Procedure to resign from jobs in the UAE

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Staff Writer, TLR

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


UAE, Jobs, labour law, zone, legal

Employment in the UAE is governed by UAE’S Labour Law. The labour laws govern all procedures related to employment and labour including the resignation of employees. This article discusses the noteworthy points that every employee resigning from their job should be careful about. While the labour laws are not very demanding from the perspective of resigning employees, ignorance of these laws may result in legal and financial liabilities for these employees. Therefore, the article elaborates upon the relevant steps of focus, to help provide a better understanding of laws governing resignations in the UAE.

Employment in the UAE is governed by the regulations of the UAE’S Labour Law which are implemented in the status quo through Federal Law Number 33 of 2022. Any person having a full-time job, in line with the labour laws, needs to ensure a few measures in the process of resigning from their job. Though the law does not impose any legal obligation which the employees owe to the government, they should carefully undertake all their responsibilities for the procedure to avoid any legal or financial liabilities and any inconvenience thereafter. 
For a successful resignation from the job, every employee should pay reasonable attention to the following four points: 

Resignation should abide by the terms of the employment contract. All employment relations are governed by an employment contract between the employer and the employee. An employment contract is a vital document which specifies relevant details about the employment, including date of commencement, basic salary, working hours, paid/unpaid leaves, work responsibilities, conditions for resignation and/or termination etc. In the case of resignation, a full-time employee must give timely notice of their intention of terminating their job. In UAE, generally, the notice period ranges from 30 to 90 days. All employees registered with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE), can check this and other details mentioned in their work contract by logging into their accounts. Those not registered with MOHRE can get the same at their relevant free zone authority. Any employee failing to inform the employer within the stipulated time as mentioned in the employment contract attracts a fine for the same. As per Article 43(3) of the Federal Law No. 33 of 2022, any party who does not abide by the notice period shall pay compensation to the other party, equal to the employee’s wages for the full notice period or the remaining part thereof.
Additionally, in case if an employee resigns during the probation period, UAE nationals must serve a written notice not less than 30 days before the date of resignation while expatriate employees should notify at least 14 days prior. If the employee is not able to follow this legislation, they would be subject to a one-year labour ban. However, there are certain exceptions for the same. 
1. Written resignation is mandatory.
As per Article 43(1) of the Federal Law No. 33 of 2022, employees are bound to convey their intention of resigning from their job either through email or letter. According to the regulations outlined in the employment contract, such employees must specify the notice period and last day of their employment. However, the resignation of the employee is not subject to receipt or confirmation from the employer. Neither the employer is bound to reply to the resignation information, nor the employee is obligated to confirm the receipt of the same. Nonetheless, it is suggested for employees to keep a copy of their resignation information until they receive complete rights.
1. Receiving complete end-of-service dues.
Employees are subjected to receive end-of-services dues, which is a sum of gratuity due to them once they complete their term of service as full-time employees. As per Article 51(5) of the Labour Law, for all expatriate employees, this amount is to be calculated based on the employee’s last basic salary. Yet this amount shall not exceed the sum of their two years’ salary. Also, the employer can withhold any amount from the gratuity, which is due to either the employer or any other entity following the law. 
1. Ensure that the work permit is cancelled.
All foreign nationals are legally bound to have a work visa to be employed in the Emirates. At the same time, all ex-pats need to ensure that their work permit is cancelled after they resign from their job. Article 7(3) of the Cabinet Resolution Number 1 of 2022 regarding the Executive Regulations of the Labour Law, the employer must apply to the MOHRE to cancel the work visa of employees who resign from their organisation. If the employees were leading their life on the organisation’s finances, employers must also apply to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai or the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) to cancel their visa.
Employees must receive their visa cancellation papers from their previous employer, which contain information regarding the date of visa and work permit cancellations, along with the time for which the ex-pats can stay in the UAE. Upon the cancellation of the work permit and visa, these employees have a period of thirty days to either find a new employment opportunity or leave the Emirates. In case of failure from following either option, the employee would be bound to pay a fine. Hence, the information on work permit cancellation becomes crucial. 
Resignation from jobs in UAE is an easy-to-do task, as it requires not many legal formalities, it is a crucial step for employees as its failure can lead to legal and financial constraints for these employees. All employees resigning from their jobs must take necessary precautions while dealing with such relevant issues.

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