‘Will my gratuity include the notice period if I am on gardening leave?’

An employee is entitled to all benefits during this time as the notice period counts as a period of employment under law

Business woman giving bribe money in a brown envelope while give success the deal to finishing contract agreement, Bribery and corruption concept.
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My employer ended my contract after I had worked for them for more than 14 years. The end date of my service was May 18, 2022, and I was told not to work during the three-month notice period. However, I will be paid in full for these three months, according to the contract.

What will be my last date of service for calculation of my end-of-service benefits, according to the UAE Labour Law? Will it be May 18 or August 18, which is the end of the three-month notice period? SA, Sharjah

In some professions, it is normal to be asked not to work a notice period, whether a person is released or leaves of their own accord. This is often known as gardening leave.

The notice period still counts as a period of employment in law. So, SA must not only be paid in full, but he is also entitled to all other benefits during this period.

His end-of-service benefits must be calculated to the end of the three-month notice period — to August 18 in this case. This should also include all days of annual leave accrued during this period as well as any leave accrued before he was notified of the termination of his job.

I am travelling to Kathmandu, Nepal, on May 19 to visit an orphanage. I reached out to the orphanage to see what I could bring from Dubai and collected items for the children living there.

I am travelling with my children and we have a 30 kilogram allowance each. However, I have been donated approximately 250kg of items.

I would love to take everything that we have been donated as this orphanage and children have struggled since the earthquake in 2015.

We are flying with a budget airline and when I asked if there was a way we could have an additional baggage allowance that I would be happy to pay for, the automated response was no.

I need an extra weight allowance of 100kg, so is there anything you can do to get the airline to help? BF, Dubai

I contacted the airline to see if they could provide some support for this initiative, but a spokeswoman replied: “Unfortunately, we will not be able to support this initiative as the flight loads are very busy.”

“We have, over the years, supported numerous initiatives and worked closely with government and non-government entities to move essential goods, medical aid and other humanitarian relief supplies, and we will continue to do so when possible. We cannot support all initiatives, given we receive a large number of requests on a weekly basis,” she said.

“We operate a fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft and our cargo hold is limited, so you can appreciate that when it is a busy flight, there is not enough capacity to support with extra cargo weight. We wish you the best of luck on this initiative.”

This was a disappointing response, but the situation had a happy ending. FB was eventually able to obtain an additional allowance through an acquaintance who knows a senior employee at the airline, who personally approved the additional baggage allowance.

I hope her trip went well.

Some of my colleagues and I were asked to work over the Eid holidays. We agreed, thinking that we would be paid extra for doing this work.

However, our boss later said that it was just a normal working day and we were required to work as the company was busy.

Are we entitled to anything extra for working on public holidays? BF, Abu Dhabi

All employees are entitled to time off during a UAE public holiday or if they need to work, they must be compensated for doing so. This has always been the case.

Article (28) of the new UAE Labour Law, titled Public Holidays and Worker’s Work During Holidays, states: “1. The worker shall be entitled to official days with full pay on public holidays, which are defined by a resolution of the Cabinet. 2. If work conditions require that the worker works during any of the public holidays, the employer shall compensate him with another day off for each day on which he works during the holiday, or pay him the wage for that day according to the wage established for the normal working days, plus an increase of not less than 50 per cent of the basic wage for that day.”

Any employee who agrees to work on a public holiday should discuss and agree the compensation method beforehand.

If the employer fails to provide appropriate compensation, employees can register a case against the company with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation for breach of the labour Law.

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: May 29, 2022, 5:00 AM