Getting Terminated or Fired ? Read what your rights are!

Your Rights when terminated or fired!

An employee is eligible to below rights when he or she get terminated by the employer:

We previously wrote about Termination.Opens in a new tab.

fired terminated uae labour law

Notice period if terminated or dismissed:

As per the UAE Labour LawOpens in a new tab. the minimum notice period is 30 days. However it depends on company policy. An employer and employee can mutually agree to have longer notice period, but they cannot shorten notice to less than the statutory minimum period.

If either party decided to terminate the contract without completing the contract period , then that party must pay the compensation in lieu of notice based on the employee’s current pay in proportion to the number of days in default.

As per the Article 120 of the UAE Labour LawOpens in a new tab. employer has the right to terminate the employee without notice if the employee commits an act of gross misconduct are limited to the following:

  • If the employee assumes a personality or a nationality other than his own, or has submitted fake documents or certificates.
  • If the employee was appointed under probation and the termination happened during that period or at its end.
  • If the employee commits a mistake causing the employer a substantial financial loss, provided the employer informs the Ministry of the incident within 48 hours.
  • If the employee violates instructions relating to safety in the place of work, provided those instructions were written and displayed in a permanent place, and the employee has been informed of these instructions orally if he is illiterate.
  • If the employee fails to carry out his basic duties as stated in the contract and continues to do so in spite of a written interrogation and a warning that his service will be terminated if he repeats his misconduct.
  • If he discloses a secret of the establishment for whom he is working.
  • If he is conclusively convicted by the concerned court of a crime involving honour, honesty and public morals.
  • If he is found drunk or intoxicated by drugs during working hours.
  • If he commits a physical assault on the employer or manager or one of his colleagues during work.
  • If he becomes absent without a legitimate reason for more than 20 intermittent days or more than seven continuous days within one year.

However, both the parties (employer and employee) can agree :

  • to have a longer or shorter notice period,
  • to waive notice entirely
  • to accept a payment in lieu of notice

An employer can dismiss an employee without notice where the employee’s conduct constitutes misbehavior.

Severance payments:

As per the LawOpens in a new tab. any employee in the organization who have completed at least one year’s continues service with an employer is entitled to an end of service gratuity paymentOpens in a new tab. on termination of their employment contract.

The same rule is applicable under DIFC Employment Law and there is no reduction in end of service gratuityOpens in a new tab. when an employee resigns.

Procedural requirements for dismissal

An employer must cancel or transfer sponsorship of an employee’s residence visa and labour card (or ID card if the employee is working in the in the free zones) within 30 days following termination of employment. Employees must sign a final settlement form confirming that they have received all of their legal entitlements before the authorities will cancel their residence visa and labour card (or ID card, if applicable).

The dismissal of UAE National employees is prohibited without the Minister of Labour’s approval. There are no other express protections from dismissal as such. Other than UAE nationals, there are no specific categories of protected employees.

COVID- 19 – Can Employer Terminate The Employees?

Employers in worldwide including UAE are facing unpredictable business challenges and are struggling with how to manage their employment relationship within the boundaries of the law at the same time keeping their business running.

There are many establishment within hospitality, Restaurants, Gym, F&B and retail are facing many challenges and forced to reduce their workforce or shut their operations due to are Covid 19 outbreak and are unable to pay the employee salaries.

Ministerial resolution No. 279 of 2020 (Resolution 279), effective 26 March 2020, allows private sector businesses affected by precautionary measures taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to restructure the contractual relationship with their employees.

Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) has clarified that if companies have surplus in the number of  non-national employees whose employment will be terminated:

  • Must register their data in the virtual labor market system, to enable them to recycle according to the needs of other facilities, which is particularly helpful for sectors experiencing an increase in business operations given the current suspension of foreign recruitment. A new employer can then lawfully hire the employee by choosing one of the following work permit options: transfer of work permit, temporary work permit or part time work permit.
  • Must continue to providing housing and paying dues other than wages; until they leave the country or authorize them to work in another facility in UAE
  • Residence is provided to them until they leave the country or authorize them to work in another facility in UAE
  • At the time of cancellation must ensure their dues are paid from the end of service gratuity and leave allowance.

And the ministry explained that Resolution 279 doesn’t go so far as to expressly define redundancy termination arising in connection with Covid-19 or otherwise – as an automatically ‘valid’ reason to dismiss an employee under the UAE Labour Law and the decision stipulated that if the employee and the employer did not agree on the precautionary measures stipulated, and the employer was involved with the employees because of his surplus labor, low revenues, and his inability to pay his obligations, then he may dismiss employees from the service.

However, it is likely that the courts will be more sympathetic to employers who can prove that redundancy terminations were the only viable option for the business.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation’s (MOHRE) decision regarding employment stability in private sector establishments stipulated 5 measures to support employers reshuffling their business structures by gradually adopting the following:

  • implementing a remote work system;
  • granting employees paid leave;
  • granting employees unpaid leave;
  • temporarily reducing salaries; and
  • permanently reducing salaries.

First: Implement “Remote Working System”

Second:  In the event that the “remote” work system does not match the nature of the company’s work, company can decide to send the employee on paid leave

Third:  In the event if an employee does not have an available balance of annual leave, then the employer can send them on unpaid leave which must be agreed by both employer as well as employee.

Fourth: Temporary reduction of the employee’s monthly salary must provide additional addendum for the employment contract between the two parties and “it is not permissible for the employer to implement any of the decisions regarding the reduction of wages, except in agreement with the worker, and companies may not take these decisions individually.”

Fifth: Permanently Reducing Salaries must provide additional addendum for the employment contract between the two parties and “it is not permissible for the employer to implement any of the decisions regarding the reduction of wages, except in agreement with the worker, and companies may not take these decisions individually.”

If the procedures are applied individually, without their consent, the employee may file a complaint with the Ministry.

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

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