I have resigned from my company after three years and completed my one-month notice period a week ago. I have now received my cancellation papers. As I am joining another company and will not exit physically from Dubai, my previous employer is now saying they will not pay the final settlement until I get a visa entry stamp on my new company visa. They are also forcing me to leave the company accommodation. Can you tell me if these actions are legal? MK, Dubai
Once an employee has left service and their visa cancelled, their actions are no longer the concern of the previous employer if they are remaining in the UAE to take up further employment. A previous employer has no right to ask about other visas or entry stamps once someone is no longer under their sponsorship and they have no right to retain any monies owed. The final salary payment, plus any end of service gratuity payable, should be paid by the time the employment visa is cancelled and not retained for a spurious reason. If the employer does not pay this amount immediately, MK should raise a complaint with the Ministry of Labour.
In respect of any accommodation provided as part of the contract of employment, Article 131 of UAE Labour Law states: “In the cases where the employer provides the employee with accommodation, the employee shall be obliged to vacate the accommodation within a period not to exceed 30 days from the date of his service termination”. This means that MK can remain in the accommodation provided as part of his employment for up to 30 days after service ends.
Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 years’ experience. Contact her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE.
The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only.
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