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Labour Ban – When and Why Employers Apply for this?

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Staff Writer, TLR

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


UAE Laws, Labour Laws, NYK Law Firm, Advocate Sunil Ambalavelil,

By Arjav Sony

Certain times an employee may not have desirable corporate behavior and employers will have to take measures to retain high working standards of human resource in the UAE. A Labour Ban is consulted for after careful consideration if an employee’s corporate ethics do not meet the standards.

What is Labour Ban?

A labour ban is the act of restricting skilled or unskilled employees from working in UAE, after taking proper redressal and prior permission from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emaritisation (MoHRE). MoHRE is solely responsible for regulating and overseeing the public and private sector workforce and employment process in the UAE.

MoHRE initiates the process of labour ban only after an employer requests them to do so, in case of any violation of Article 120 of the UAE Federal LawNo.(8) of 1980(as amended). The violation of ministerial resolutions, circulars and non-compliance with terms and conditions provided by the employer are also considered.

Whom Can a Labour Ban be Imposed Upon?

Both unskilled as well as skilled labour come under the umbrella of Labour Ban. All workers may face a labour ban if they breach the UAE Labour Law and/or any relevant executive directives.

Labour Ban applies to the persons having employement residence visa, or any person who has a labour permit, a labour card or a labour contract. A Labour Ban may also be imposed on a working student sponsored by his/her parent or university, or on a working lady sponsored by her spouse.

When can the Employer Apply for Labour Ban?

There are certain key points which needs to be addressed for imposing ban on any skilled or unskilled labour as mentioned in Ministerial Resolution No.(721) of 2006 (Cancellation and Absence from Work).

Violations of an employee in the Ministerial Decree No.(765) of 2015 (Rules and Conditions for the Termination of Employment Relations) and the UAE Labour Laws will be considered by the employers.

Employee Violations Liable for Labour Ban

  1. In case any of the employees illegally terminates the employment contract, misses or neglects the provisions present in the Labour Laws of UAE, his/her employer can apply for the labour ban on that employee.

For instance, if an employee tries to end his contract before the completion of the duration of the contract, that employee will be eligible for a ban if MoHRE approves it.

  1. If an employee has already worked under an employer without obtaining the necessary permit from MoHRE, current employer can apply for Labour Ban on that employee.
  2. An employee will be eligible for the Labour Ban if he/she stays illegally in UAE for more than 2 months after the termination of his/her employement contract.
  3. If any non-skilled labourer fails to complete the required six months of training under the employer, the employee is subject to a Labour Ban. According to a 2016 resolution however, an employee may now terminate the contract prior to the end of the six-month notice period or other conditions (agreed upon with the employer) without facing a labour ban. It is only reliant upon mutual agreement with the employer.
  4. If any employee resign without serving any notice, employer can apply for a Labour Ban under Article 14 of UAE Federal Labour Law No.(8) of 1980. The law mentions only two conditions when an employee can resign from a job.

 Article 128 of the Federal Law No.(8) of 1980 that regulates employment relations in the UAE states that if a non-national worker resigns from his/her job without a valid reason prior to the expiration of a contract for a limited duration, he/she may not take up other employment for one year from the date of resignation, even with the approval of the employer. It shall be unlawful for any other employer who is aware of the fact to recruit or retain such employee prior to the expiration of such period.

 Article 120 of the Federal Law No.(8) of 1980 has a specific list of rules, a non-compliance of which can lead to dismissal by employer without notice and employer can apply against them for a labour ban till 1 year. Some of them are-

    1. If an employee takes on a fake name or nationality or submits fraudulent documents or certifications.
    2. If an employee breaches instructions about the safety of the place of business, such instructions must be posted in prominent locations and, in the event of an illiterate employee, orally communicated to the latter.
    3. If the employee leaks any information about the establishment where he/she works.
    4. If the employee is discovered to be intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance during working hours.
    5. If the employee is absent without a valid cause for more than twenty consecutive days or more than seven consecutive days in a calendar year.
    6. If the employee makes an error that results in a major loss to the employer, he/she must notify the labour department within 48 hours of becoming aware of the occurrence.
    7. If the employee fails to execute his/her fundamental job obligations under the employment contract and continues to do so despite a formal inquiry and a warning of dismissal if the violation is repeated.
    8. If a competent court issues a final judgement against the employee for an offence involving dishonesty or violation of public morality.
    9. If the employee assaults the employer, manager, or any of the coworkers throughout the course of employment.

How an Employer can Apply for a Labour Ban?

There is no electronic service for requesting a labour ban against an employee. Ban petitions need an inquiry by a legal researcher at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emaritisation (MoHRE), who would invite both parties, the employer and employee. Both the parties will give their statements to the MoHRE which will assess the gravity of the request, and determine whether or not to accept it.

 (The writer is a Legal Research Intern at The Law Reporters.)

Pic - UAE Labours Blog