Absconding in UAE Labour Law (2023 Update)

Absconding: What does the UAE Labour Law say?

An “absconding case” refers to a situation where an employer reports that one of their employees has run away or disappeared without notice.

Sometimes employees leave their jobs without telling their employers. This is called ‘absconding.’ There are different reasons why this happens. Understanding why people might do this can help both employers and employees create better workplaces and prevent such situations.

Several factors can contribute to absconding cases in the UAE. It’s essential to understand these factors to address and prevent them effectively. Here are some common reasons:

  • Poor working conditions
  • Low salary or wage disputes
  • Unmet promises by employers
  • Abuse or mistreatment at work
  • Non-payment of wages
  • Contract violations
  • Personal circumstances or emergencies
  • Better job opportunities elsewhere
  • Lack of awareness about legal rights
  • Visa and residency permit issues

If you have absented yourself from your workplace for a continuous period of 7 days, your employer can report you as Absconding! It is that simple! As the word itself suggests, Absconding means not showing up for work without any valid reason or without informing your Manager or HR in advance. There may be many reasons for you not to attend the office or work. But it is your duty and obligation to inform about your absence in advance to your manager.

To file such a report, there are certain conditions that must be met, and the Public Prosecution officer needs to make sure these conditions are followed:

  1. If the employee being reported already has a complaint or a labor lawsuit pending with the appropriate ministry or court, an absconding report cannot be filed.
  2. If the employee is on sick leave, maternity leave, regular leave, or is absent for a valid reason, and it has been less than seven consecutive days since the start of their leave or lawful absence, an absconding report cannot be made.
  3. If the employer knows the employee’s whereabouts, and the employee can be contacted and brought back to the Ministry without any issues, an absconding report is not allowed.
  4. If the employee has not been absent from work for seven consecutive days or if they don’t meet the conditions mentioned in Article 1 of this decision, an absconding report should not be filed.
  5. If the employment relationship has ended for any reason, and it has been less than three months since the termination, whether or not the worker has a complaint or a labor lawsuit pending before the appropriate ministry or court, an absconding report cannot be submitted.
  6. If the interruption in work occurred due to unforeseen events or urgent necessity, and the worker couldn’t inform the employer, whether immediately after the end of leave or while at work, an absconding report is not allowed.
  7. If the communication about the absence is found to be false according to Article 12 of this decision, an absconding report should not be registered.
  8. If the report is made with malicious intent, in accordance with the provisions of Article 12 of this decision, an absconding report cannot be filed.
  9. In any other case where the competent employee is not convinced by the reasons for the request, they must refer the matter to the department or office director and issue a written order..

So, these are the conditions that need to be considered when deciding whether to file an absconding report or not.


Filing an absconding report

If your employee has not reported working for continuous 7 days and if you believe that your employee is inside UAE, you can file an Absconding report with Ministry of Labour. This is mentioned in the Ministerial Resolution No. (721) for 2006 of Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 on Escape Report Procedures.

absconding in uae labour law resolution

Documents required to file Absconding Report:

  • Make sure that the employee is inside country. For this, take print of Personnel File from eDNRD site or from Immigration to prove that the employee is inside UAE. Fees for this is AED 120.
  • Passport copy;
  • Labour Card or Emirates ID copy;
  • Labour Establishment Card copy;
  • Original e-signature card of the authorised signatory;
  • Trade License copy;
  • Date of abscond;
  • Application Fee: Dh53 should be paid at Tas’heel Centre

Process to file Absconding report (Steps to follow):

  • Type electronic abscond application from Tas’heel Centre;
  • Wait for online approval by next day;
  • Take approval print-out and submit at Immigration Department along with Trade License copy & Immigration Establishment Card copy;
  • Immigration fee: AED 340 (in Dubai) (subject to change).
    • Air Ticket fare should be deposited at Immigration for some nationalities.
    •  Immigration fee: AED 5350 (Sharjah). Part of the amount will refunded after employee’s exit.

What if I have FAKE ABSCONDING report?

