Dubai free zone worker told visa won’t be cancelled until client payment received

Keren Bobker advises an employee who has resigned but the employer is refusing to cancel the visa and is asking for a non-competition undertaking to be signed.

I have resigned from my job with a company located in a major free zone. I served the one-month notice period and both the employer and I have signed the end of service entitlement form. Now my employer is refusing to cancel my visa. I have reported the matter of the labour department in the free zone. My employer claims that the reason for the delay is that I need to collect payment from one of its clients, since I was dealing with that account. Also, my employer is asking me to sign a non-competition undertaking, but do I have to do this? TQ, Dubai

The form in question shows the calculation of the final payment due on leaving service and includes the wording “received ... as full and final settlement of all my dues from the company”. No one should sign this form until such time as they have actually received the monies they are due, as it is difficult to follow up non-payment if someone has signed to say they have already been paid. The employer is legally obliged to both cancel the visa without delay and also to make payment in full. It is not the responsibility of the employee to chase a client for payment to cover this cost, especially if they have completed the legal notice period. A responsible employer should have the funds set aside to cover this legal responsibility. TQ should also not sign any non-compete clause and is not obliged to do so. At no time is an employer able to change the terms of a contract of employment without the employee’s agreement, and it is a cheek to ask for this as someone leaves a company’s service. TQ should pursue the case with the Ministry of Labour, as the employer is acting incorrectly.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 years’ experience. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.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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