‘Can an employer delay a gratuity payment by two months?’

Under the UAE Labour Law, all end-of-service payments should be included in the final salary and paid within 14 days

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Question: Does an end-of-service gratuity have to be paid by a certain date after leaving employment?

I will be leaving my job in two weeks’ time and have been told I have to wait two months to be paid what is owed. PY, Abu Dhabi

Answer: This is a mainland employer, so the company is fully subject to the UAE Labour Law.

Ideally, all gratuity payments should be made with the final salary payment and the employer cannot decide to pay it when it suits them.

However, there is a little leeway, as set out in Article 53 of the labour law, which states: “Paying the workers’ entitlements at the end of the contract term, the employer shall pay to the worker, within 14 days from the end date of the contract term, his wages and all his other entitlements stipulated herein and resolutions issued for its implementation, the contract or the establishment’s by-laws.”

If an employer fails to comply with this deadline, the employee can register a case against them with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

New UAE labour laws come into effect

New UAE labour laws come into effect

Q: I am moving to the UAE soon and, while I have a container, I am planning to bring a number of personal items in my hand luggage and suitcase.

I know some countries have issues with bringing in valuables, but can you tell me the rules for the UAE? TH, Australia

A: There are rules about bringing in cash and valuable items, and anything above stated limits must be declared. This is standard for most countries.

The UAE government website states: “Passengers travelling out of or entering the UAE with more than Dh100,000 in cash [$27,229] or an amount equivalent to this in any other currencies or other financial instruments will have to declare it at the customs.”

This includes jewellery, antiques, works of art and other items with a high monetary value.

There is rarely an issue with personal items of jewellery and it is unlikely that a passenger will be asked about a normal amount of personal jewellery that they are wearing.

For large amounts of valuables, it is a good idea to have receipts to demonstrate that they are genuinely owned or for personal use.

Anyone travelling in or out of the UAE can register and declare valuables.

People can register and declare their items via the Afseh app or they can log in to the Federal Authority for Identity, Nationality, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) website.

If entering or leaving Dubai, the preferred option is the iDeclare app, issued by Dubai Customs.

The system is designed to stop people who are trying to bypass anti-money laundering regulations for illegal purposes.

Q: I have new neighbours who regularly hold loud parties until late at night.

I have asked them politely to keep the noise down, especially late at night, but they have ignored my requests and say they can do what they want in their own house.

It isn’t fair to inflict this on others almost every weekend, or that I should move to escape it. Is there any law that can stop them? JW, Dubai

A: Noise issues are regulated by Dubai Municipality and covered in Environment Protection Order no 61 of 1991. Chapter seven of this legislation refers to noise control regulations.

The legislation states: “It shall be the duty of the occupier of any premises … to adopt the best practicable means of ensuring that the emission of noise from those premises does not exceed a reasonable level. The level is considered reasonable if it does not exceed 55 decibels during the period 7am to 8pm and 45 decibels during the period 8pm to 7am.”

The topic is also covered more generally in the UAE Civil Law, which makes it clear that residents should not cause a nuisance to others.

Holidays and popular celebrations are generally exempted, within reason, but the rules certainly apply to someone having house parties on a regular basis.

If this noisy neighbour does not respond to a personal request for consideration, a complaint can be made to the Noise Control Officer at Dubai Municipality and official action can be taken if the neighbour refuses to comply.

It is best to telephone the municipality on 800 900 for action to be taken.

However, if there is excessive noise outside of normal working hours, so that people are being significantly disturbed during the night, Dubai Police can be called on their non-emergency number — 901 — and they are very good at putting a stop to such disturbances.

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: May 21, 2023, 5:00 AM