Khaleej Times, Sunday, Aug 14, 2022 | Muharram 16, 1444
Will I face employment ban if I resign while on leave?
Emirates: Question: I am in a peculiar
situation. I work in a Dubai-based company and am currently on vacation in my
home country. Due to some unforeseen circumstances and a genuine emergency, I
will not be able to come back to the UAE as my presence is required in my home
country to sort some things out. If my boss insists on me serving my notice
period, and I obviously cannot, how will that impact me? How can I settle it?
How do I claim my end-of-service benefits? And what happens to my visa and that
of my wife and two children?
Response: Pursuant to your queries, it is assumed that you are employed by a
private mainland company based in Dubai, and you hold a valid employment visa.
Further, it is assumed that your wife and two children's UAE residency visas are
sponsored by you. Therefore, the provisions of Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021
on the Regulation of Employment Relations (the 'Employment Law') and those of
Cabinet Resolution No.1 of 2022 on the Implementation of Federal Decree Law No.
33 of 2021 Regarding the Regulation of Employment Relations (the 'Cabinet
Resolution No. 1 of 2022') are applicable.
An employee may not resign from his employment, while he or she is on leave,
unless mutually agreed with the employer. This is in accordance with Article 35
of the Employment Law, which states: "If either party wants to terminate the
contract during the period of leave in accordance with the provisions of this
Decree-Law and its Executive Regulations, then the Notice Period agreed upon in
the Employment Contract shall commence only on the day following the date on
which the employee returns from leave, unless agreed otherwise by the parties."
Based on the aforementioned provision of law, it is recommended that you travel
to the UAE and then resign by serving the stipulated notice period. However, if
your employer agrees to accept your resignation while you are on leave and
outside the country, then you may request that your work permit be cancelled.
The end-of-service benefits are usually transferred to local bank accounts of
employees in the UAE. If required, you may request your employer to transfer the
benefits to your home country bank account. Further, if your employer insists
you join the employment upon completion of your leave and resign, then you must
travel to the UAE to do the same.
In the event you do not comply, your employer may file an absconding case on
you, and you may face an employment ban. This is in accordance with Article 50
of the Employment Law, which states: "1. A foreign employee who is absent from
work, for illegal cause, before the expiration of the employment contract, shall
not be granted another work permit to join another employer in the UAE, pursuant
to provisions hereof, for a term of (1) one year from the date of absence from
work, and no Employer who is aware of such absence may employ him or keep him in
his service within such period.
2. The Ministry may exempt certain job categories, skill levels, or manpower
from paragraph (1) above, in accordance with the controls and procedures set by
the Executive Regulations of this Decree-Law.
3. The Employer shall report to the Ministry the absence from work according to
the procedures set by the Executive Regulations of this Decree-Law."
Article 28 (1) of the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 states that in the event
an employee is absent from work without informing the employer for a continuous
period of seven days, he/she may possibly get one year of employment ban. This
may further lead to the employee facing immigration ban as well.
Further, the sponsor may have to be in the UAE to cancel his dependent's UAE
residency visas. Therefore, to avoid legal hurdles, you may report to work upon
completion of your approved leave. Thereafter, you may resign from your
employment and cancel your dependents' UAE residency visas. Once the said
process is completed, you may request your employer to pay your final settlement
benefits, cancel your work permit and finally cancel your UAE residency visa.
However, if you are unable to travel back to UAE, you may request your employer
to pay your end of service benefits and cancel your work permit. Thereafter, you
contact the General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs- Dubai (the
'GDRFA') requesting to cancel your wife and children's UAE residence visas
without your presence in the UAE citing a genuine reason supported by
documentary evidence. If the GDRFA approves your request, you may cancel your
wife and children's UAE residency visas and thereafter you may request your
employer to cancel your UAE residency visa. You may contact the GDRFA for
further advice on this matter.