10 Reasons why you can be fired!!

Termination under Article 120

UAE Labour LawOpens in a new tab. provides rights to both employers and employees. This means both, companies and individuals need to follow UAE Labor Law in UAE. It may not be applicable to free zone companiesOpens in a new tab.; however most of the free zones do follow UAE Labour Law. One of the aspects that UAE Labour Law covers is the Termination of Employment Contract by employers.

This is covered under the Article 120 of the UAE Labour Law.

So why, how and when can an employee be fired or terminated by the company?

There are 10 different reasons why and when an employee can be fired!

  1. False identity adopted by employee or submission of forged documents;
  2. During Probation Period;
  3. Errors by employee results in significant material/financial loss;
  4. Employee violates workplace safety rules;
  5. Failure to perform basic duties as per contract;
  6. Business secrets leaked!
  7. Judgement in court against employee for criminal offences;
  8. Found under the influence of alcohol during working hours;
  9. Assaults colleagues;
  10. Absent from work continuously for 7 days or intermittently for 20 days without informing.

termination uae labor law 2016

Detailed explanation of Article 120:

Here I will provide you with detailed explanations for each of the above scenarios when can an employee be fired from company under Article 120.

  1. If the employee adopts a false identity or nationality or if he submits forged documents and certificates:
    • If while your employment contract is being drawn, you have taken up a false identity or duplicate identity and your employer becomes aware of this, you can be terminated without any notice under Article 120. Also if you have adopted a false nationality through forged documents like passports and if your employer becomes aware, you can be terminated.
    • When applying for your employment/labour approval, you have to provide your educational certificates. if you have forged your educational certificates, you are liable to be terminated. Your company also requests your experience certificates from the previous employers. If these are found to be forged, you will be fired as per the rules of UAE Labour Law under Article 120. So beware of these rules and regulations. Submitting any kind of false documents like passports, experience certificates are also criminal offences under UAE Laws. Not only would you lose your job, you also may be reported to court for these offences.
  2. If the employee is appointed under a probationary period and dismissal occurred during or at the end of the said period:
    • It is a known fact that, during probation period, your company can fire you or terminate you without any reason. In most cases, your company may fire you during probation period because your on job performance has not been good. Not only for this reason, your company can fire you for any reason or no reason at all during the probation period.
  3. If he commits error causing substantial material loss to the employer provided that the latter advises the labour department the incident within 48 hours from having the knowledge of the same:
    • If you have committed any serious mistake that has resulted in a financial loss for your company, then your company has the right to fire you. It is not clear from here what is ‘substantial.’ However, I believe this depends on the company type. For a small company, substantial can mean even 10000 Dirhams. But, your company should inform MOL within 2 days of the incident or within 2 days of having knowledge of the incident. These type of offences are rare, however, I have heard them happen.
  4. If the employee violates instructions containing 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:
    • UAE Labour Law, also provides provisions for the safety and security of the work place. Every employee should adhere to the safety standards adopted by the company. If you have not obeyed the safety requirements, you can be terminated from your work for negligence to adhere to such rules. This is serious offence considering many of the companies in UAE are construction and project related. If you have passed by any construction site, you would have noticed certain notices that have been put up at the entrances or important places. You have to adhere by these rules and they are up there for a reason.
  5. If he fails to perform 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:
    • When you join any company, you are given your job description or Key Performance Index (KPI) upon which you are evaluated. These documents mention what you are supposed to be doing. However, if you have not been able to even perform the basic requirements of the job duties, you can be fired under Article 120 of UAE Labour Law. Furthermore, your company can issue warnings against you in this regard. If you have still failed to perform you duties and requirements, your company can fire you.
  6. If he divulges secrets of the establishment where he is employed:
    • By virtue of your work, you may come across information and secrets of how your business is run and managed well. This is confidential information and should remain this way. You are not supposed to leak or divulge this information to any 3rd party. If your company finds out that you have leaked the company secrets, your employer can fire you as per Article 120.
  7. If he is awarded final judgment by the competent court in respect of an offence prejudicing honour, honesty or public morals:
    • IF during your course of employment, you are found to have violated certain laws and the courts issues judgment against you, your company can dismiss you as per Article 120.
  8. If during working hours he is found drunk or under the influence of drug:
    • This is self explanatory! If you have been caught in the act of being drunk, intoxicated by alcohol or any kind of drug during your working hours, you can be fired as per Article 120.
  9. If in the course of his work he commits an assault on the employer, the manager or any of his colleagues:
    • Have you heard of the news where an employee physically assaulted his manager? He was fired from the work! Any kind of physical assault that you commit against your employer, manager or your colleagues can lead you to get fired. This is true even during non working hours. There are multiple cases reported in the news papers where the company fired employees for getting into physical fights with each other. However, I am clear as to whether, this rules contains mental or verbal assault.
  10. If he absents himself without lawful excuse for more than 20 intermittent days or for more than 7 successive days during one year:
    • Whenever you take leaves, you are supposed to inform your employer that you will be absent from work. If you have informed or taken permission for being absent, you can be terminated under the UAE Labour Law. It is important that you have taken a written approval when absenting yourself from work.

