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Nation Home > Legal View
Six month ban

Mushtaq Ahmad Jan / 28 May 2012

Six month ban

I work as a mechanical engineer in Abu Dhabi. I have completed nine months in service. I am planning to change my job. I received a better job offer from a Jebel Ali Free Zone Company. In my internal contract, my designation is ‘Planning Engineer’ but on my visa and my labour contract, my designation is ‘Supervisor’ on an unlimited contract. I have not completed two years in service.

Will a six-month labour ban be enforced even if the new job is in a free zone company? Is there a way to lift the ban?

Since you have not completed two years with your current employer, a ban for the period of six months will be automatically imposed on you by the Ministry of Labour.

Furthermore, avoiding a ban does not depend upon the designation of employment; rather it depends upon the qualification and the new salary offered.

If your qualification and new salary offered falls under any of the below categories as mentioned in the Cabinet Resolution No 25 of 2010 regarding internal work permit at the Ministry of Labour, then, you may join your new job without any ban. The cabinet Resolutions states:

  • In order to remove the ban, an employee must prove qualifications by presenting a duly attested educational certificate as mentioned herein:

(i) If an employee holds a university degree (master), and earns a minimum of Dh12,000 per month;

(ii) If an employee holds a Diploma (post secondary) and earns a minimum of Dh7,000 per month; and (iii) If an employee has passed high school and earns a minimum of Dh5,000 per month.

  • The contract is terminated due to the employer’s violation of legal and labour obligations towards the worker, or in case the worker has no role in terminating the work relationship.
  • The employee is transferred to another company the employer owns or has shares in.


Maternity leave is legal right

My wife recently joined a medical centre. As per her contract, she cannot get pregnant for 18 months after joining work. Is this legal? Can they deny us our basic right?

Maternity leave refers to taking time off after birth. A woman’s rights, when it comes to pregnancy and infant care, are addressed by Federal Law No 8/1980, the UAE Labour Law.

Article 30 of the UAE Labour Law provides 45 days’ maternity leave with full pay which includes the time before and after delivery, provided her employment duration is not less than a year.

However, if the employment duration is less than a year, she is entitled to the same maternity leave with half pay. Furthermore, Article 7 states that any condition mentioned in the employment contract which is inconsistent with the provision of this law shall be deemed null and void.

Therefore, the condition as mentioned in your wife’s contract that she ‘cannot get pregnant for 18 months after joining work’, is null and void. Thus, it is your wife’s legal right to avail 45 days’ maternity leave with full pay if she has completed one year. Otherwise, she is entitled to 45 days leave with half pay.

Electricity connection

I have a warehouse in Sharjah. As per a new municipality procedure, I need an electricity stamp on the tenancy contract for renewal. The problem is that my warehouse does not have an electricity connection. I have asked the landlord to supply electricity connection, but he has refused. What should I do?

Article 7 of the Tenancy Law in the Emirate of Sharjah, Law 2 of 2007, states that ‘it is the obligation of a landlord to hand over possession of the rented premises in good condition suitable for the purpose for which it has been rented in accordance with tenancy agreement’. Furthermore, Article 2 (B), of the Tenancy Law imposes an obligation on the landlord that ‘the landlord is obliged to attest the tenancy contract and for its renewal.’

Therefore, it is the obligation of your landlord to attest the tenancy contract from the relevant authority and provide you electricity and other utility services.

Stale cheque

What is the liability of the drawer of a stale cheque in Dubai? Is the drawer obliged to write another cheque in exchange for a stale cheque?

Generally speaking, a cheque is given for payment of any underlying transaction. Hence, it is the duty of the drawer to pay the amount either by giving another cheque or by paying in cash.

Furthermore, a stale cheque cannot be deposited in the bank. However, the same stale cheque is still valid for establishing a civil right of claiming the amount of the cheque from the same person.

Thus, you got a right to file a civil case within 15 years against the drawer for the amount of the cheque as per Article 473 UAE Civil Code.


Tenancy contract

I understand that at the time of renewing a flat, I should pay not more than Dh260 for renewal. The agent at International City asked me for Dh1,000 to Dh1,500 to renew the contract.

I stayed for one year and the agent is asking me paint the studio apartment or pay Dh250. I went to the police station whereby I have been told to pay Dh150 for the painting. Is this rule applicable in Dubai?

As a general rule, a tenancy contract should be renewed on the same terms and conditions unless the parties to the contract otherwise agree. If the parties do not agree, the increase must be approved by the Rent Committee.

A landlord/agent cannot increase the rent or related expenses without obtaining a verdict from the Rent Committee.

Furthermore, on one hand, while the law imposes an obligation upon the landlord to hand over the property in good condition, on the other hand, the law obliges the tenant to take care of the leased property. No person, including the agent or landlord, is allowed to impose a fine or decide the value of damage without obtaining a valid verdict from the Rent Committee. If the condition of the paint is normal and comes under normal wear and tear, it is the landlord’s responsibility. Otherwise, it will be your responsibility.

It is worthy to note here that in case of dispute between you and the landlord regarding its condition, the dispute should be referred to the Rent Committee.

 Compiled by Ahmed Shaaban

Mushtaq Ahmad Jan is a lawyer at the Global Advocates and Legal Consultants, with a Master’s Degree in International Commercial Law, University of Hull, Kingston-upon-Hull, England. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to (Legal View), Khaleej Times, Dubai PO Box 11243.

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