‘Will my end-of-service benefits include pay for my notice period?’

Employers must include the entire notice period when calculating gratuity payments

Business woman giving bribe money in a brown envelope while give success the deal to finishing contract agreement, Bribery and corruption concept.
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

A part of the company that I work for has been sold and the new company informed us that they want to close the business in the UAE. The licence for the Abu Dhabi office expires on August 30. I have been informed that my last working day will be August 30.

According to my employment contract, my notice period is three months. The company has agreed to pay me three months’ salary, starting from August 30. Will my end-of-service payment and leave entitlement include the three months’ notice period? YT, Abu Dhabi

A business closing is a valid reason for employment to be terminated and YT has been given notice in accordance with the employment contract. The notice period starts from the date the employee is informed but it appears that YT has been given a longer period.

Technically, employment should end at the culmination of the notice period and all benefits are payable to that date. It is not essential for the employee to actually work during a notice period but they must be paid in full. Annual leave continues to accrue and the gratuity is calculated to include the full notice period.

The full amounts should be stated in the paperwork that YT will be asked to sign for his employment visa to be cancelled. The visa should remain in place until the last day of the notice period and can only be cancelled sooner if YT agrees. Even if the visa is cancelled sooner, all benefits must be calculated to include the full three-month notice period.

I am a former Filipino overseas foreign worker who was based in Abu Dhabi and has since returned to the Philippines. I need to obtain a UAE police clearance certificate but have been told that I need to pay Dh1,250. Where can I pay this to obtain the certificate? AR, Philippines

Although it is easier and cheaper to obtain a police clearance certificate while one is in the UAE, it can also be obtained when you are outside the country.

To apply, AR will need to have his fingerprints taken at any police station and have the fingerprint card attested by the UAE Embassy in the Philippines. This fingerprint card is deemed an official report from the police department and confirms the person’s identity based on their fingerprints.

Although it is easier and cheaper to obtain a police clearance certificate while one is in the UAE, it can also be obtained when you are outside the country
Keren Bobker

In addition to the fingerprint card approved by the UAE Embassy, the following documents are required: two recent passport-sized photographs, a copy of the current passport, copy of the last UAE visa and the reason the certificate is being requested.

The application should be submitted to the UAE’s Ministry of Interior through its website or app by selecting the relevant service. In this case, it is the "issuance of clear criminal record certificate".

The payment, which is about Dh700, can be made online using a credit card.

The cost is much lower for UAE residents and they only need to enter the details of a valid UAE identity card. Anyone on a Dubai visa should use the emirate's police website or app.

My company is making me work too many hours. I work in an office where I start at 8am and usually don’t finish until after 7pm. I don't receive any overtime pay.

I have asked for payment for the extra hours but was told that office employees such as myself are not entitled to this under the law. Do I have any rights? CV, Dubai

The maximum number of working hours is set in Article 65 of the UAE Labour Law, which states: “The maximum number of ordinary working hours for adult workers shall be eight hours per day or 48 hours per week. The number of hours may be increased to nine hours per day for people employed in trade, hotels, cafeterias, security and other jobs whose addition may be made by virtue of a decision from the Minister of Labour”.

For someone in an office, the maximum is eight hours per standard working day.

The law states that an employee may work up to two additional hours a working day, according to Article 69, but should be compensated for this.

For additional hours worked up to 9pm, the employee should be “paid a wage equivalent to the ordinary hourly wage, with an addition of at least 25 per cent of the said wage” in accordance with Article 67.

If the employer breaks the law by not paying adequately for hours worked or forcing an employee to work too many hours, a complaint can be registered with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 25 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

Updated: August 07, 2021, 5:00 AM