Employment Law – Notice period for contract termination.

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00


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The rights available to an employee working in the UAE are protected in the provisions of Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations, or the Employment Law.  

Article 43 of the Law deals with the notice period required for Contract termination both for Employees and Employers. Article 43 (1) allows both the employees and the employers to terminate the employment for any legitimate reason by notifying the other party in writing. This notification period should not be less than 30 days and not more than 90 days, and the work should be continued during the notification period as per the contract. It should be noted that the employee is entitled to any wage receivable during the notification period.

Article 43 (3) stipulates the damages receivable in cases where the notice period is violated by either party. Compensation or the notice period allowance, equal to the worker’s wage for the full notice period shall be paid by the party which did not abide by the notice period, irrespective of any real damage done to the other party.

As per the provisions of Article 43 (5), if the contract is terminated by the employer, the employee is entitled to unpaid leave on one working day per week to search for another job. The employer should be notified of the same at least 3 days before the absent date. 

Exceptions for Employers
Article 44 of the Employment Law lays down certain cases where the employee can be dismissed without notice after conducting a written investigation with them. The dismissal decision shall be in writing and justified and the employer or its representative shall hand it over to the worker. This can be done under the 10 circumstances mentioned in the Article:
1. Impersonation or submission of forged documents and certificates.
2. Mistakes causing gross physical loss to the employer, or that deliberate damage are caused to the employer’s property which is acknowledged by the employee. 
3. Violation of safety instructions, which are established by law and made visible to the workers.
4. Continuous breach of basic duties of employment, after conducting a written investigation and giving 2 warnings.
5. Disclosing work-related secrets, resulting in a loss for the employer.
6. Found in a state of drunkenness or under the influence of drugs; or breaching public morals at the workplace.
7. Verbal or Physical abuse of colleagues is punishable by law.
8. Illegitimate absence for more than 7 consecutive working days or 20 days during one year.
9. Illegal exploitation of position to obtain personal gains.
10. Worker joins another organization without following the procedure.

Exceptions for Employees
Article 45 of the Employment Law lays down the cases where an employee can quit without notice while retaining his rights at the end of service. This can be done under the 4 circumstances mentioned in the Article:
1. An employer breaches contractual obligations.
2. Employer or their legal representative assaults or harasses the employee.
3. Grave danger at the workplace that threatens safety.
4. The employer instructs the worker to perform work fundamentally different from the work agreed upon in the employment contract, without obtaining employee consent.

Illegal Termination of the Employee
If an employee is terminated without a legitimate reason, it will be considered arbitrary and the employer will have to pay monetary compensation to the employee as per the provisions of Article 47 of the Employment Law. The worker will be required to file a complaint to the Ministry or a lawsuit against the employer. The amount of compensation shall be defined by taking into account the work type and the amount of damage caused to the worker and his service term but should not exceed the 3 month’s wage of the employee.

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