I joined a company in Dubai on January 18 this year and my visa was stamped on February 5. I am planning to quit the job and move back to my home country.
I have a probationary period of six months and my query is whether this time starts from January 18 or February 5.
Also, if my probation ends on, for example, July 15, can I resign the day before? UK, Abu Dhabi
The official start date of employment depends on how someone is employed, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE).
If a person entered the UAE on a work permit that was issued by the employer, then that is deemed to be the start date.
If the person is already in the UAE, the date when the offer letter is signed is considered to be the start date as that is the official MoHRE contract.
In this situation, the official start date will probably be considered to be when work starts, assuming a visa has been applied for, so it will be January 18.
This would mean the six-month probationary period would expire on July 17.
UK is correct when he says that 14 days’ notice is required when an employee resigns during their probationary period.
“If the foreign worker wishes to terminate the employment contract during the probationary period, to leave the State, he shall notify the employer of the same in writing not less than 14 days from the date specified for the termination of the contract,” according to Clause 4 of the new UAE labour law.
An employee can resign at any time during the probationary period, provided the relevant period of notice is given, even if this is a few days before the end of this timeframe.
If an employee wishes to resign but plans to remain in the UAE and take a role with a different employer, the required notice period is 30 days. Other provisions also apply in this situation.
Whatever the situation may be regarding resignation, no employer may reclaim any visa or employment costs from an employee.
The call centre agent asked me to move out all the money and leave Dh52.50 in the account to pay for the letter. Then I was asked to ring the call centre again to close the account. I did this.
However, I spoke to a different agent who told me they can’t close my account when there is a balance of Dh52.50.
I was, instead, asked to move out all the money, request account closure, which takes seven working days, and then ask for a clearance letter, which would take a further seven days and cost Dh52.50.
I moved out the remaining balance in my account and spoke to another call centre agent, who said he cannot close my account because I have an outstanding standing order for Dh500,000.
I explained that this was a one-off transfer completed on July 7, not a reoccurring one, as I was leaving the UAE. He said this is not what the system shows and that a transfer of this size is due in a few days.
Despite highlighting the system error, the bank staff were not willing to fix it and close my account. I am in a stalemate because I need to close the account before I leave the country.
I am concerned they will make this payment and charge me for their error. Please help me close my account. NM, Al Ain
This seemed to be a lack of coherence and communication by the bank and as NM was leaving the UAE permanently in a few days, she needed to get the account closed.
I got in touch with my contacts at HSBC who acted swiftly. Within a few days, the account was fully closed.
“We take every customer complaint seriously and have taken this opportunity to review and improve our internal process. We’ve apologised to the customer and we’re pleased that we were able to resolve the matter,” a spokeswoman for HSBC said.
Happy with the outcome, NM said: “Thanks to you, my account was closed swiftly and a no liability/clearance letter sent.”
Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 25 years’ experience. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE
The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only