Termination of Labour Contract in Dubai Abu Dhabi UAE

TERMINATION OF LABOUR CONTRACT-Provisions under UAE Labour Law

UAE Labour Law is comprehensive when it comes to how and in which circumstances an employment contract or labour contract can be terminated. UAE Labour Law Articles from 113 to 131 detail the circumstances in which both employees and employers can terminate the contract.

Below are the various clauses:

UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (113)

The employment contract is deemed to be terminated in any of the following cases: -

  • In the event of mutual consent by both parties to terminate the contract provided that the employee’s consent is made in writing. -
  • On expiry of the period specified in the contract unless the contract is expressly or implicitly extended in accordance with the provisions of this Law.
  • At the option of either party in unlimited contracts provided that the provisions of this Law regarding warnings and acceptable causes for termination of the contract without abuse are fully complied with.

UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (114)

A contract of employment shall not expire by reason of death of the employer unless the subject matter of the contract is related to him in person. However, the contract shall terminate by reason of death of the employee or in case of his total disability to perform duties established by a medical report approved by the competent State Medical Authority.

If partial disability of an employee permits him to perform different duties which conform with his health state, the employer shall transfer the employee, at the latter’s request, to another job of such other duties and shall pay him the remuneration normally paid by the employer in similar cases without prejudice to entitlement and indemnity accrued to the employee in accordance with this Law.

UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (115)*(* Amended by Federal Law No. (12) of 1986.)

If the employer has terminated an employment contract with a limited period, for reasons other than those provided for under UAE Labour Law UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (120) hereof, he becomes liable for payment of compensation to the employee against damages sustained by him, provided that the sum of compensation in all events, may not exceed the total pay due to him for a period of three months or for the remaining period of contract whichever is shorter, unless the terms of the contract provide otherwise.

UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (116)(* Amended by Federal Law No. (12) of 1986.)

If the contract has been terminated on part of the employee, for reasons other that those provided for under UAE Labour Law UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (121) hereof, the employee becomes liable for compensating the employer against losses incurred by him in consequence of contract termination, provided that the amount of compensation, may not exceed half a month’s pay for a period of three months or for the remaining period of contract whichever is shorter, unless the terms of the contract provide otherwise.

UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (117)

1. The employer and employee may terminate the employment contract with unlimited period, for a valid reason at any time after conclusion of the contract by written notice duly given to other party, thirty days at least prior to termination.

2. In respect of daily pay employees period of notice shall be as follows:

  • On week in the employee has worked for more than six months but less than one year.
  • Two weeks if the employee has worked for at least one year.
  • One month if the employee has worked for at least five years.

UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (118)

The contract shall continue to be valid throughout the period of warning referred to in the preceding Article and shall expire with the expiry date of the warning. The employee shall be entitled to full pay during the notice period on the basis of last pay he earned, and he shall have to perform his duties during such period if so instructed by the employer. It may not be agreed to waive or reduce period of warning but it may be agreed to increase such period.

UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (119)

If the employer or the employee has failed to serve notice to the other party for termination of the contract or has reduced the notice period, the party obliged to serve the notice shall pay to the other party an indemnity called “Compensation in lieu of notice“, and it is incurred by the other party as a result of failure to give notice or for reduction of said period, and the indemnity shall be equal to the employee’s pay for the notice period in full or in proportion to the diminished part. In regard to employees on monthly, weekly, daily or per hour work pay the notice allowance shall be computed on the basis of last pay earned by them. With regard to employees paid on piece work basis, allowance shall be calculated on the basis of the average daily pay provided for in UAE Labour Law UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (57) hereof.

UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (120)

The employer may dismiss the employee without notice in the following cases:

1. If the employee adopts a false identity or nationality or if he submits forged documents or certificates.

2. If the employee is appointed under a probationary period and dismissal occurred during or at the end of said period.

3. If he commits an error causing substantial material loss to the employer provided that the latter advises the labour department of the incident within 48 hours from having knowledge of the same.

4. If the employee violates instructions concerning safety of the place of business provided that such instructions are displayed in writing at conspicuous places and in case of an illiterate employee the latter be informed verbally of the same.

5. If he fails to perform his basic duties under the contract of employment and persists in violating them despite formal investigation with him in this respect and warning him of dismissal if the same is repeated.

6. If he divulges any secrets of the establishment where he is employed.

7. If he is awarded final judgement by the competent court in respect of an offence prejudicing honour, honesty or public morals. 8. If during working hours he is found drunk or under the influence of drug. 9. If in the course of his work he commits an assault on the employer, the manager or any of his colleagues. 10. If he absents himself without lawful excuse for more that twenty intermittent days or for more than seven successive day during one year.

UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (121)

The employee may leave the service without notice in the following cases: a. If the employer does not fulfil his obligations towards the employee as provided for in the contract or in this Law. b. If the employer of his legal regal representative has committed an act of assault against the employee.

UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (122)

Termination by the employer of an employee’s service is considered arbitrary if the cause for such termination has nothing to do with the work. In particular, termination is considered arbitrary if the employee’s service has been terminated on grounds, or a reasonable complaint lodged by him to the competent authorities, or on grounds of a justifiable action brought by him against the employer.

UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (123)*(* Amended by Federal Law No. (12) of 1986. )

a. If the employee has been arbitrarily dismissed, the competent court has the jurisdiction to give judgement against the employer for payment of compensation to the employee. The court shall determine the amount of this compensation, taking into consideration the nature of work sustained by the employee, period of service and after investigation of dismissal circumstances. Provided that in all cases the amount of compensation should not exceed the employee’s pay for a period of three months, to be worked out on the basis of last pay due to him. b. The provisions of the preceding clause shall not prejudice to the employee’s entitlement to the gratuity due to him and notice period provided for in this Law.

UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (124)

The employer may not terminate the service of an employee for his health deficiency before he avails himself of the leaves lawfully due to him. Any agreement to the contrary is deemed null and void even if it is made before this Law comes into operation.

 UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (125)

The employer shall provide the employee at the end of his service and at the latter’s request with an end of service certificate free of charge. Said Certificate shall include date of appointment and date of termination, total period of service, nature of work performed by him and his last pay plus allowances, if any. Certificates or diplomas, papers and tools belonging to the employee shall be returned to him.

UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (126)

If any change takes place in the form of the establishment or in its legal status, valid contracts at the time of change shall continue to exist so between the new employer and the employees of the establishment, and service shall be deemed to be continuous. Both the former and the new employers shall jointly be liable for a period of six months for the fulfillment of obligations arising from contracts of employment in the period prior to such change and after the lapse of the said period the new employer shall be solely responsible.

UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (127)

If work assigned to the employee allows to acquaint with the employer’s clients or have access to the secrets of his work, the employer may oblige the employee that after termination of the contract he may not compete with him or take part in any business interest competitive to the employer’s. Such agreement shall be valid only if the employee has reached the age of 21 years at the time of its being executed and if the agreement is limited with respect to the place, time and nature of work to the extent as is necessary to safeguard the lawful interest of business.

UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (128)

Any non-national employee who absents himself from work without lawful reasons prior to the end of the contract for a limited period, may not take up employment elsewhere even with the consent of the employer for one year after the date on which he absented himself from duties. And no other employer who is aware of that may employ or keep such employee in his service during such period.

UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (129)

If the non-national employee has notified the employer of his desire to terminate the contract with unlimited period and has absented himself from work before the end of the legal notice period, he may not take up employment elsewhere before the lapse of one year from date of absence from work, even with consent of employer, and no other employer, who is aware of the case may recruit him or keep him in service before the end of such period.

UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (130)

The provisions of UAE Labour Law UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (128) and (129) exempt non-national employee who obtains prior approval of the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs before taking up another employment with the approval of the original employer.

UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (131)

Expenses for repatriation of an employee to his place of origin or any other place agreed upon by both parties shall be borne by the employer. If the employee after the end of his contract takes up employment somewhere else, repatriation expenses upon termination of his service shall be paid by the last employer subject to the provisions in the preceding clauses, and if the employer has failed to repatriate the employee and has not paid the repatriation expenses, the competent authorities shall do this at the employer’s expense by way of attachment. If the cause for termination of contract is attributed to the employee, his repatriation will be arranged at his own expense if he has the mean to pay.

UAE LABOUR LAW UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (131) (REPEATED) (* Added by Federal Law No. (12) of 1986.)

1. In application of the provisions stated in the preceding clause, the expenses of employer’s repatriation shall mean the cost of his travel ticket and whatever is provided for in the employment contract or in the bylaws of the Establishment, such as the employee’s entitlement to travel tickets for his family and costs for shipment of his luggage.

2. In the cases where the employer provides the employee with accommodation, the employee shall be obliged to vacate the accommodation within a period not to exceed thirty days from the date of his service termination.

3. The employee may not delay vacation of accommodation, thereafter, for any reason whatsoever, provided that the employer fulfills his obligation towards the employee with respect to the followings:

  • Expenses defined in Clause (1) under this Article.
  • End of service remuneration and any other dues assumed by the employer under the employment contract or the bylaws or the Law.

