Politics and Legal

Arbitrary Dismissal in the UAE: All You Need to Know

It goes without saying that the UAE has set clear guidelines regarding employers’ rights. However, many expats and even residents remain ignorant of them, which ultimately lands them in the troubled waters quite frequently. Whether it is annual leaves, labour laws or arbitrary dismissal, UAE has left no stone unturned to explain and shed light on each and every aspect.

While you can always find the best legal firms in Dubai, it’s best to know some basic rights on your own. This article sheds light on some of the most important rules regarding arbitrary dismissal in the emirate.

What Is Arbitrary Dismissal?

Any dismissal or coerced resignation due to unlawful or unproven reasons or against the detailed rules and regulations laid down by the government is called arbitrary dismissal.

As per the Article 122 of the UAE Labour Law, “the termination of the employment of the worker by the employer shall be deemed arbitrary should the cause of termination not be related to the work, in particular, should the termination of the employment of the worker be made by reason of the filing by the latter of a serious complaint before the pertinent authorities or a valid claim against the employer.”

This article sheds light on some of the most common reasons. Continue reading!

Forced Resignation

If the employer asks the employee to submit their resignation under the threats of

  • Termination
  • Citing performance-related issues
  • Damage to property
  • Any other unlawful reason

All these factors fall under the category of arbitrary dismissal.

Termination on Basis of Poor Performance

The employers cannot terminate their employees without any prior or adequate actions irrespective of their performance. There are specific criteria sets that the employer can use against their workers when they feel them incompetent or not performing well, exhaustion of which the former can start a termination process.

Demotion or Forced Transfer

Demotion or forceful transfer followed by low pay is also one of the forms of arbitrary dismissal.

Termination If Company Suffer A Loss

If a company suffers a loss due to an employee, then they should report this case to the Ministry of Labour. This also includes proper proof within 48 hours of the incident. Failure to provide the proof can make the termination invalid and fall under the category of arbitrary dismissal.

Reasons When Termination Is Considered Lawful Without Any Notice

According to Article 120 of the UAE Labour Law, there are some reasons on the basis of which termination can be deemed lawful without any notice. For example, if the employee:

  • Possesses a false identity or nationality or submits fake documents or certificates.
  • Has been dismissed by the employer during the probation period.  
  • Commits mistakes which result in huge colossal material losses to the employer, provided, of course, they inform the Labour Department about the incident within 48 hours of the occurrence thereof.
  • Violates the rules and regulations set regarding the safety of the work or in the workplace. That said, it is the responsibility of the employer to display these regulations and rules on prominent locations. 
  • Fails to perform the duties set under an agreement. And they are unable to rectify despite getting a written investigation or warning that they will be dismissed in case of re-offence.
  • Unearths the secrets of the institutions they work for.
  • Convicts by the competent court in a crime of honesty, honour, or public ethics.
  • If the owner finds the employee doing unethical behaviour such as drunkenness or using a narcotic during work hours.

In all the aforementioned cases, the employer must give a clear reason and proof indicating why they terminate an employee. They should also provide written evidence of warning, notice, fines and memos.

Claims Against Arbitrary Dismissal

If you think that you have been dismissed on the illegal grounds, you can always file a complaint stating your point against the employer with the Ministry of Labour. This can move to a competent court in case of no amicable settlement. 

In such a case, the employee can ask for compensation in terms of the amount set by the court which does not exceed three months’ pay. They can also claim for gratuity, unpaid dues and other end-of-service benefits from the employer’s side. 

In a nutshell, read this article thoroughly so as to understand all the terms and conditions regarding arbitrary dismissal in UAE. In this way, you can avoid landing in troubled waters in the near future.

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