x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Sign on the dotted line only when all monies are paid

Your visa should be cancelled at the end and it really only takes a few days to organise that – if the company is vaguely on the ball.

I resigned from my job on March 9 and since then the company has been dragging their feet and generally being very unhelpful about cancelling my visa etc. I gave them my passport and Emirates ID card last week, but they then asked me to sign a letter saying something along the lines of “signing this means you have received all the money due and are not owed anything else”. I pointed out that I hadn’t received my final salary, or any gratuity payment, but was told if I don’t sign, they can’t start cancelling my visa so I didn’t feel I had an option. I have a new job lined up ready to start as soon as my notice period ends so I don’t want any delays. But I am now worried as to what will happen if they don’t pay me all I am owed. Is this usual and is there anything I can do as I signed this letter? JF Dubai

If you resigned on March 9, I presume you have a 30-day notice period, so you should have residency, plus all other employment benefits, until your last day. Your visa should be cancelled at the end and it really only takes a few days to organise that – if the company is vaguely on the ball. They are obliged to pay you your final salary then, plus any end of service gratuity that is owed. Bear in mind if total service is less than five years the gratuity payment is reduced if you resign. A company should not ask an employee to sign such a letter until the moment the payment is made and I advise people never to sign something of this nature if it is not true. The company is still obliged to pay you – as they gave you no real option but to sign the paper. If they don’t pay up, there will be no record of payment and you can still take a case to the Ministry of Labour and claim you signed under duress.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com

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