UAE Laws and Islamic Finance

Laws of the UAE and Islamic Finance

UAE Employment Legal Questions

Time Out Dubai May 13-20, 2010 (Al Tamimi)

Question: Can Your Employer Prevent You From Working in the UAE for A Year If You Leave the Company on Bad Terms?

Answer: If a person has worked for an employer for less than a year and the employment is terminated (or the individual resigns), an automatic six month employment ban is imposed on them by the Ministry of Labor.  If the employee has worked for the employer for less than three years, a six-month employment ban is also automatically imposed.  In both cases this can be avoided if the employer is willing to provide the employee with a no-objection certificate (NOC). If an employee were to resign after working for an employer for more than three years, the employer may request that a ban is imposed, but it is not automatic.  A 12 month ban would only usually be imposed in extreme circumstances, for example where the employee has been dismissed for gross misconduct, and the Ministry of Labour agrees with the dismissal.


Question: Is the Law the Same in Free Zones?

Answer: Generally, the free zones do not impose bans on employees, but may do so if requested by the employer.  It all depends on the circumstances leading up to the dismissal of the employee.  Any ban imposed by a free zone would ordinarily only be applicable within that free zone.  The Ministry of Labor has no jurisdiction over free zones and therefore an employment ban imposed on an individual outside these zones would not generally be enforceable within them.



Question: Can Companies Confiscate Passports to Stop People Leaving the Country?

Answer: Withholding employee’s passports by employers is illegal under the laws of the UAE.  However, it is still a common practice, in certain industries.  Only the relevant authorities in the UAE have the power to retain an individual’s passport.


Question: What Should You Do If Your Ex-Company Can’t Afford to Cancel Your Visa?

Answer: Report the matter to the Ministry of Labor or Immigration Department immediately.  It is the company’s obligation to cancel (or transfer to a new employer) an employee’s visa following the termination of employment.


  Harmony wrote @

Just to clarify, if I am on a 3-yr limited contract with a company in DAFZA and I want to resign after having worked for 1.5 years and transfer to a company in the domestic market, I can still do so without worrying about the bans?

  Matt wrote @

Similar question to above…

I have worked for a company for 7 months. The current company is based in Al Hamriyah Free Zone, however I have received a job offer from a company I have wanted to work for many years. They are based in Sharjah International Free Zone.

My current employers contract states I can not change companies (similar field) for 1 year. However my Al Hamriyah Free Zone contract doesn’t state any thing

Can I change companies?

  veera wrote @

i was terminated and my visa has cancelled on 30 th of august how long i can stay here after the cancellation as per uae law?


  Ibsisayn wrote @

I am working in dubai from more than 2 years, i have recently changed my job, my visa is trasfered to my latest employer by my previouse employer as i was previously working in dubai. Now i am offered a job in KSA and its been only two months with current employer, can i resign on probation with the new employer. Secondly will there be any ban on me and lastly will i get NOC from my current employer for working locally for another company or with in GCC.

  Lijin wrote @

I’m working for the company for last 4 years and my visa was renewed on March 2010.If I’m planning to change the job will there be any employment ban



  jasmine wrote @

i worked in one compay for only 6 months, recently they told me because fo the projects is closing , they will stop my contract , and they will not take any responsibility for me. for my visa is provided by an consultant company. that means my contract is only with the consultant not with the company i am working with. i want to know , what should i do to protect my rights ?

  Kiran wrote @

I am working in a private company in sharjah for almost 11 months with holding 3years visa. My company is shifting their office to Dubai. where in I cann’t afford to go to new office in Dubai. In this congestion if I resign what would be my rights. Since my passport is with the Company

  jack rasle wrote @

i was working in hotel in dubai for last 17 month.
now i have been trminated. i got a job in other hotel
is there any possibolity that my current employer can put me ban.

  Marvs Dumayas wrote @

i am currently working for a company for more than 6 years now and got an offer from another company to work for them. with my current company we are experiencing salary delays the reason i also want to switch jobs. if i were to resign and move to the new company can they impose a ban on me because this is what our PRO warned me of.


  Sibyl wrote @


I’ve been working for a private company and I’m turning 5 years this coming March. My contract is 3 years unlimited. as per my contract I need to undergo a 60 day notice should i decide to resign.

I’m scheduled for my annual vacation this coming April, yet i plan to submit my resignation on mid of March. Will an annual leave be counted into a 60 day notice?

I wanted to consume my vacation leave before resigning since it’s non-convertible.

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UAE Laws and Islamic Finance

Laws of the UAE and Islamic Finance

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