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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 October 2018

UAE legal Q&As: what end of service benefits am I entitled to?

A reader asks what their end of service benefits they are entitled to upon resigning and another asks if they can leave the country if they have outstanding debts

Under the UAE Labour Law, what are employers required to provide at the end of a contact when an employee resigns (ie flights home, gratuities etc)?

According to article 137 of the Labour Law, in the case of employment ending with the resignation of the employee, employees are entitled to one third of their end of service gratuity if their service at the company did not exceed 3 years.

Should their service have not exceeded five years, then the gratuity should be two thirds of their end of service and employees are entitled to full gratuity if their service with the company exceeded 5 years.

At any rate, the employer is absolutely obliged to grant the employee a ticket back to their home company when employment is terminated- regardless of the manner of termination, as per article 131 of the labour law.

However, if there was an internal agreement between the employee and the employer. in which the employer may have further rights such as family ticket, then the employer must carry out their contractual obligations.

Can I leave the country if I have debts in the UAE but have started a new job and waiting for my visa to be processed?

Answering this question depends on whether or not the creditor has begun judicial procedures against the debtor.

If legal procedures have filed against the debtor for any financial claims related to a bounced cheque, for example, the debtor may not leave the country and will be arrested in the airport.

This is also the case if the court issued a verdict compelling the debtor to pay off their debt and an arrest warrant has been issued against the debtor too. In this case, the debtor cannot leave the country — even for a visa purposes — and will be arrested at the airport.

If a final verdict has not yet been issued by the court, the creditor can still apply for a travel ban order from the Court of Urgent Cases to stop the debtor from leaving the country before settling their debt. In that case, the debtor would be prevented from leaving the country but would not be arrested.

If you have a question for our lawyer, please email it to newsdesk@thenational.ae with the subject line 'Know the law'.