//One-year ban for failing to report disputes in UAE

One-year ban for failing to report disputes in UAE

By Wafa Issa, Gulf News, 09 Nov 2006

Dubai: A worker who terminates his labour contract for a valid reason must notify the Ministry of Labour within three months or he will be banned for a year, according to a new rule.

If the worker does not inform the ministry he will be violating the law even though the work permit has not expired, the ministerial decision issued by Dr Ali Bin Abdullah Al Ka'abi , Minister of Labour, on Wednesday stipulates.

Humaid Bin Deemas, assistant undersecretary at the ministry, said the decision that outlines the rules for working in the country has been initiated to encourage workers to voice their concerns to the ministry and help regulate the job market.

"The decision was taken to protect workers' right, solve their problems, educate them about their rights and create an opportunity to file their complaints and prevent exploitation," Bin Deemas said.

Expatriates have to notify the ministry if they terminate their labour contract within three months otherwise they will be violating the law even though the work permit has not expired, according the ministerial decision issued by Al Ka'abi on Wednesday.

"We want to encourage workers to legalise their situation and understand the rules by giving them the opportunity to contact us when terminating their contracts," said Bin Deemas adding that this will limit the number of violations.

However, workers who have had their labour contracts terminated due to violations as per the labour law, a court decision, provoke or take part in a protest with no valid reason or have a contagious disease will still get a one-year ban.

The new decision stipulates workers to report their situation to either the labour relations department or the investigation unit at the ministry within the three-month period.

Workers who provide valid reasons for terminating their contracts such as the non-existence of the company, leaving the company due to assault or for not being paid will have their cases looked into by the ministry and will be allowed a sponsorship transfer according to the ministry's regulations.

The ministry of Labour can transfer the sponsorship without the consent of the sponsor if the ministry finds that the employee was unfairly treated.

According to the decision, there are a number of situations that oblige the worker to inform the ministry within three months of terminating the contract.

They are: Shutting down of or bankruptcy of the establishment in which he was working; termination of contract based on mutual agreement; resignation; when leaving the job because the employer did not fulfil his commitments as stated in the contract or if the employer had assaulted him and terminating of contract during the probation period.

The decision also targets 'bogus' establishments and workers who help them flourish, said Bin Deemas.

Permits can be cancelled in sponsor's absence

The Ministry of Labour can cancel work permits without the presence of the sponsor, according to the new ministerial decision.

According to the decision, a worker can approach the ministry, wanting to cancel his work permit. The ministry will then notify the sponsor and if he does not come to the ministry within a week, the ministry will cancel the permit.

If the sponsor objects to the cancellation, but does not have a valid reason, the ministry will cancel it. The worker is not obliged to pay any cancellation charges if he wishes to return to his home country.