May 9, 2019

Know your legal rights in the UAE.

Question1: I am a widow staying with my two children in our own apartment in Dubai. Currently, I am employed. But soon, my company will shut down and hence, I won't have a job and my employment visa will be cancelled. My children are schooling here and in order to complete their crucial academic year, I intend to stay in Dubai for another 1 year and 3 months.
I would like to know what are the options for getting a visa for me and my kids. Are we eligible for an investor licence? If yes, what is the procedure to get one?


Answer:  Pursuant to your queries, you may obtain a residence visa against the property you own in the emirate of Dubai. Property owners who have purchased a property of a minimum value of Dh1 million are entitled to apply for residence visa in the UAE, provided such a property has been completed and handed over to its owner by the developer. Such a visa is valid for two years.
The property owner initially has to approach the Dubai Land Department along with original passport, original title deed, NOC from the developer and copy of current visa page (if any). Based on the letter issued by the Dubai Land Department, you need to thereafter approach the Dubai Police for issuance of certificate of good conduct and later to the Dubai Economic Department along with the relevant documents and apply for an investor licence. Once the investor licence is issued by the Dubai Economic Department, you can approach the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (DNRD) to apply for residence visa in the UAE with aforementioned documents.
Once you obtain your residence visa, you are entitled to apply for residence visa for your children under your sponsorship in the UAE.

Know the law

Those who have purchased a property of a minimum value of Dh1 million are entitled to apply for residence visa in the UAE, provided such a property has been completed and handed over to its owner by the developer.
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

The legislative package also included the new insurance scheme for workers.

Earlier in June, UAE Cabinet announced major changes and new visa facilitation procedures for visitors, residents, families and people overstaying their visas.

Among them was the decision to introduce a new six-month visa for job seekers who overstayed their visa but wish to work in the country. The temporary visa is meant to enhance the UAE's position as a land of opportunities and a destination for talents and professionals.
The legislative package also included the new insurance scheme for workers that replaced the Dh3,000 deposit per worker with a new Dh60 insurance policy starting from mid-October 2018.
Under the new legislation, the government will also grant people overstaying their visa a chance to leave the country voluntarily without a "no entry" passport stamp. Individuals who entered the UAE illegally will have the chance to leave voluntarily with a "no entry" stamp for two years if they provide a valid return ticket. Individuals will also be able to adjust or renew their visa for a fee without having to leave and re-enter the country soon

Indian citizens urged to approach embassy, consulate in UAE.

The Embassy of India in UAE on Wednesday urged its citizens to report if there is any delay in payment of salary by their employer.
In a public notice which was shared on Twitter, it urged Indians to report to any such instance to the Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi or Consulate General of India in Dubai.
Amid growing cases of duping and visa frauds, the Embassy also cautioned Indians jobseekers in the UAE not to come on visit visas. They  must authenticate their employment offers and permits before arriving in the country, it pointed out.

The Embassy also shared videos of Indians who fell victim to fraudulent recruitment agents.
According to information from the Embassy's Twitter handle, Vikram Kumar from Pali, Rajasthan, was duped by an illegal agent from Mumbai. He said that he had paid Rs55,000 (Dh2,800 approx) to the agent and travelled to the UAE from Mumbai on a visit visa. He was repatriated to India.
In another incident, Anjali Caru from Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh, was trapped by an illegal agent and came to UAE on a visit visa. She holds an ECR passport and said the illegal agent instructed her to mislead the immigration officer.
Similarly, Rijwan Ahmad and Parvej Hashmi were trapped by an illegal agent in Lucknow and lured to come to the UAE on visit visa. Both are ECR passport holders. They had travelled from Delhi Airport to Sharjah. They were safely repatriated to India, the Embassy said.
5:52 PM - May 2, 2019 Consulate General of India in Dubai.

The commutation periods spent by the worker from the place of residence to the work site thereof shall not be calculated within the working hours.

I am a teacher working for an Indian School in Dubai, which has sponsored my work permit/residence visa. This school has a very peculiar rule that those teachers who are on school visa should work an hour extra compared to those teachers who are on husband's visa.

