Khaleej Times, Monday, Jan 16, 2023 | Jamadi Al Thani 23, 1444
UAE jobs: What are the rights of an employee being fired? Visa cancellation, salary payment procedures explained
Question: What is the legal procedure to terminate the services of an employee
on grounds of poor performance? We have an employee in our Dubai-based
(mainland) company, who has not been meeting his targets despite repeated
warnings. Please take us through the procedure in terms of visa cancellation,
end-of-service benefits, etc.
Response: Pursuant to your queries, it is assumed that you have issued warning
notices to your employee in writing. Therefore, the provisions of Federal Decree
Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations (the ‘Employment
Law’) and the 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.
In the UAE, an employee’s obligation is to work diligently. This is in
accordance with Article 16(8) of the Employment Law, which states: “The employee
shall work diligently and constantly to develop his professional and job skills
and improve his performance to the employer." Therefore, if an employee is not
performing his work in accordance with the employment contract, an employer may
impose disciplinary actions.
This is in accordance with Article 39 (1) (a), (b) & (g) of the Employment Law,
which states: “The employer, or his representative, may impose any of the
following sanctions on any employee who violates the provisions of this
Decree-Law and its Executive Regulations and implementing resolutions:
a. Written attention draw.
b. Written notice (warning).
g. Dismissal with payment of severance pay.”
Further, an employer may dismiss an employee without service of the stipulated
notice period on grounds of poor performance once the employee is served with
two written warnings upon conclusion of an investigation. This is in accordance
with Article 44 (4) of the Employment Law, which states, "An employer may
dismiss the employee without prior notice, after a written investigation with
him, and dismissal decision shall be in writing an reasoned and given by the
employer or his representative to the employee if the employee fails to perform
his main duties in accordance with the employment contract and fail to remedy
such failure despite a written investigation with him on the matter and two
warning that he will be dismissed in case of recidivism."
Further, an employer may not accuse an employee of violation of employment
obligations or on grounds of discipline if the same has been detected after 30
days of commission of such disciplinary violations. An employer may also not
impose any disciplinary action on an employee after completion of 60 days of
disciplinary investigation. This is in accordance with Article 24 (4) of the
Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022.
After following the above procedure, an employer may have to pay the employee
the pending salary, leave salary entitlements, gratuity and provide with an air
ticket prior to cancellation of the work permit with the MOHRE. Once, the MOHRE
cancels the work permit as per the procedures mentioned in Article 7(3) of the
Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, an employer may approach the General
Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai to cancel the residency
visa of such employee.
However, if an employer does not follow the aforementioned provisions of law to
terminate employment, the employee may file a complaint against the employer
with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (the ‘MOHRE’) and the
termination may be considered as arbitrary in accordance with Article 47 of the