Employment Law in Dubai: The Law On Termination of Employment

Under Dubai Law, which is governed by United Arab Emirates (UAE) labour law, an employer must give an employee a minimum notice period of 30 days before termination of an employment contract. The United Aram Emirates law is inflexible in this respect which means that the law allows no room for negotiation, even when the employer is willing to consent to a shorter time period. Any shorter contractual notice period is unlikely to be enforceable by the employer.

Upon termination of employment, the United Arab Emirates labour law states that an employee must be reimbursed for all entitlements they have not been able to benefit from, such as unutilised leave. If the employee has worked for the company continually for at least a year, and does not participate in the Company’s pension scheme, gratuity is owed to them on the termination of their employment. This is payable at a rate of 21 days a year for 1 – 5 years service, and 30 days for over 5 years. This is rightfully theirs as an ‘end of service benefit.’ UAE law specifically states that on termination of a contract, an employer must return an employee to their country of origin, should the employee fail to find alternative employment within a set time period.

It should be noted that there are no provisions under UAE for redundancy; hence they do not recognise ‘redundancy compensation’ per se. The UAE does however state, that an employer should provide pay of up to 3 months salary, where they have terminated the employment for a reason other than the employee’s performance. Hence, in practice there is a provision for redundancy, just not in those words; yet this issue is still a very contentious one. UAE Labour Law could get complicated but all in all sides with the employees more often than not.

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