For example, a teacher who is on husband's visa would wind up work by 2:00pm, however, the teachers on school visa are expected to stay up to 3.30pm. This rule is not written anywhere, neither in our appointment letter. However, this has been in practice verbally and those on school visa are obliged to stay back. Is that even legally allowed?
When we joined the organisation, we weren't informed of such a rule; it's only after we signed our employment contract and started working there that we were told verbally that our work timings are extended by an hour and half because the school has sponsored our visa. Please advise.
It is presumed that your employment is subject to the provisions of the Federal Law No 8 of 1980 on the Regulation of Labour Relations (the "Employment Law").
The Employment Law contains specific provisions pertaining to hours of work, whereby it is prescribed that the maximum working hours for employees normally shall be eight hours in a day. We cite Article 65 of the Employment Law for your reference in this regard.
"The maximum number of ordinary working hours for adult workers shall be eight hours per day, or forty-eight hours per week. The number of hours may be increased to nine hours per day for people employed in trade, hotels, cafeterias, security and other jobs whose addition may be made by virtue of a decision from the Minister of Labour. Furthermore, the daily number of working hours may be reduced for strenuous or harmful works and such by virtue of a decision from the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs. The ordinary working hours shall be reduced by two hours during Ramadan. The commutation periods spent by the worker from the place of residence to the work site thereof shall not be calculated within the working hours."
Further, it is also prescribed in the Employment Law that the daily hours of work are to be designed by the concerned employer in a manner that employees are not required to work for more than five hours at a stretch and there are adequate breaks for rest, meals and prayer. This is in accordance with the provisions of the Article 66 of the Employment Law which reads as follows.
"The daily working hours shall be so regulated that no worker shall work for more than five successive hours without breaks -for rest, meals and prayer- amounting in aggregate to not less than one hour. Such breaks shall not be included as part of the working hours.
However, in factories and workshops where work is organised in the form of successive day and night shifts, and in processes where work has to continue uninterrupted for technical and economic reasons, the manner in which breaks for rest, meals and prayer are to be granted shall be specified in a resolution by the minister."
It may be noted that the normal working hours for teachers are till 2pm - the rule should normally be applicable for all teachers regardless of their visa sponsorship status. In the event any teacher is compelled to work for additional hours, such teacher shall be entitled to receive payment for overtime work. In this regard, we cite Article 67 of the Employment Law for your reference.
"Where the work circumstances require a worker to work more than the normal number of hours, any period worked in excess shall be treated as overtime, for which the worker shall receive the wage stipulated for his normal working hours, plus a supplement of at least 25 per cent of that wage."
In view of the foregoing provisions of the Employment Law, the act of your employer to compel certain employees to work additional hours is arbitrary and without a justified reason. You may therefore try to prevail upon your employer to either maintain parity in the working hours for all employees i.e., the teachers; or, pay overtime remuneration for the additional hours of work done by the specific teachers in the school.

Help! I have got a labour ban

I joined a company in Dubai, which was closed down before I completed six months in my job. The owner of the company asked all the employees to look for new jobs. However, when I got a new job and the company applied for the visa, it was found that I have been banned for a year for not completing six months on my job.
I wish to know if there is any option for me to lift the ban, because I didn't leave the company on my own. I have a no objection letter from the company and other documents, but still the ban is in place. Please help me.
It may be noted that usually employment bans are not imposed on individuals who have completed one year of continuous service in their previous employment. But unfortunately, in your case, the period of employment was less than six months.
Notwithstanding the above, since the reason for termination of employment could not be attributed to you, the labour ban may be lifted at the discretion of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. In this regard, you may approach the ministry, requesting for a review of the ban and you may further represent there stating that you had not terminated the employment contract, and as such the termination was due to closing of the entity where you were working, by the employer.
It may however be noted that you may also seek for revocation of the employment ban in the event you are offered a salary which satisfies the minimum prescribed salary limits stated in this regard corresponding to one's educational qualifications. This is in accordance with the provisions of Article 4 of UAE Ministerial Order No 1186 of 2010 which states:
"As an exception to the provision of Item No. 2 of Article 2 of this Resolution, the ministry may issue a work permit to an employee without requiring the two year period in the following cases:
a) In the event that the employee is starting his new position in the first, second or third professional levels after fulfilling the conditions for joining any of these levels according to the rules in force at the ministry, and provided that his new wage is not less than Dh12,000 at the first professional level, Dh7,000 at the second professional level and Dh5,000 at the third professional level."
In view of the foregoing, you must be offered minimum salaries stipulated above so as to seek a revocation of the employment ban. Apart from this, labour bans issued by the ministry may not be effective at the free zones of the UAE. And, you may seek with any entity incorporated in any of the free zones.
You may contact the ministry for further enquiries.
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom, Singapore and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

The letter appears to have official insignia and encloses a certificate of employment.

