Air Ticket allowance – do you get one?
On the Emirates Diary Forum, I was asked a questions: “Am I entitled for air ticket every year as per UAE Labour Law?“
Previously I thought that if you work in UAE, you are by default entitled for air ticket. However, after reading the UAE labour Law, I cam to know that, Annual Air Ticket allowance is not mentioned anywhere in Labour Law. Providing air ticket to employees is not mandatory in the UAE Labour Law. It is an added facility over and above salary and other allowances that companies provide to employees. Most of us do think that air ticket is a right of employees. But providing air ticket is not mandatory as per UAE Labour Law.
When is Air Ticket allowance applicable?
However, there are certain situations, when a company is liable to provide air ticket:
Upon expiry of employee’s employment contract:
When an employee completes the employment contract and there is no intention to renew the contract, the company should provide the air ticket to the employee’s home country. This is mentioned in the Article 131 of the 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.
Further Article 131 (Repeated) elaborates this:
Article 131 (Repeated): 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. Upon Termination of Employment Contract
When an employer / company fires an employee or terminates the employment contract, (also read Termination of Employment Contract) the employee is eligible for one way air ticket to their home country (home country defined in contract). If your labour contract is terminated or in simple words, if you are fired from your job, you are eligible for air ticket back home.
As you can see, air ticket is not a right of an employee. However, under certain situations you are eligible for air ticket.