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Labour Rights: Know Your Notice Period, Termination and New Working Week

Employees have the  right to raise their cases with MoHRE if their employer violates labour laws.

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Rakeshh Kumar SV

Published on June 4, 2024, 13:29:36

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notice period uae, uae labour law, labour rights, mohre

It’s important for employees to know their rights regarding notice periods, termination, and the new working week. All legally employed individuals in the UAE have the right to raise their cases with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) if their employer violates labour laws. This article outlines employees’ legal liabilities and obligations.

UAE's attractive paychecks are a primary reason for the large expatriate population. Thousands of people come to the UAE every year hoping to advance their careers. Following recent cases of employee rights violations, the UAE government has amended labour laws, effective from February 2, 2022.

Notice Period under Article 43 of the Employment Law

The notice period should not be less than 30 days and not more than 90 days. This means that even if the employment contract does not specify a notice period, the law obligates employers to provide employees a minimum of 30 days' notice.

If mentioned in the contract, the maximum duration of the notice period is 90 days. If the company does not wish for the employee to serve the 30-day notice, it must compensate the employee for the value of that notice period.

When Can Employment Contracts Be Terminated

According to Article 42 of the Federal Decree Law, the employment contract can be terminated in any of the following cases:

  • The written agreement of both parties upon its termination.
  •  Expiry of the term specified in the contract, unless it is extended or renewed as per the provisions hereof.
  •  Based on the wish of either party, provided that the provisions regarding termination of the employment contract and the notice period agreed upon in the contract are observed.
  •  The employer’s death if the subject of the contract is related to its entity.
  •  The worker’s death or full permanent inability to work, as proven by a certificate issued by the medical entity.
  •  A final judgment issued against the worker with a freedom-restricting penalty for a period of not less than three months.
  •  Permanent closure of the establishment, in accordance with the legislation in force in the State.
  •  Bankruptcy or insolvency of the employer, or any economic or exceptional reasons that prevent the continuation of the project, in accordance with the conditions, rules, and procedures specified by the Implementing Regulation and the legislation in force in the State.
  • The worker’s failure to fulfill the conditions for renewing the work permit for reasons beyond the employer’s control.

When Can the Worker Be Dismissed Without Notice

According to Article 44 of the Federal Decree Law, the employer may dismiss the worker without notice after conducting a written investigation, provided the dismissal decision is in writing, justified, and handed to the worker in any of the following cases:

  • The worker impersonated another person or submitted forged certificates or documents.
  • The worker committed a mistake that resulted in gross physical losses to the employer or deliberately damaged the employer’s properties and acknowledged the same, provided the employer informs the ministry of the incident within seven working days from the date of awareness of the incident.
  • The worker violated safety instructions related to the work and workplace, provided they are written, hung in a visible place, and the worker is informed of them.
  • The worker did not perform his basic duties according to the employment contract and continued breaching them despite a written investigation, and was notified and warned of dismissal twice if repeated.
  • The worker disclosed a work secret related to industrial or intellectual property, resulting in losses to the employer, missed opportunities, or personal benefit for the worker.
  • The worker is drunk during working hours, under the influence of narcotics or psychotropic substances, or commits an action breaching public morals at the workplace.
  • The worker assaults the employer, manager in charge, a superior, or colleagues at work by word, action, or any form of assault punishable under the legislation in force in the State.
  • The worker is absent without a legitimate reason or excuse accepted by the employer for more than 20 intermittent days during one year or more than seven consecutive days.
  • The worker exploited his position illegally to obtain personal results and gains.
  • The worker joined another establishment without abiding by the rules and procedures prescribed.

When Can the Worker Quit Work Without Notice

According to Article 45 of the Federal Decree Law, the worker can quit work without notice, while retaining his rights upon end of service in any of the following cases:

  • The employer breaches his obligations towards the worker as stipulated in the contract, this Decree-Law, or the resolutions issued for its implementation, provided the worker notifies the Ministry 14 working days before quitting and the employer does not rectify the breach despite being notified by the Ministry.
  • It is proven that the employer or its legal representative assaulted, committed violence, or harassed the worker at work, provided the worker informs the competent authorities and the Ministry within five working days from the date of the incident.
  • There is a grave danger at the workplace that threatens the worker’s safety or health, provided the employer is aware of it and does not take any actions to remove the danger. The Implementing Regulation specifies the rules of the grave danger.
  • The employer instructs the worker to perform work fundamentally different from the work agreed upon in the employment contract without obtaining the worker’s written consent.

Public Holidays and Worker’s Work During Holidays

  • The worker is entitled to official days off with full pay on public holidays, defined by a resolution of the Cabinet.
  •  If work conditions require the worker to work during public holidays, the employer shall compensate him with another day off for each day worked during the holiday, or pay him the wage for that day according to the wage established for normal working days, plus an increase of not less than 50 per cent of the basic wage for that day.

New Working Week

The UAE federal government has adopted a four and a half-day working week. Hence, employees work eight hours from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm from Monday to Thursday, and from 7:30 am to 12:00 pm on Fridays.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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