UAE Labour Law

The UAE Labour Law outlines information on employee entitlements, employment contracts and disciplinary rules. The law is employer friendly, but it also clearly outlines employee rights. You can download a copy of the document from the Ministry of Labour website; the document has not been fully updated for some time but amendments and additions are often posted on the site.

Your employment contract will detail your working conditions, as set by the law – everything from annual leave to working hours, gratuity to maternity leave.

Non payment of salary
If you find yourself in the situation where you have not been paid (including women on maternity leave), you can file a case with the UAE Labour Department which will take the necessary action. You could also get a lawyer to deal with the claim on your behalf. Although lawyers are expensive in Dubai, the employer will have to bear the cost if the case is settled in your favour.

Transferring A Visa
If you are planning to transfer your visa, your new employer will first need to gain permission from your previous employer, after getting approval from the Ministry of Labour. Free zone visas can usually be transferred from one employer to the next. However, the previous employer needs to agree to the transfer and may need to provide a no objection certificate (NOC). Keep in mind that this NOC may also need to be translated into Arabic, on headed notepaper, and signed by the local sponsor.
 
Non-free zone visas need to be cancelled before you can apply for a new one. You should also sign a document instructive of a six-month work ban. This ban can be lifted with an NOC from a previous employer. When a non-free zone visa is cancelled, the new employer may have to pay a fine for the duration of the remainder of the visa, if the employee has not completed a specified period of work. 
 
Company Closure
If the company you work for closes, you are still entitled to outstanding holiday pay and gratuity. The Ministry of Labour would need to be involved though. You are allowed to transfer sponsorship to a new employer; but if you can’t find a new job your visa will be cancelled and you will have to leave the country. To transfer the visa you'll need an attested certificate of closure, issued by the court and submitted to the Ministry of Labour. If your company were to close without cancelling their trade licence, you could receive a short-term ban from taking a new role with a new employer. Consult the appropriate government offices to get your paperwork right, or consider investing in the services of a specialist labour lawyer. 
 

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