In the UAE, if your employer wrongly claims that you ran away from your job (called ‘absconding’), they can be fined 5,000 Dirhams. If your employer has falsely reported you as an absconder, here’s what you can do:

  1. Contact the Ministry: First, get in touch with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE). Ask them for your work-related rights, like your final pay and benefits.
  2. Ask for Legal Help: You can request the Ministry to involve the Labour court, which handles work-related disputes. This can help you get your unpaid salary and other benefits.
  3. Hire a Lawyer: It’s a good idea to hire a lawyer who knows UAE labor laws. They can make sure you’re properly represented when dealing with the authorities and the court.
  4. Share Important Details: Your lawyer will need to know more about your job, your employment contract, why you were let go, and if there were any accusations against you. These details matter in your case.
  5. Be Careful: Mishandling this situation could lead to problems like being detained or deported without getting the benefits you deserve. So, it’s important to seek legal help and follow the correct steps to resolve the issue.

Remember, UAE rules are in place to protect employees from false accusations, and companies can be fined if they make untrue claims of employees being absconders.

What if employee has actually Absconded?

If it is verified that the worker had not been working in the organization throughout the previous three months or /and rather was working with another organization holding the visa of the old organization, the employee might be given a one-year ban regardless of the possibility that the report is cancelled.

How to cancel Absconding Report?

A company may cancel an absconding report in the event that they give an endorsement that there was a mistake in the report. For instance, the name included wasn’t right or the worker was hospitalized or was detained and was absent due to this from work.

If you are an employee, then you can provide valid proof that they have attended work and that they have informed the concerned management. If you find that your name appears on the Absconding list and that you have actually kept your employer informed about your absence, you can approach the Ministry of Labour and provide them with proof.

How to report Employee Absconding when the employee is out of UAE?

If you know that your employee is out of UAE, then you can not file an absconding report. However, when you are cancelling the visa of the employee, you may request to impose one year ban on the employee.

If an employee leaves a job without notice in the UAE, will there be a ban on returning to the country? Does this impact working in other Gulf countries?

Yes, leaving a job this way in the UAE could lead to a ban. The ban might stop them from returning to the UAE for a while, or even forever. But usually, this ban only applies to the UAE, not other Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia or Qatar.

To know more about bans and how long they last, it’s a good idea to ask the authorities in the specific country you’re interested in. Just remember, rules can change, so it’s important to keep up to date.

How to make a Labor Complaint to MOHRE?

If you have a problem at work in the UAE and want to complain to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE), here‘s how you can do it:

  1. Visit Twa-fouq Centers: These centers are approved by MOHRE and are there to help employees and employers settle issues. They try to find a solution that works for both sides.
  2. Provide Information: When you go to the center, you need to give them all the important documents and information related to your case. This includes your passport, Emirates ID card, work contract, termination notice, and other details about your employer and company. If you can, it’s a good idea to have a lawyer help you with this process to protect your rights.
  3. Be Patient: The process can take a few weeks with the Ministry. If the case goes to court, it can take longer, especially if the employer has their own claims.
  4. It’s Usually Free: Normally, you don’t have to pay anything for this process. However, if the amount of money you’re claiming is over 100,000 Dirhams, you might need to pay a court fee, which is 5% of the claimed amount.

Important resources:


Wrongful Absconding cases in UAE-Justice served!

Khaleej TimesOpens in a new tab.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQs on Absconding in the UAE

What is absconding in the UAE?

Absconding means leaving your job without telling your boss or breaking your work agreement.

What can happen if my boss says I’m an absconder?

You might face problems with the law, be sent out of the UAE, or find it tough to get another job there.

Can my boss say I’m an absconder for no reason?

No, they need good reasons and must follow rules to call you an absconder.

Can I complain if my boss wrongly calls me an absconded?

Yes, you can complain to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) to dispute false claims.

What proof should I collect to defend myself against being called an absconder?

Collect documents like your work contract, firing letter, messages with your boss, and proof of valid time off.

Can I quit my job if I’m mistreated or not paid without being called an absconder?

Yes, you can leave if you’re mistreated or not paid. Talk to MOHRE for help.

How long does it take to fix an absconding issue?

It varies but might take a few weeks with MOHRE and longer if it goes to court.

Does it cost money to file an absconding case or complaint?

Usually, it’s free, but there might be fees if the amount you claim is very high.

Do I need a lawyer for my absconding case? 

It’s advisable to talk to a lawyer who knows UAE work laws to protect your rights.

Can my boss get in trouble for falsely saying I’m an absconder?

Yes, bosses can be fined for making false absconding claims.

Can I come back to the UAE after being called an absconder?

If you leave your job without notice in the UAE (absconding), you could face a one-year employment ban. During this time, you can’t work in the UAE, and other employers can’t hire you. Returning can be tough but possible with legal help and solving the case.

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Deepak is a passionate blogger with interests in bitcoin, online marketing, and writing.

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