What are the benefits if you are terminated ?

If you are fired or  terminated under UAE Labour Law article 120, there are no benefits except that you will paid salary till your last working day. You will not be paid gratuity EOSB for your services. Your accrued leaves will be cancelled. However, you will get one way air ticket for your journey home.

What should you do when you are fired under Article 120?

There is little that you can do when you are fired under Article 120 of the UAE Labour Law. The rules and scenarios mentioned there are crystal clear as to the offences that Ministry of Labour considers serious. Hence, you should familiarise yourself with the scenarios under which you can be terminated and avoid committing these offences.

However, it should be clearly established that you have committed the offence. If you have not committed any offence mentioned under Article 120 and are terminated, you may file a complaint with MOL. All the communication should be in writing and officially signed by employer/company.

I am sure you have learnt something new through this post. Let me know what do you think about this. Comment below your doubts.


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

24 thoughts on “10 Reasons why you can be fired!!

  1. Hello sir ,
    I get termination letter from company,as article 120,like mentioned cases 8 &9 ..
    So I want to know is there any ban for me ,can I come back agian in any other company?

  2. Good Afternoon, I simply want to know that if my employer didn’t pay my salary since two months, can I go to court to obtain NOC that I can stay here legally and can find an other job. Just I want to know the limit that only last two months period is much enough or it should be more than this, please confirm.

  3. Good evening. Im near to finish my contract. I join my duty october 9,2015 and finish this coming october 2017. But my employer terminate me today august 31.2017. I got my surgery last july 25.2017 and the doctor give me only 10 days sick leave(25.7.17 to 3.8.17)as doctor said he cannot give me more than 10 days as per goverment law. Since 4.8.17 to 25.8.17 i am absent at work as a cleaner. I email my employer about my condition and not able to perform to my duties yet. I just want to know if there is ban for this situation. And what are the benifits i can get from my company.and also after my termination i want to know if i can still stay here in uae and find another job. Please helpe to know thank you.

  4. Hi good evening. Im soon to finish my contract. I join my work october 9.2015 and finish this october 2017. My employer terminated me today august 31.2017. I have my surgery last july 25.2017. My doctor give me only 10 days(july 25 to august 3.2017) sick leave as he said goverment law not more than 10 days. Im not able to work yet after that as i am a cleaner in cleaning company. I joined my duty again last august 26.2017. I email my employer regarding my condition that im not yet able to work. And so she considered it absent since 4.8.17 to 25.8.17 (22 days). I just want to know if there is ban for this matter. And what benifits i can get. Please for me to know thank you.

  5. I need an . I am being terminated because I was being accused of “Gross Negligence”. However, there is no evidence for such, in fact i had never received any memos or warnings. They are accusing me that I made a decision that “could have put the company in a difficult situation”, but there was no evidence that I did that, in fact I am not even a signatory or part of a decision making body of the company. There was even no or any substantial loss to the company.

    Moreover, I just came from an annual leave last 4 January, I think as per rule – one cannot be terminated within a period of 6 months after completion of the annual leave. Is there really any rule like this?

    Please advise what to do.

  6. I called police to my.work.place because the clients we serve waged a fight against my fellows . After the police came and solved the issues . My company transferred me to another camp . In the due course of the transfer I spent 7 days of no working . At the end of the month the company didn’t not pay my 7 days with a complaint that I didn’t work with even a threat that they can terminate me . Is it right If I go to court with the company . Because I don’t think calling police is an offense in UAE because these fighting had happened over 5 times and the security at the camp always supported the clients . So help me .

  7. Dear sir,

    nice article about UAE labour law, very happy to read your article and knowledge about the Law,
    i don ‘t know about gratuity in the time of resignation or termination.please update about resignation and termination gratuity.


  8. Dear sir,
    I received a call from my assistant manager that our director manager wants to talk to me, then when I go to the office he said that company no longer needs me because they cannot even trust me at all as they said my loyalty is not for them, so they advise me to signed the termination paper with the Article 120,but I don’t know what is that for. So I signed that termination paper. Please advise if their procedure to terminate me is right with out any first offense letter instead direct termination. I don’t understand what grounds of their termination.
    Thank you.

