I have only just got a job in Dubai — not in a free zone — and have been there just two weeks. I have a bachelor’s degree from Pakistan and three years’ work experience. I feel I am paid very little and that the company is not very professional, unlike my previous employer in Pakistan. I want to change companies before completing my six-month probation period without getting a ban. How can I do that? I am paid Dh8,000 per month. I have started work and have my pink visa paper but other details like medical and contract paperwork still need to be signed, so can I easily leave as it is not formal? QS Dubai
If anyone leaves a job during the first two years they will automatically receive a ban of six months. This is generally fixed, but there are provisions for a ban to be lifted if someone moves job after a full year of service and in this case QS would need to move to a job with a minimum salary of Dh12,000 per month as he holds a bachelor’s degree. While Article 37 of UAE Labour Law states that an employer can terminate the employee within the probationary period without any issues, the law is a little vague regarding what an employee may do. It does not specify that a worker can resign without notice, but nor does it say a worker cannot resign without notice, so unless a contract of employment states differently my advice is to assume that formal notice is required, with the standard period being 30 days. This assumes that QS is on an unlimited contract. If he has only just started and the employer has incurred little cost he may be permitted to leave immediately; but assuming his residency visa is being processed, which it should be by law as he has started work, he would still be subject to a ban. Moving jobs either into, or out of, a free zone has the same rules and it is only when someone changes jobs within a free zone that a ban will not apply as the sponsor will not change.
Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org