In the past few days, Consulate General of India, Dubai has come across at least two fraud job offers made to Indian nationals in the name of UAE companies.

The letter appears to have official insignia and encloses a certificate of employment.
The consulate attached a copy of the fraud job offer for residents perusal:
The Consulate General of India, Dubai would like to advise that job-seekers should not fall prey to such bogus job offers.
In case of any doubt, seek clarification from the Consulate by sending an email to Vice Consul (Labour) at labour.dubai@mea.gov.in and copy to cgoffice.dubai@mea.gov.in.

An employer cannot terminate an employee for not surrendering its passport to its employer.

Q.1) I would like to raise a concern regarding the retention of a passport. My wife is working for a private travel agency and is on my sponsorship. She has been working in that firm since 2011 and all of a sudden the company manager is forcing her to surrender the passport, even though it is being informed to him that this is not in accordance with our consent.

He is threatening to take strict action against her. Please advise if it is legal to force an employee, who is not directly under the company's sponsorship, is supposed to submit their passport? My wife's entire job period is very clean with no dues or loans or any kind of misconduct towards the job. Can the manager or company force her to surrender the passport or terminate her due to the same reason? What steps should be taken to avoid such harassment? If we complain and the management starts harassing her for this, is there a legal way to protect ourselves?
Answer:
It is understood that your wife is employed by a private travel agency and her visa is sponsored by you. Your wife has been working with her employer since 2011 and all of a sudden her employer is forcing her to surrender her passport, even though she has informed her employer that it is against your will to do so. The employer is threatening to take strict action against your wife. Further, your wife has a clean record of employment which is devoid of any loans or any kind of misconduct.
Pursuant to your queries, detention of passport against the will of the passport holder is unlawful in the UAE. An employer cannot ask its employee to hand over the passport to keep in their custody without the employee's written consent. Should she face any continued harassment at her workplace she may report the same to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiritisation (MoHRE) where she may lodge a complaint against her employer and may consider reporting this matter to the police.
Further, an employer cannot terminate an employee for not surrendering its passport to its employer. In the event the employer terminates your wife on grounds of not surrendering her passport to them it will be termed as arbitrary termination of employment.

KNOW THE LAW

An employer cannot ask its employee to hand over the passport to keep in their custody without the employee's written consent.
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai

Jan 7, 2019


Whenever a cheque is dishonoured by the bank, a criminal complaint may be initiated by the cheque's beneficiary, who shall be the complainant in this matter. Article 401 of Federal Law No. 3 of 1987 on issuance of Penal Code (the 'Criminal Law') of UAE states: "Detention or a fine shall be imposed on anyone who, in bad faith, gives a draft (cheque) without a sufficient and drawable balance or who, after giving a cheque, withdraws all or part of the balance, making the balance insufficient for settlement of the cheque, or if he orders a drawee not to cash a cheque or makes or signs the cheque in a manner that prevents it from being cashed.
The same penalty shall apply to anyone who endorses a cheque in favour of another or gives him a bearer draft, knowing that there is no sufficient balance to honour the cheque or that it is not drawable."
Based on the above provision, it is the discretion of the court to decide the quantum of punishment, which may either be fine or detention or both. Normally, a travel ban may be imposed on the signatory of the cheque by the public prosecutor. If you are cleared of the criminal case filed against you, the bank may file a civil claim against you for the amount on the cheque plus costs and seek a travel ban, in accordance with Article 644 of Federal Law No. 18 of 1993 on the issuance of The Commercial Transactions Law, which states: "If a penal action in any of the cheque-related crimes provided for in the law of penalties have been filed against the drawer, the holder of the cheque who claims the civil right may sue the court for obtaining an amount equivalent to that of the cheque or to the extent of the unpaid amount of its value, apart from the compensation, when necessary."
Further, the bank may at its discretion pursue criminal and or civil charges against you and recovery of the amount from the insurance policy held by the bank does not provide you any immunity.