x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Can Dubai worker resign without notice after not being paid for 6 weeks?

Keren Bobker advises an employee who also questions the lack of medical insurance.

A Dubai worker wants to know what to do after not being paid. Christopher Furlong / Getty Images
A Dubai worker wants to know what to do after not being paid. Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

I have been working for a company since December 2012 and we have been receiving our salary very late since the start of 2014. As of writing this mail we still haven’t received our July salary, plus half of our June salary (the first half we only received mid-July). Management has done nothing despite complaints from staff who are struggling financially. I decided to submit my resignation and here are some questions. Am I still required to go through the 30-day notice period? As an employee who is financially disabled, I find it hard to go through another month without any assurance of being paid. Does the company have the right to refuse my resignation? If the worst comes to the worst that I’ll need to bring this to the MOL’s attention, are my grounds enough to win the case? In addition all staff are working an additional hour each day without pay and we still don’t have our medical insurance. LL, Dubai

It is disappointing to hear of employers who fail to pay their employees on time. The Wages Protection System is supposed to prevent this from happening. The Ministry of Labour has in the past stated that anyone who is not paid for three months can leave service immediately without penalty or a ban and I understand that this still applies, but this will not hold in this case. LL must still provide 30 days’ notice, but at time of leaving she should not sign any documents to say that monies owed to her have been paid. No employer can refuse to accept someone’s resignation as it is not their decision, especially when someone is on an unlimited contract. If the outstanding salary is not paid, LL and her colleagues have a right to raise a case with the Ministry of Labour, which will be sympathetic. It should also be noted that non-supervisory staff should be paid overtime for additional hours worked, but that it is not yet a legal requirement for Dubai-based companies to provide medical insurance.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai with more than 20 years’ experience. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice.

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