The laws – including the UAE Labor Law – regulate the relationship between the employer and the worker and define the obligations of each of them and guarantee the worker his rights when the employer breaches his obligations or exceeds in the use of his right, including the arbitrariness of the employer in dismissing the worker from his job without any legal justification provided for in the laws and regulations regulating the relationship The employer of the worker, where the law authorized the worker when he was arbitrarily dismissed to file a complaint against the employer to claim his rights determined by the law as a result of unfair dismissal. Decided by the courts, complaint procedures, and worker rights upon unfair dismissal.
Definition of unfair dismissal:
The UAE legislator did not put in the labor law a definition of unfair dismissal, but it did establish specific cases of unfair dismissal, as he considered some of the actions taken by the employer towards the worker that lead to his dismissal from work within the cases of unfair dismissal, and according to the UAE labor law, arbitrary dismissal or unfair dismissal occurs Just when the employer terminates the employee’s work contract or forces him to resign without any justified reasons, as it is stated in Article 122 of the UAE Labor Law that it is considered unfair dismissal of the worker in the following cases:
- If the reason for termination is outside the scope of work and has nothing to do with the worker or his performance at work.
- If the termination of the worker’s service is a reaction to his filing a labor complaint to the competent authorities of the Ministry of Labor.
- If the worker files a lawsuit against the employer, the validity of the lawsuit shall be established.
If the reason for the termination of the work contract by the employer was one of these cases or cases decided by the UAE courts, as we will know later, the termination was an arbitrary dismissal with which the worker has the right to claim compensation through the use of a complaint of unfair dismissal.
Distinguishing between legal dismissal and unfair dismissal in the UAE labor law
We knew that unfair dismissal is for reasons not related to the performance of work, especially if the employee submits a valid complaint or a lawsuit against the employer that has been proven true, and it remains for us to indicate the cases in which the dismissal is legal, i.e. by the provisions of the UAE Labor Law.
Some may consider that its statement has nothing to do with the subject of arbitrary dismissal, but this view is not correct, since arbitrary dismissal in the UAE Labor Law did not find specific cases in particular cases except for what was mentioned in Article 122.
The labor law of the United Arab Emirates has an imperative to violate it upon the arbitrary termination of the work contract on the part of the employer, and since there are fixed-term work contracts and work contracts of indefinite duration, and both of them have cases of termination, and there are cases of termination of the work contract, it is required before the termination of the contract is to warn the other party There are cases where a warning is not required before the contract is terminated; Which calls for the statement of each of these cases separately
Cases of termination of the employment contract in the UAE labor law
- Cases of termination of a fixed-term employment contract:
The termination of the business relationship shall be in any of the following cases:
- If the term of the contract agreed upon between the two parties has expired, and this contract has not been renewed.
- If the two parties, i.e. the employer and the worker, agree to terminate the contract during its validity.
- The worker commits any of the violations stipulated in Article 120 of the UAE Labor Law.
- If one of the parties (the employer or the worker) unilaterally terminates the contract during the period of its renewal, even if the renewal was before the implementation of this decision.
Cases of termination of an indefinite contract
The termination of the business relationship shall be in any of the following cases:
- By agreement of the parties
- At any time when one of the parties to the contract terminates it after warning the other party while continuing to implement the contract during the warning period, which should not be less than a month and not exceed three months
- If one of the parties unilaterally terminates the contract, without complying with the terms of the warning, and without the other reason causing the termination, in this case, the terminating party shall bear the consequences of violating the principles of termination alone.
In these previous cases, whether in fixed-term or indefinite-term contracts, it is required before the termination of a warning to the other party of the termination, and the continuation of the working relationship for no less than one month and not more than three months.
Conditions for dismissal of the worker in the UAE labor law
There are cases before the termination of the employment contract by the employer is not require prior notice, as Article 120 of the UAE Labor Law specifies the reasons for legal termination of service without prior notice, which stipulates that: The employer may dismiss the worker without prior notice in any of the following cases :
- If the worker assumed a false identity or nationality or submitted false certificates or documents.
