Employment contract can be terminated by either employer and employee without the other’s consent
‘I filed a complaint against my employer’
I have worked in a company for more than two years. I have now filed a complaint against my employer for not granting me annual leave during this period. When the employer came to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, he gave me a termination letter. He said my services were being terminated because I had filed a complaint against him before the ministry. I refused to accept the letter. Is the employer entitled to terminate me for this reason, or am I entitled to object to it in court and request it to reinstate me? Will this termination be considered arbitrary dismissal? Will the termination letter be considered valid even though I rejected the letter?
Article 122 of Federal Labour Law No 8 of 1980 states: “A worker’s service shall be deemed to have been arbitrarily terminated by his employer if the reason for the termination is irrelative to the work and, particularly, if the reason is that the worker has submitted a serious complaint to the competent authorities, or has instituted legal proceedings against the employer that have proved to be valid.”
As for the possibility of being reinstated, the law does not oblige the employer to reinstate the worker again even if he was dismissed arbitrarily.
Finally, as per the law, one party — employer or employee — does not require the other’s consent to terminate the employment contract.
Vacating company accommodation
I have worked in a company for more than two years. My labour contract states that I shall be paid a salary plus commission. A month ago, the employer terminated my services because I asked him to pay my overdue commissions. In the past, every time I asked my employer to pay me my commission, he promised to pay me the following month, but never did. Two weeks ago, I filed a complaint against my employer, which was referred to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, which in turn referred the complaint to court after I failed to reach an amicable solution with my employer. I live in the company’s accommodation along with my family. Now, the employer has asked me to vacate the accommodation within a month, or else he has threatened to cut off the electricity. Is the employer entitled to evict me from the accommodation before paying me my end-of-service gratuity? As per the UAE labour law, when do I have to leave the company accommodation?
Article 131 of Federal Labour Law No 8 of 1980 states: that in cases where the employer provides accommodation to the worker, the worker shall be obliged to vacate the premises within 30 days from the date of termination of his services. The worker should not delay vacating the premises for any reason, provided that the employer pays the worker the following:
The expenses specified under the law, and severance pay and any other entitlements he is obliged to pay in accordance with the labour contract, the establishment’s regulations, or the law.
If the worker disagrees with the amount of the expenses and entitlements, the labour department shall determine, as a matter of urgency, and within a week from being notified, these expenses and entitlements and shall inform the worker.
The counting of the 30-day grace period for vacating the company accommodation shall commence from the date of the employer depositing the employee’s expenses and entitlements. If the employee does not vacate the premises within this period, the labour department with the assistance of competent authorities shall take necessary administrative measures to get the premises vacated.
In all circunstances, the worker has the right to take his case to court.
Finally, as per the law, nobody has the right to cut the electricity supply to the premises unless authorised by a court.
Questions answered by advocate Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Shaiba Advocates and Legal Consultants.