Some time ago you advised a friend and me with an employment query. We left that employer and are soon to start new jobs with a governmental organisation in Abu Dhabi. We have recently consulted advisers at the Ministry of Labour and they have suggested that we have a case to gain some recompense for the aforementioned financial outlay we made. I am now concerned as our previous employer has threatened that if this matter goes to court, we stand the chance of having a work ban applied by our old employers. Our new visas are being processed. Please could you advise me as to whether our new visas could be suspended and whether it is advisable to continue with our course of action? C L, Abu Dhabi
If you have an ongoing case against a previous employer and are no longer on their visas I think it highly unlikely that they can request any kind of ban after this time. According to UAE labour law, an employer can request a ban of one year if someone does not complete a limited contract, but that should happen at the time the contract is ended. If a six-month ban is requested, that can be overturned as C L and her colleague have salaries above a certain level. In this particular case they will be working for part of the Abu Dhabi government and any government organisation can overturn any bans if they wish. It sounds as if the previous employer is making retaliatory threats due to the case against them. All too often I hear of employers trying to intimidate people when something doesn’t suit them. The old company cannot stop your new visas from being processed, especially from a governmental organisation.
Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. Contact her at email@example.com