- If the worker was appointed under probation and the dismissal occurred during or at the end of the probationary period.
- If the worker commits a mistake that results in heavy material losses to the employer, provided that the labor department is notified of the accident within 48 hours of his knowledge of its occurrence.
- If the worker violates the instructions related to safety at work or in the workplace, provided that these instructions are in writing and posted in a conspicuous place and that he is informed of them if he is illiterate.
- If the worker fails to perform his basic duties under the work contract, and this failure is not addressed despite a written investigation into the matter and a warning of dismissal in case of recurrence.
- If he discloses the secret of the facility in which he works.
- If he was finally sentenced by the competent court for a crime of honor, trust, or public morals.
- If he is found drunk or under the influence of a drug during working hours.
- If, while at work, he assaulted the employer, the responsible manager, or a co-worker.
- If he is absent without a legitimate reason for more than twenty non-consecutive days in one year, or more than seven consecutive days.
It is worth noting that the employer’s violation of these conditions upon the termination of the employment contract with the worker is considered an arbitrary dismissal that entitles the worker to file a complaint of unfair dismissal and to claim compensation for damages incurred as a result of this dismissal and his other rights guaranteed under the UAE Labor Law and other legal texts related to regulating the relationship Work between the worker and the employer.
Some examples of unfair dismissal in the UAE labor law:
By clarifying Article 122 of what is arbitrary dismissal in the UAE Labor Law, we find that the law does not specify cases in which the dismissal is arbitrary, except for what was mentioned in this article that the arbitrary dismissal is for reasons not related to the performance of work, especially when the employee files a serious complaint or file a lawsuit against The employer has proven its validity.
But we believe that this legal text is considered as a general rule against which every reason not related to the work that would put the employee in a critical situation and a narrow circle that was caused by the actions of the employer, which makes him leave the work on his own under compulsion, or the termination was on the part of the employer Employers without legal justification. Examples of unfair dismissal include:
- Forced resignation:
If an employer forces a worker to resign under threat of termination or cite performance issues, property damage, or any other reason, that is considered unfair dismissal.
- Termination on the grounds of poor performance:
An employer cannot terminate a person’s employment without proper notice or initial action regardless of their performance. Some disciplinary actions can legally be taken if the employer truly feels that the employee is not doing well, only after they are exhausted can they initiate terminations.
- Forced Reduction or Transfer:
Demotion or forced transfer at low pay is also considered a form of unfair dismissal. According to the Dubai Supreme Court, the downgrading of an employee without reason is considered a form of unfair dismissal, and the submission of resignation by the employee, in this case, is an expression of his disapproval of this reduction.
Termination under the pretext of loss to the company:
Loss of any kind must be reported to the Ministry of Labor or the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (complete form required) with proof within 48 hours of learning about the accident that led to this loss, if the employer does not do so, termination based on this reason is considered unfair dismissal.
Examples of cases in which the UAE courts have deemed the dismissal unfair and thus granting the employee the right to compensation include:
- If the employer has breached its obligations under the employment contract or those stipulated by law, including the obligation to pay the employee’s salary within the time frame stipulated in the employment contract, resulting in the employee leaving his job.
- When the employer, through his repressive acts and breach of the terms of an employment contract, puts the employee in a position to make it appear that it was the employee who terminated the contract (whatever the form of termination), provided that he proves that it was the employer’s actions which led to such termination.
The UAE courts have also held that for contracts that do not have a fixed term, repetition is a valid reason for termination and will not be treated as abusive. However, the employer will need to show that the redundancy is real (i.e. other employees are also laid off and the specific job in question must not be taken over by another employee, etc.)
Procedures for filing a complaint of unfair dismissal in the UAE Labor Law
Article 6 of the UAE Labor Law states that (without prejudice to the provisions relating to collective labor disputes stipulated in this law, if the employer or the worker or any person entitled thereto disputes any of the rights accruing to either of them under the provisions of this law, he must submit A request for this to the competent labor department, and this department must summon the two parties to the dispute and take what it deems necessary to settle the dispute amicably between them. A summary of the dispute, the arguments of the parties, and the notes of the Chamber.
