Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 August 2019

Employment benefits apply across the board

The days of absence from work without pay shall not be included in the calculation of the period of service.

My daughter is working for a private company under my husband’s sponsorship and has completed one year. She has a work permit. I would like to know if she is entitled to payment for annual leave and a gratuity if she resigns. MM, Sharjah

Anyone who is employed on a spouse’s or parent’s visa is entitled to the same benefits as any other employee. MM’s daughter is therefore entitled to receive payment in lieu for any annual leave accrued and not taken at the time her notice period expires. I understand that she is employed on an unlimited contract and so after the completion of a full year’s service, Article 321 of UAE Labour Law states: “The worker having spent one year or more in continuous service shall be entitled to an end of service gratuity upon the termination of his service. The days of absence from work without pay shall not be included in the calculation of the period of service, and the gratuity shall be calculated as follows: 1 - The wage of 21 days for each of the first five years of service.” Note however, that Article 137 goes on to say, “should the worker bound by an employment contract with undetermined term leave his work by his own choice after a continuous service of one year at least and three years at most, he shall be entitled to one - third of the end of service gratuity ...” This is essentially seven days’ pay per year of service and should be calculated pro-rata for partial years.

I am on a contract with a probation period of three months. This morning, close to the end of this three months, I was advised by the company that they would like to extend the ‘probation period’ by another three months. Are they able to do this? The signed contract states that my notice period is three months, there is no stipulation at all that it is less during the probation period so where do I stand? My employment contract states the only notice period is 90 days for both parties and makes no mention of the probation period. The contract also says there is immediate notice for either party during the notice period, so essentially different notice periods? DG, Dubai

UAE Labour Law states that a probationary period can be for up to six months so if an employer is undecided after three months they can extend it, but for no more than a maximum of six months. This should be with the agreement of the employee but obviously if they do not agree then they will most likely be asked to leave. Article 37 of labour law states: “The worker may be employed for a probation period not exceeding six months where the employer may terminate the services of the worker without notification or end of service gratuity. The worker may not be employed by the same employer for more than one probation period. Should the worker successfully complete the probation period and pursues in his job, the said period shall be deemed as a part of the service period.” During the probationary period a person can be dismissed without notice, per Article 120, “the employer may dismiss the worker without prior notice in any of the following cases ... b - should the worker be appointed under probation, and the dismissal occur during or at the end of the probation period.” The law is unclear as to whether an employee has to give notice during a probationary period but it is best to do so to avoid issues. DG’s contract says that he can leave without giving notice so that will apply as it is more in the employee’s favour. A contract can include conditions that are more favourable to the employee but nothing less than is stated in Labour Law.

Can you tell me if I have an employment ban or if there is any other reason why I cannot work in the UAE? I was employed in Dubai in 2015 and left the same year without working notice. What are the chances that I am banned from working there and how could I find out? MC, US

If a person leaves employment without giving notice then they will be marked as an absconder and have an immigration ban which usually prevents them from entering and working in the UAE for at least one full year. MC will need to make his own inquiries. He should contact the relevant Department of Immigration, in this case the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs, with his passport details to ask what is registered on their system and if there is anything showing that would cause an issue with a visa application. The telephone number if calling internationally is +971 4 313 9999.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 years’ experience. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only.

Updated: June 30, 2017 04:00 AM