4. However, if the employer raised a dispute with respect to the amount of expenses and dues referred to above; the competent labour Department shall determine urgently the amount of such expenses and dues, within one week of a notification being sent to it, provided always that after such determination is made by the Labour Dept. the employee must be informed forthwith.

5. In such a case, the validity of the thirty days period referred to in Clause 2 under this Article, shall take effect from the date, the employer deposits the expenses and dues determined by the labour Department, with the treasury of Labour Dept. as a trust. If however the employee has failed to vacate the accommodation after expiry of the said thirty days, the Labour Department, in cooperation with the competent authorities in the concerned Emirate, will take the necessary administrative action to secure vacation. 6. No provisions under this Article is deemed to prejudice the right of employee to litigate thereabout before the competent court.

UAE Labour Law UAE LABOUR LAW ARTICLE (131-a-1)( Added by Federal Law No. (14) of 1999.)

1. Employer shall undertake to submit a bank guarantee to the competent labour department. The type, amount, procedures and companies and establishments subject to this condition, as well as other relevant provisions shall be defined by a Cabinet Resolution. Such guarantee shall be for the good performance of the employer’s obligations stipulated in Articles 131 and 131-a herein.

2. Deduction of amounts from the bank guarantee mentioned in para (1) of present article shall be by virtue of a court judgement, except for the following:

  • Return expenses of the employee to his home country or wherever as agreed with employer.
  • Amounts acknowledged by employer before the competent labour department as entitlements of employee. In both cases, the Ministry may deduct such entitlements from the guarantee referred to in Para (1) hereof and pay the same to the employee to settle his dues.


Deepak is a Credit and Risk professional, with interests in Technology, Business Quizzing, Reading, Writing, Table Tennis and Photography.

29 Responses to “Termination of Labour Contract in Dubai Abu Dhabi UAE”

  1. Nadine

    Apr 17. 2014

    What if we are working for 12 hours then our maddame did not pay the overtime.. She always say that she will pay our ot when she get the money she spend for her business.

    Reply to this comment
  2. cinderella

    Apr 16. 2014

    we are over staffed, and we will have to fire people. 90% of such are on limited contracts with us. we will give them one month notice of course.
    the question is, what else are they entitled to if the contract is not finished?

    thanks

    Reply to this comment
  3. raj

    Apr 15. 2014

    hi,
    I am working in dubai for the past 4 months and currently under probation period. My salary is 4k and its a limited contract of 2 years. Recently, i got a new offer of 7.5k in Free zone and want to resign from the present job.
    Will their be any ban and do i need to give any notice??
    What is the process and time required for cancellation??

    Reply to this comment
    • Deepak M

      Apr 15. 2014

      Yes you may get an automatic six months labour ban
      Yes you may need to give notice as well as compensation for 45 days salary since it is a limited contract
      Depends on your company PRO . Usually it takes one week or less than that

      Reply to this comment
  4. M Alam

    Apr 11. 2014

    sir i worked for 1 year with dulsco ,now i got job in Etihad airways .will dulsco can impose ban on me?

    Reply to this comment
  5. guyius

    Mar 25. 2014

    Hi Deepak M, pls i need to know how long it takes an employment visa to be processed in dubai! I hv submitted my papers to my employer since jan 20th and uptiill now ! I have not gotten a response from him !

    Reply to this comment
    • Deepak M

      Mar 30. 2014

      Hardly it takes one week if all required documents are clear.

      Reply to this comment
  6. Aly

    Mar 17. 2014

    Hi,

    Ive been given a termination letter by my employer a day after he approved my annual leave. and there’s no grounds written on the termination so I signed. My dismissal was unfair. I’m under a unlimited contract. and we had issues of delayed salaries and filed complain together with my other colleagues. What is the best thing is should do?

    Reply to this comment
  7. Ria Roxas

    Mar 13. 2014

    Dear Sir / Madam ;

    My company ask me to choose for the ff resignation or termination by force . they told me to sign which ever so. I signed the termination paper which is their grounds is poor performance . I have established the company for one year. The new General Manager was always finding faults in my work . is there any grounds that she take it personally against me. I would like to know if I can seek an assistance in Labour. i have recorded the conversation.please advise

    Reply to this comment
    • Deepak M

      Mar 17. 2014

      For this matter it is not advisibale to go to Labour . It is better you try to discuss and compromise the issue with your general manager

      Reply to this comment
  8. aldwin

    Mar 13. 2014

    i resign to my company after my 2 months working with them and hr told me that i need to pay 3000 aed as per labor law in uae?is it true?as my college inform me that i dont need to pay any amount as i am under provision?please advise.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Anil Sandy

    Mar 08. 2014

    termination due to article 120, clause 10, should the company shoulder the ticket or the employee should shoulder? kindly advise?

