employees only upon termination of the employment contract.

However, the provision of air tickets on an annual basis would depend on the employer’s policies. You may therefore check with your employer in this regard.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and managing partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates, Dubai. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai

 

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