  9. Dear Mr Deepak,
    I have been working in this company now for one 1 year 4 months now and today the 23 of this month December and i haven’t taken my annual leave .
    2016 i get a whataap message from from my colleague who is acting as an HR saying that the the owner of the company said i should go on leave till further notice that if there any work then they will call me back .who can advice on this forum ,

  10. good day..I’m mary grace my labour contract expired November 19,2016 but my employment contract start January 04,2015 expired January 03,2016 I submit one month notice before not to renew my labour contract and I end my last duty November 26,2016,,now my boss calculate my benefits 0 and,I owed 45days because he said I breached contract?but all I finished?what i will do?

  11. If I am working as a sales lady and it is a company rule that we are not allowed to accept gift from customer. But then the company found out I accepted a gift from customer ex. A rice cooker. Then the company terminated me. Told me my last day and have me signed my termination paper. Was it legal and correct?

  12. Good Morning.

    I started work in company and before my termination period company terminate several people same as me and now I will get 1 year ban.
    But I have loans and credits in banks of Dubai.
    And I dont find logic.
    If i cant work then how I will pay my banks, and if i dont pay banks i will not able to leave Dubai.
    Company where I been working asking me to 1950 AED and in that case they will run my visa till probation period, from where 950 AED will go to agency fee and 1000 AED will return to my account every month,or they will cancel my visa. But I dont have that money to pay them.
    So can any one tell me what to do, as I dont find any logic in my situation.

  13. Dear Sir,

    Good Evening !!!

    I m working here in Dubai since Nov 16 2014 in a hospitality management. Since day first i never received a single penny from my employer for hard work i did as over time. After one year i asked for an increment through mail and verbally but no response. They have kept my passport and not giving me back.

    Recently on 15 May 20165 my employer asked me to create an excel sheet which doesn’t contains any crucial data to be leaked where it has to be done in a time line . Where i wanted to formulate that sheet with a formula somehow it didn’t worked out. Neither my colleagues wasn’t sure about it. One of my friend gave me a contact number and said that he is very well aware about excel sheet. He told me that he he couldn’t help me out because he left office. so he asked me to send this data to his email id and he formulated the data and he sent me back. I didn’t deleted it because my intention was to complete my job with in time line due to work pressure.

    Info : These emails were sent from the company domain email ID itself. Not from my personal ID.

    Since they have n’t given any increment or OT
    I asked my colleague to create a pay slip of 5000 with company stamp to apply for a loan as per instructed by Bank personal .
    That was also saved in my company laptop.

    Unfortunately my employer saw both these mistakes one on company email and one on company laptop. On 19.o5.2016 he forced me to submit my resignation and since then his mental torturing and harassment started. Neither he he has accepted my resignation or allowing me to do notice period.

    He started black mailing since that day either i pay 200 00 dhms or he will make me to serve 3 yrs in jail. Later i begged him to relieve me from duty or terminate me.

    He said he knows i wont be able to pay that much money so he is asked me to pay 14000 which includes 45 days salary + Visa Fee + Legal Advisor Fee of 5000.

    He is claiming that he is doing this due to his personal avenge against me.

    No one to help.

    Kindly please reply me when you will be free. I m really stuck in nowhere .

  14. hi sir,
    i started to work in a company from the date of e-visa 12-10-2015 issued date.now i got a termination letter to all staffs because of loss in business/company closing them self.so me one person not complete my probation period then i find a job also but if company cancels my visa i will get 1 year ban so this ban can be remove if can how and what are the conditions.if company cancels my visa i will get benifits if not provide i can file a case because that was not my problem closing company.please let me get information.
    my visa is not cancelled but the are going to cancel.and also if they cancels what can i do ?
    hope soon get positive reply.


  15. I was on unlimited contract and terminated with one month notice. Reasons provided is economic downturn. Can I claim three months salary as compensation or call this arbitrary termination since the company with 900 employees has not terminated anybody else on similar grounds.

  16. Dear Mr Deepak,

    I was working on a Free Zone Visa. My services were terminated without giving any reason and without anything in written, i.e., there was no documentation. And the reason given verbally was none of the ones given here.

    What should I do?



  17. Hey Deepak, what if company says that your services are not required due to cost cutting measures?

  18. What about termination/ retrenchment due to recession or economic downturn? What are the benefits an employee can still expect from the employer under this scenario.

  19. What about termination without cause? I have a 3 years contract and I have just been fired without cause after 1 year abd half. I intend to take my employr to court. I will claim damages and seek compensation… What are the current practices? Thanks you

  20. Mr Deepak I was working in a Jewelry company.I came on vacation on 22 may but I did not go back my boss had taken my signature on cancellation before leaving me.How can I know my visa status.

  21. Dear Mr Deepak,
    I am a doctor and my employer has asked me to accept a salary way too less from next month, what I was getting earlier since Nov 2014. Otherwise, she can fire me next month.
    I am on an unlimited contract since Nov 2014.
    Is it really possible?

  22. Nice article.it is full of knowledge.But can you elaborate it more.what are the required documents for supporting this as a employer and what are the documents required to defend the offence as employee.

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