Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 24 September 2020

Gratuity Calculator app helps resigning UAE employees figure out what they’re owed

An Abu Dhabi resident created a gratuity calculator app to help residents calculate their end-of-service benefits before they leave their job.
Glen Ferris' created the Gratuity Calculator app to teach himself how to code while looking for a job. Delores Johnson / The National
Glen Ferris' created the Gratuity Calculator app to teach himself how to code while looking for a job. Delores Johnson / The National

If you have resigned at work, the next step is to calculate how much gratuity you are owed.

This is the end of service benefit that is paid to all employees under UAE Labour Law. But if maths was never your forte, working out the exact amount can be a headache. That’s why the Abu Dhabi resident Glen Ferris decided to come up with an app to help you plan, and to ensure your company correctly calculates the gratuity you’re owed.

“When my wife started working in Abu Dhabi in September 2015 and we found out about the complexities of the gratuity system and the calculation, it seemed like a concept that could translate well into an app,” says Mr Ferris, a 33 year-old aeronautical engineer by trade. “I found it difficult to find a job due to the market downturn and wanted to put my time to good use, so I decided to learn how to develop apps.”

Mr Ferris’s Gratuity Calculator app, which is free on iOS, contains six multiple-choice boxes for you to input information regarding contract type, basic monthly salary, start date, end date, days of unpaid leave and how the contract ends (resigned or terminated). When you input the information, the app then states the amount owed to you, along with a “workings” page explaining how it arrived at that sum. The Abu Dhabi resident Ian Bishop, a teacher whose three-year contract is coming to an end, recently used the app.

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Your Money blog

A guide to the UAE’s end of service gratuity. Read here

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“I was surprised how simple it was to use,” says Mr Bishop, a 55-year old New Zealander. “When I’d done calculations in my head, I’d worked out that I was owed less money than I actually was. So it was a pleasant surprise to find out I’m richer than I thought.”

Mr Ferris says it took him two weeks to build the app – a few days to research the gratuity calculation process, a week to design and program, and then more time to test and submit the app to Apple for review.

“The app didn’t cost anything to build,” he adds. “The UAE Lab­our Law documents were available online, and I did all my own graphics and text. I did need an Apple Developer Account to upload apps to the store, which costs US$99 per year.”

q&a entitlements unravelled

App creator Glen Ferris tells Jessica Hill more about his Gratuity Calculator app:

How exactly is the UAE’s end-of-service gratuity calculated?

It has many variables, but the basic calculation is 21 days’ salary for each of the first five years, and 30 days’ salary for each additional year . The salary used is the final basic salary – it does not include allowances or overtime, and is payable after one complete year of service. Gratuity is payable for fractions of a year (over one year), and the maximum gratuity owed cannot exceed two years of wages.

Do companies top up the gratuity allowance?

An overpayment of gratuity is a possibility. The rules are written to provide a basic calculation and protect the company with a maximum condition (two years’ wage).

Why did you choose to devise an app for this use?

There are online calculators out there, but they don’t necessarily process all the relevant information to accurately calculate gratuity, and they don’t show how the figure is derived. There were also many questions on forums regarding the calculation, so I could see there was a demand for such an application.

Do people sometimes get confused?

Absolutely. It is a complex calculation with many variables. The UAE Labour Law explains precisely how gratuity is calculated; however, legal documents can be daunting. People want quick answers.

Could your app could be expanded to gratuity systems in other countries?

Now that I have the structure for the app, yes, I think that’ll be a project for the future.

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More on end of service gratuity

end of servicePaolo Vecina / The National

Keren Bobker: How much will an Abu Dhabi worker with Dh1,600 basic salary get as end of service gratuity?

Your Money blog: Enhanced end of service benefits on the rise in the Middle East

UAE companies not permitted to arbitrarily change any worker’s terms of contract

Working beyond UAE contract expiry is continued service

■ Domestic staff not covered by UAE Labour Law regarding end of service gratuity

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business@thenational.ae

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Updated: February 7, 2017 04:00 AM

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