Termination under Article 120
UAE Labour Law 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 companies; 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!
- False identity adopted by employee or submission of forged documents;
- During Probation Period;
- Errors by employee results in significant material/financial loss;
- Employee violates workplace safety rules;
- Failure to perform basic duties as per contract;
- Business secrets leaked!
- Judgement in court against employee for criminal offences;
- Found under the influence of alcohol during working hours;
- Assaults colleagues;
- Absent from work continuously for 7 days or intermittently for 20 days without informing.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.