The court must, within three days from the date of receiving the request, fix a session to consider the case and notify the two parties of the dispute.
In all cases, a claim for any of the rights ensuing under the provisions of this law shall not be heard after the lapse of one year from the date of its entitlement, and the lawsuit shall not be accepted if the procedures stipulated in this article have not been followed.
The mechanism for dealing with a complaint of unfair dismissal in the UAE Labor Law:
Based on Article 6 of the UAE Labor Law, the Ministry deals with labor complaints in the following manner:
- Labor dispute requests must be submitted to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
- The competent department in Tawafuq shall summon the parties to the dispute and take the measures it deems necessary to settle the dispute amicably. At this point, the parties are not obligated to accept the settlement.
- If an amicable settlement is not reached, the department shall, within two weeks from the date of receipt of the application, refer the dispute to the relevant labor court.
- The referred case must be accompanied by a memorandum containing a summary of the dispute, the evidence of the two parties, and the notes of the concerned labor department.
- The competent court shall, within three days from the date of receipt of the request, set a session for the claim and notify the parties.
- The court may request a representative of the labor department to attend and explain the content of the memorandum submitted by it. Then the court issues its ruling in this matter.
The burden of Proof of Unfair Separation:
According to the general rule of proof that the evidence is on the plaintiff, and therefore the burden of proving unfair dismissal remains on the worker, and he must prove that his dismissal was arbitrary, and he must provide evidence of the termination of his services (letter of dismissal or termination of services), including the reason, even if The reason is not mentioned in the letter.
The employer has to prove a disagreement with the worker’s claim, and deduce whether the employer arbitrarily dismissed the worker is one of the objective matters in which the trial court is independent, as well as assessing the seriousness of the justification on which the employer relies in dismissing the worker, whenever This conclusion and that assessment has been based on reasons that have an origin in the papers.
If it is proven that the dismissal was arbitrary, without logical reasons justifying the dismissal, the court may order the employer to pay compensation to the worker. It should be noted that there is no legal provision obligating the employer to return the arbitrarily dismissed worker to his work, and the binding ruling is for the employer to compensate only.
Rights of the worker in the event of unfair dismissal in the UAE Labor Law:
If the employee believes that he has been unlawfully dismissed, and there is no reason for dismissal mentioned in Article 120 of the UAE Labor Law, or the reason for dismissal does not comply with the provisions and provisions of the Labor Law, he can, by Article 123 of the Labor Law, file a complaint To the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. Which in turn will solve the problem amicably.
If an amicable settlement is not reached, the case will be referred to the appropriate court, and if unfair dismissal is established, the court will order the employer to pay compensation to the employee. Article 123 of the UAE Labor Law states that:
If the worker is dismissed unfairly, the competent court may order the employer to pay compensation to the worker. After investigating the working conditions, the court estimates this compensation, taking into account:
- The type of work the worker or employee was doing
- The amount of damage caused to the worker
- The period the worker or employee has spent in the service of the employer
In all cases, the amount of compensation may not exceed the wage of the worker for three months, calculated based on the last payable wage, i.e. before dismissal, and the salary due for the remaining period of the contract, except for cases where the two parties have agreed on a higher level of compensation in the work contract.
The provisions of the previous paragraph do not prejudice the worker’s right to the remuneration due to him and compensation for the warning stipulated in this law.
Therefore, in addition to compensation, the employee can claim his bonus, notice period entitlements, or any other unpaid entitlements he is entitled to from the employer.
For purposes of calculation, the term “wage” refers to the employees’ full salary (the basic salary plus any monthly bonuses). Additionally, when an employee receives regular or guaranteed bonuses or commissions, the court can also consider these payments while determining the employee’s pay. The actual amount of the leave, if any, is ultimately determined by the court.