Foreign employees in the UAE are entitled to a gratuity, or severance pay, when their contracts are terminated - upon completing a contract or resigning from a job.
The gratuity, specified by UAE federal labour law, is calculated on the base salary. It does not include housing, transport and other allowances and bonuses.
A limited contract is the most common employment contract in the UAE and is usually renewed after one completes a fixed term, according to Sanad Alkubaissi, a recruitment consultant at Huxley Associates in Dubai.
In this case, you need to complete your contract or else you lose your gratuity. There are exceptions. You should check your contract carefully for certain clauses, including the notice period, he said.
An expatriate employee earns 21 days' pay for each full year of service for the first five years, and 30 days for each year of employment more than five years. The maximum gratuity is two full years' pay.
If you are fired with no valid reason, the employer is required to pay up to three months salary, unless the fixed-term contract says otherwise.
Under an unlimited contract, make sure you have given a notice period, usually 30 days, to your employer, when you resign.
If you have worked for less than a year, then you do not get gratuity. For employment between one and three years, you get seven days for each year of employment. Between three and five years, you are entitled to 14 days for each year.
And if you have worked for more than five years, then you get 21 days for each year for five years, and 30 days for each year after five years. The maximum gratuity is two full year's pay.
For more information, check the labour ministry's website.