    Reply to this comment
    • Deepak M

      Mar 09. 2014

      in this case i think employee should shoulder the air ticket expenses. I would suggest you to check with MOL.

      Reply to this comment
  10. Rocky

    Feb 26. 2014

    Good Day!
    If you get terminated after 6 mos.of service,is it true that the sponsor will send you to your home country and they will cover the ticket expense and they will not allow you to look for another job? What if they’ll release you with NOC? Will you still have a 6 month ban? Your reply would be highly appreciated. Thanks!

    Reply to this comment
    • Deepak M

      Feb 27. 2014

      If you are terminated then company will shoulder your air ticket expenses to your home country. You will have one month grace period after the cancellation . During your grace period you can search for other job. If they release you with NOC i dont think you will have problem with ban.

      Reply to this comment
  11. Anne Tampoc

    Jan 06. 2014

    Dear Sir,
    My company terminated our contract yesterday Jan 5 2014. I have worked for them for 1 year and 2mos. They don’t have any grounds for terminating my contract. They said that they don’t have enough budget for us. In my termination letter it is written there business Reconstruction so its not our fault. I just want to ask if we have ban in Labor and how much the amount they should give us?They said they will pay us 1 month salary. Thank you so much.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Anne

    Jan 06. 2014

    Dear Sir,
    My company terminated our contract yesterday Jan 5 2014. I have worked for them for 1 year and 2mos. They dont have any grounds for terminating my contract. They said that they dont have enough budget for us. In my termination letter it is written there business Reconstruction so its not our fault. I just want to ask if we have ban in Labor and how much the amount they should give us?They said they will pay us 1 month salary. Thank you so much.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Dubai Lovers

    Jan 01. 2014

    Hi sir,

    Please can u tell me are we get ban if we get termination
    from the employ have unlimited contract service done almost 22 months.

    Regards

    Reply to this comment
    • Deepak M

      Jan 13. 2014

      If you are terminated company should give you release so as to avoid ban.

      Reply to this comment
  14. Sam

    Dec 18. 2013

    Hi Deepak,

    I recently took over a company and found employee culture toxic. The engineer working under me shows contempt and insults me by refusing to reply questions. I cannot provide warning letter as he may become more abusive and closed. In this case if I get a replacement how do I quickly fire the employee?

    Reply to this comment
  15. Robert

    Dec 12. 2013

    Hi Good day.

    I have question about the article 121. It says If the employer of his legal regal representative has committed an act of assault against the employee the contract may now terminated without notice. What if Verbal Assault, is that cover under article 121?

    please reply here: bertmailbox2007@icloud.com

    Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks

    Reply to this comment
  16. Mylene

    Dec 12. 2013

    Hi sir I’m mylene from Philippines and I am working in aldar..but my employer give me ,termination letter this November 11 2013 and its written in the letter that I will comeback this December 11 , 2013 .but i did not come..they want my passport so that they can cancel my visa.until now did not give my passport and I did not came on that day.sir Is there posible. That they can make problem for and they will not give money because of what I did.hope u can help me to answer alll my question ..thank you so much

    Reply to this comment
    • Deepak M

      Dec 16. 2013

      Yes if you are visa is not cancelled then company has the right to put you under absconded list.

      Reply to this comment
  17. charmaine kaye santos

    Dec 06. 2013

    Hi good evening I just want to ask I’m working as a sales lady in al whada mall, Abu dhabi uAE I have some problem about my employment I just want to know if there not fulfil there obligations for us as in the contract our salary of last november until now there’s not giving and this al whada mall abu dhabi close 2 days ago because of the fire last Wednesday at 1am in that case they send me massage at 4pm that come to shop at 430pm sharp I reply them (at the first time) that I can’t come n duty cause of my stomach pain and they want me to make duty in morning at 930am until 11pm closing and I tell them why like this before I said your coming at duty at morning and I’m evening and then now there telling they will go pray and I tell them give me cancel visa or termination I will go home…. I just want to know what I need to do.. please help me thanks….

    Reply to this comment
    • Deepak M

      Dec 09. 2013

      If you are facing such kind of problem from your officer you can address this issue with MOL.

      Reply to this comment
  18. abdallah bin hussain bajubare

    Oct 04. 2013

    Dear Sir,

    Please find attach details is as follows:-

    Passport No. E 9457429

    Date of Issue: 08 – 06 – 2004

    Date of Expiry: 07 – 06 – 2014

    Place of Issue: Dubai, UAE.

    Please find how many months baned in UAE.

    Reply to this comment

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