‘Will I be paid during my notice period if I am off sick?’

Employees who can't work due to ill health during their notice period should be paid and the employer can ask for a medical certificate

If an employee is off work due to ill health during their notice period, their employer can ask for a medical certificate. Getty
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I have resigned from my job due to a lot of stress and anxiety.

I am not fit to work mentally, which has been communicated to my employer with a doctor’s certificate.

What will happen to my visa if I don’t go to work? Will I still be paid? SN, Abu Dhabi

Once an employee resigns, their notice period starts. This is a minimum of 30 days, according to Article 4-3 of the UAE Labour Law, but can be up to 90 days, depending on the terms agreed and stated in the contract of employment.

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Watch: new UAE labour laws come into effect

At the end of the notice period, SN will be asked to sign cancellation papers so the visa can be cancelled but should be in receipt of any end-of-service gratuity before doing so. The visa will then be cancelled.

If someone is off work due to ill health during their notice period, this is still classed as being in employment and the notice period will be unchanged.

The visa must not be cancelled until the end of the notice period.

The employee who is not at work due to ill health during a notice period should still be paid and the employer can insist on the provision of a suitable medical certificate.

Salary is payable in accordance with Article 31 of the labour law, which says: “ … the worker may be entitled to a sick leave of not more than 90 continuous or intermittent days per year, provided that it is calculated as follows: a. The first 15 days with full pay; be following 30 days with half pay; c. the following period unpaid.”

I am sponsored by my husband and have a work permit from my company. I have resigned from the job, finished my notice period, but the work permit is still in place.

I have a new job, but the company cannot obtain a permit for me to work legally.

I am being told that it can take seven to 14 days to cancel the work permit, so I can’t start work when agreed. What can I do? SM, Abu Dhabi

The cancellation of a work permit only takes a few days and should be done as soon as someone ends employment. It is a simple process.

If the employer is delaying it, SM should contact the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation to register a complaint. The ministry will then contact the employer to tell them to cancel the work permit.

If this fails to work, other legal recourse is available. When the new UAE Labour Law came into effect, so did Ministerial Resolution 47 of 2022, titled The Settlement of Labour Disputes and Complaints Procedures.

Article 5 of this says: “Based on a complaint by the worker requesting the cancellation of his/her work permit, without the consent of the employer, the following actions must be taken: b) If the Ministry is unable to reach the employer within five working days from the date of registering the worker’s complaint, or in the event that the employer responds and requests an additional period to resolve the complaint, the period is extended by an additional five working days.

“The cancellation procedures will then be completed upon the worker’s request unless the employer provides evidence that the worker is under investigation by the competent authorities for a crime related to his/her work.”

My husband and I were residents in the UAE from 2017 to 2019, but had to leave as he was made redundant.

Unbeknown to me, he left an unpaid credit card when we left.

I now have the chance to return to the UAE for a visit — without him — and wanted to check I wouldn’t be flagged at immigration for his debt?

I am not named on any financial documents and never co-signed anything, but was sponsored on his visa, as I didn’t work. I am nervous to travel because of this. GS, UK

GS need not be concerned. Under UAE law, only the person whose name is on the debt is accountable for it and that applies whether it is a mortgage, a personal loan or a credit card.

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Under UAE law, only the person whose name is on the debt is accountable for it and that applies whether it is a mortgage, a personal loan or a credit card
Keren Bobker, senior partner, Holborn Assets

She would only be liable for a debt if she was named on any paperwork, was a joint borrower or a guarantor. If this is not the case, she has no legal liability for her husband’s debt.

However, GS’s husband is likely to have an outstanding case against him for non-payment of his debt.

He will not be able to enter the UAE until he repays the money that he borrowed and the bank asks the court to remove the police case.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 30 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: December 04, 2022, 5:00 AM
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