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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

'Can a recruiter charge Dh750 to find me a job?'

The Abu Dhabi resident has been made redundant and is on the hunt for a new role

While one agent wants to charge Dh750 to find the jobseeker a new position, another has demanded a Dh200 upfront fee and Dh300 for each job interview. Photo: The National 
While one agent wants to charge Dh750 to find the jobseeker a new position, another has demanded a Dh200 upfront fee and Dh300 for each job interview. Photo: The National 

I was made redundant a few weeks ago and am urgently looking for a new job. I have posted in online forums and have been contacted by two different recruitment companies that say they can find me a new role but both are asking for money up front. One says it is a registration fee and wants Dh750, the other calls it an introducer fee and is asking for Dh200 and then Dh300 for each job interview. In each case I queried the charges as I have never been asked for this before. I thought companies paid recruiters to find suitable people, but this company says their process is normal. My wife seems to think this is against the law, so before I pay out any money - is this legal or even common practice? CL, Abu Dhabi

Any recruitment agency operating in the UAE that asks candidates for a fee, no matter what they call it, is breaking the law. The same goes for any agencies that ask for a fee to list a person’s CV. In many cases, this is little more than a way of scamming job seekers.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has stated on many occasions that this practice is illegal and over the years has closed and prosecuted several companies for this kind of fraudulent practice. Anyone who is aware of companies operating in this illegal manner can report them to the Ministry using their main helpline number, 800 665.

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I have resigned from my job as my husband’s contract has finished and we will be returning to live in Europe. I am on his visa but have been working in a nursery for nearly nine months. They knew from the beginning that I would be there for less than a year and I gave them one month’s notice in writing. I asked them to confirm the amount I was due on leaving and, although they are paying me in full, the branch manager said I won’t be paid for any holiday I haven't taken as I am leaving before 12 months is complete. I am due five days of unpaid leave as far as I am aware but would like confirmation before I go and argue my case. EF, Dubai

When someone is employed on a permanent basis, as is the case here, annual leave accrues from the start date of their employment and this is not forfeited by resigning. Article 79 of UAE Labour Law states: "The worker shall be entitled to receive the any sums for accrued annual leave days should he be dismissed or should he leave work after the duly determined notice period.”

Anyone who resigns having worked for less than a year is not entitled to an End of Service Gratuity, but any annual leave due must be paid in full, together with full income to the last day of service.

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I was deported from the UAE to India because my employer accused me of breach of trust. I was sentenced to six months in jail and deportation in 2011. After that my employer took out a civil law suit and I then completed 36 months in jail per the court order. I was deported in 2015. I now want to know if I can re-enter the UAE. When I was leaving the immigration detention centre nobody could give me solid information on my status. Most people tell me that if you are deported then you receive a lifetime ban and you may not enter the UAE even on a visit visa. I would like to know three things: can I enter the UAE after deportation? Where or how can I verify my status with certainty? If I apply for a visa and it goes through successfully, does that mean that I don’t have a ban? VT, India

Anyone who has been imprisoned for a criminal case and subsequently deported is likely to receive a lifetime ban that prevents them returning to the UAE for any reason. This is in Federal Law no 6 of 1973, and Ministerial Decree 83 of 2002, which state that a number of classes of people are prohibited from entering the UAE; this includes individuals involved in criminal activities and deported in accordance with UAE Government orders.

The only way to obtain a definitive answer is by contacting the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigner Affairs. This is part of the Ministry of the Interior and regulates the entry and exit of travellers to the UAE. Each emirate has its own office with its own website. It should be noted that while someone may obtain a tourist visa, that does not definitively mean that they will get a residency visa. I recommend VT checks with the Ministry to be sure of his future options. If an application for a visa is approved, then a lifetime ban does not apply in this case.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 25 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