Know Your Labor Protection under the law!

This article will elaborate on the duties employer’s regarding registration of employees and the protection under the law of employees after the end of contract of their labor contracts in the UAE.

In general terms, all expatriate employees who would like to work in the UAE must be employed by an appropriately dubai work visa process licensed and approved company and must be issued with an entry permit for employment purposes, a labor card (work permit) and a residence visa.

Some Employees don’t know their protection under the law upon the end of contract of their employment contracts, so the issue has to be carefully considered.

Employment contact in the private sector in the UAE are dictated and regulated by Federal Law No. 8 on Regulation of Labor Contact for the year 1980. Employing foreign workers in the UAE entails complying with certain registration procedures such as residence visa. If an employee doesn’t have work permission and/or company sponsorship, article 13 of the Labor Law obliges the employer using a foreigner to obtain permission and/or company sponsorship from the Ministry of Labor. The Labor Law is protective of employees in general and supersedes conflicting contractual convention agreed under another legal system, unless they are best for the employee. Furthermore, this rule is true to the Free Specific zones taking into account that there is no work permission.

It is important to note that any provision of the labor contract is ill if it either contradicts the UAE labor law or conflicts with the public interest. These convention can relate to establishment of probation period, gratuity, notice period, salary in order to any charges applied to the employee. According to the Federal Law No. 8 of the year 1980 probation period cannot exceed six month.

The Labor Law provides Employees with mainly seven protection under the law that have to be accompanied by the employer upon the end of contract of the labor contract.

According to the Labor Law, an employee terminating his contract has protection under the law to:
Get his/her past due salaryGet charges for extra hours of workHave annual leave
Get gratuity (21 days basic remuneration for every year of the first five years of service and 30 days any year after. )
Get an air ticketNotice period salary
Get a compensation for not fair termination (with maximum 11 weeks, but this period can be even more if it is not mentioned in the contract).
As well as these seven protection under the law, there might be additional protection under the law which are included in the contract such as commission and bonuses.

However, if the end of contract happens within the probation period, which can be a few months or less depending on contract, the employee will not have directly to claim the protection under the law mentioned above. He will only be eligible for past due salary, charges for extra hours of work and air ticket. The bar time on labor matters for Dubai based companies is 12 months from the moment of end of contract of the labor contract.

It is significant that in order for an employee to be able to apply for UAE Labor Authorities regarding any legal matter, he/she should have or had a work permission and/or company sponsorship. Otherwise UAE Labor Authorities will not deal with a matter.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (the Ministry) is the main body responsible for the regulation of manpower recruitment and it plays a substantial role in settling labor differences between employers and employees. It ought to be noted that all labor differences must initially be submitted to the Labor Department of the Ministry for amicable settlement if the company is onshore.

The same regulation is true in the Free Specific zones. However, Free Specific zones have their own Legal Department where lawyers should not attend. For this reason before filing a case to the Court, you need to take a letter of reply from Free Zone Legal Department for his claim.

In a case if an employee works for Governmental Thing, he should affect the ruler office first and they have to issue Non-Objection Certificate (NOC).

The applying is then handed to the concerned labor authority, that will arrange a meeting between the employee and the employer. The purpose of such meeting is to come to the settlement of the issue.

It’s possible to wonder about the reasons of going through those steps. Indeed, it is one of the most important requirements of Labor Code. Applying through these labor authorities help individuals to settle a high rate of issues between employers and employees. Moreover, such measures save time and decrease the number of cases before the courts. However the lawyers are not able to attend the meetings with the labor authorities. This task has to be made personally by employee. The filing of claim to labor authorities does not cost anything, which can be measured as additional selling point of this process.

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