Oct 29, 2009

One-year UAE labour ban only in specific cases, says official

Measure applies to those workers who violate the law, says Ministry of Labour.

Dubai: Two per cent of the total number of workers who cancelled their work permits last year were banned for one year from working in the country, Ministry of Labour statistics have revealed.

About 11,500 people out of the 500,000 workers who cancelled their work permits last year got a one-year ban.

Humaid Bin Deemas, Acting Director General at the Ministry of Labour, said that the one-year ban has specific regulations regarding when it should be implemented and it is not enforced automatically on workers who cancel their work permits.

"The small percentage of people who got a one-year ban compared to the total number who cancelled [their work permits] last year gives a clear indication that the ban is only enforced on people who break the labour law," said Bin Deemas.

"The ban is enforced by the ministry to regulate the labour market and is not used by employers who wish to punish their employees or escape from their duties towards them," he added.

In accordance with labour law, any person who wants to leave or change his or her job has to cancel the work permit and people violating labour regulations get a one-year ban.

The one-year ban is enforced on people who break their employment contracts before three years without any valid reason and without the consent of their employer, who remain unemployed in the country under the sponsorship with the previous employer for more than three months, have had a false absconding report registered on them or who suffer from contagious diseases.

Before enforcing the one-year ban, especially in cases of breaking a contract, the ministry investigates all the aspects of the case and summons the worker to understand their reasons for leaving the job, according to Bin Deemas.

"There is a clear mechanism for any worker who wants to appeal the one-year ban as he can submit a request to my office and the case will be referred to the legal affairs department.

"If still unsatisfied with the decision he can take the case to court," said Bin Deemas.

Six-month ban

In case of resignation and termination of the work by the questioner, the Ministry of Labour will automatically impose a six month ban and the appointment letter with the new employer will not be considered before the Ministry of Labour, unless the questioner obtains a No Objection Certificate from the present sponsor for transfer of the sponsorship, as well as after paying the said ministry fees, which may be about Dh5,000.

As for the duration in which the company retains the questioner; after giving the one month notice of resignation, the questioner's relationship with the employer expires by the end of the notice period, and the company has no right to ask the questioner to continue working after such a duration, unless the employee agrees to increase the duration of notice, as per article 118 of UAE Labour Law.

The questioner is not responsible for the substitute that would replace him at work, but we advise the questioner to cooperate with the company in this regard, to enable him to obtain the No Objection Certificate to transfer the sponsorship in return for such cooperation.

by Advocate Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Bahar Advocates and Legal Consultants

Sharjah Municipality installs dams to combat flooding

Sharjah: The municipality announced on Wednesday that it has started taking precautionary measures against rain-related incidents by installing small dams around the city to collect rainwater.

The preventive measures were implemented to prevent areas from being flooded by rainwater, which commonly occurs every year.

In January last year, the municipality declared an emergency situation to deal with the flooding caused by heavy rain.

"We have implemented a plan to face any challenges that may come about during the rainy season, which we expect will start soon," Sultan Al Mualla, Director-General of Sharjah Municipality, said.

The small dams have been set up in the areas that are most likely to be flooded by rainwater, he added.