'Should I resign before starting a new job to accept another offer?'

If an employee signs a contract with the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, they are required to give notice

Employees are required to give notice under rules set out by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. Getty
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Question: I have accepted a job offer with a company in Dubai, but am now visiting my family in India.

I was supposed to start the job next week and my entry visa is ready. However, I have another job offer that I want to accept.

Can I decline the first offer? Will it be a problem if I want to return to the UAE for the second job? AP, India/Dubai

Answer: If a person accepts a job offer with a contract under Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation rules, they have to give notice of their resignation. AP is required to give notice to leave the job in accordance with the contract terms.

Assuming a ministry contract has been signed, the company is not going to be happy, as they have incurred costs to hire AP and could even request a travel ban if AP is deemed to have absconded by not showing up to start work on the agreed date.

The costs incurred due to the loss of an employee in this way may be somewhat mitigated by conditions in the new UAE labour law.

Article 9.3 states: “If the worker wishes to move during the probationary period to work for another employer in the State, he shall notify the original employer of the same in writing within not less than one month from the date of his wish to terminate the contract. Then, the new employer shall compensate the original employer for the costs of recruitment or contracting with the worker, unless otherwise agreed upon.”

This is reiterated in article 9.4: “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. If he wishes to return to the State and obtain a new work permit within three months from the date of departure, the new employer shall pay the compensation stipulated in Clause (3) of this Article, unless in case of an agreement between the worker and the original employer to the contrary.”

If AP has signed a contract with the first employer, the next one will be liable for costs and he may need to serve a notice period.

If he has not signed an employment contract, which seems unlikely, he is free to start with the next employer straight away.

Q: I have a 10-year savings plan that I took out with an adviser six years ago. The person who sold it to me has left the company.

I now deal with another person at the same company who is very pushy. I don’t want to deal with him, not least as he is very new but also because I feel he is giving me wrong information.

I asked if I could deal with someone else. He said that was not possible and also that the plan can only stay with the original advisory company. Is this really the case? LG, Abu Dhabi

Watch: New UAE labour laws come into effect

A: The answer that LG has been given is not correct. Anyone who has an insurance company savings plan or any other type of policy can choose who they deal with.

They are free to move to another brokerage at any time. You can choose any independent broker to become the servicing agent, excluding banks, who are linked to one company only and cannot offer independent advice on all plans.

Naturally, paperwork is required to transfer what are called the servicing rights, but it is a simple process.

No one should ever deal with an adviser they are not happy with or who is not providing good advice or managing a plan properly.

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: January 15, 2023, 5:00 AM