I have a full-time, live-in maid and I arranged for her to be transferred to my sponsorship some three months ago. While my wife and I initially gave her the benefit of the doubt, we are not happy with her work, despite repeatedly asking her to do things the way we want. She only works five days a week and has plenty of time off, yet still complains there is too much to do, despite there being only the two of us, who work full-time, and our daughter, aged 14. As we did not employ her via an agency, we have to deal with the matter ourselves and do not know what we have to do to terminate her employment. Can you advise? - RK Abu Dhabi
As she is effectively an employee, you may cancel her contract. Because her contract states a six-month probationary period, you can, therefore, terminate her employment immediately. You are responsible for the formal cancellation of her visa and will need to visit the Department of Naturalisation and Residency and ask for a visa cancellation form. You will have to produce a copy of the maid's original passport, as well as evidence of a one-way ticket for her to fly back to her home country, for which you must pay. On the day of departure, you should go to the airport with her, and have her passport and labour card, your passport and visa cancellation form. She then needs to check in and obtain a boarding pass. With all of these documents, you both have go to the airport immigration counter. The authorities at the counter will check that all paperwork is in order before processing the cancellation. This can take some time and the counter can get busy, so make sure you have everything you need and leave plenty of time for the paperwork to be dealt with.
I had a du telephone number, which was set up on a prepaid basis. I had it for more than a year. On October 6, I went to the du office in Al Tawar in Dubai and changed my du number from prepaid to postpaid. I was told that my BBM, internet and other services would alter immediately. I paid the full amount for these services in advance. On October 7, I received a message saying: "Thanks for subscription." As nothing happened for a couple of days, I called the helpline and was told they had taken note of my complaint. On Saturday, October 11, I wrote a letter to du management and copied it to customer services, but nothing has happened. Today is October 13 and I still cannot access these services. Instead, I applied for the same package from Etisalat, which they were able to provide me with in two days. Now I don't need the service from du and want to convert back to a prepaid service. But it is asking me to pay for the service to be cancelled, which I never received and never used. Despite having no service, they are telling me I have to pay Dh300 now and also another Dh130, so a total of Dh430 for nothing. I am very disappointed with du as none of this is my fault. - SA Dubai
I referred the problem to my contacts at du and within two days, the matter had been resolved. SA was provided with the full service that he had applied for. A spokesperson from du said: "In response to SA's letter, we have explained the situation to him and have come to an amicable resolution. His BlackBerry Social Package is now active. We regret the inconvenience caused."
I got a job offer letter and a contract signed from a company in Dubai. I accepted their offer (in the offer was included my flight to Dubai) and they applied for my working visa (this is what they told me). However, I never got my visa and they kept me waiting for more than three weeks. After this, they closed the company. My question: is there something that I can do against the company or the people involved in my hiring due to the fact that I am sure they knew before what was going on and they did not inform me? I lost more than one month doing nothing while waiting for them. - VS Italy
This is an unfortunate situation and it is unfair behaviour by the company. It is certainly unusual to offer someone a job, present them with a contract and then close the company. There could be several reasons for this, although I would have thought VS was owed a proper explanation. That said, she never started work with the company, did not have a visa and did not make it to Dubai, so I don't believe there is any action she can take, especially as it is no longer trading. There is no law that I know of relevant to this situation and no mention is made of it in the UAE Labour Law. While a lawyer could be engaged, the question is who would be sued if the company no longer exists? It's unlikely a case against the directors would get very far and the legal fees would far outweigh any compensation that might possibly be paid. I doubt you would win and it would be a waste of money.
Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org