'Can I work for a new employer while still serving my notice period at my old job?'

It is illegal to start working for a new company at the same time as the current one and you can potentially forfeit all end-of-service benefits

Employees in the UAE should only ever work for an employer that sponsors them or if they are already on a sponsored visa from a spouse or father. Getty Images
Employees in the UAE should only ever work for an employer that sponsors them or if they are already on a sponsored visa from a spouse or father. Getty Images

I resigned from my job last month and still have two weeks to complete my 30-day notice period. Is it okay to start start at my new company while I am still serving my notice? I want to do this as I do not want to lose my new job. JK, Sharjah

A person should only ever work for an employer that sponsors them. If they are already on a sponsored visa from a spouse or father, they can work for a company that provides a work permit.

While it can be possible to take on a second job on a part-time basis with the approval of both employers, this is a different situation. JK should not start work for a new employer until her current employment has ended, the visa has been cancelled and the new employer has at least applied for a new visa.

It is illegal to start working for a new company at the same time as the current one and you can potentially forfeit all end-of-service benefits.

The new employer should be aware of the law and understand that all staff need to serve a notice period before leaving their previous employer.

I own an apartment in England that I bought as an investment. After a few expenses, it earns me £510 ($705.79) per month. I complete a tax return each year, but I am being asked to pay UK tax on my income. When I bought it two years ago, the salesman told me I would not have to pay tax on this income from the UK as I do not live there. Was he wrong? JM, Abu Dhabi

The UK has a progressive tax system, and all residents have a personal allowance, which means that the first part of their income is free from UK income tax. For the current tax year ending on April 5, 2021, this is £12,500. While the personal allowance is also available to non-residents, it is not automatically applied as it once was because the system changed a few years ago.

The personal allowance is also available to people who are not a resident in the UK – provided they are a citizen of a country in the European Economic Area, which includes all British passport holders. It also applies to anyone who has worked for the UK government at any time during the relevant tax year.

An individual should only ever work for an employer that sponsors them or if they are already on a sponsored visa from a spouse or father

Keren Bobker

The change in process to claim the allowance has not been widely publicised, so anyone who is a UK non-resident for tax purposes and has income in the UK, such as rent from a property, now must complete and return a form at the end of each tax year.

This is a form from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs service that is referred to as HMRC Form R43. It can be found on the agency's website with guidance notes.

Most UK non-residents with income earned in the UK will need to complete an annual self-assessment tax return and HMRC Form R43 and return them to their usual tax office. JM should complete and return the form without delay to ensure that his UK tax liabilities are properly calculated.

I am trying to find out if I am entitled to extra compensation for travelling for work. I work in Dubai and travel to Oman, staying there for weeks to visit customers. Nobody else in the company is doing this and I am not receiving anything for being away from my family. HB, Dubai

If any employee is travelling for work purposes, which excludes from the daily commute, I would expect the employer to bear the cost and expenses for this. As to whether there should be any additional payment for being away from home for an extended period, that would be entirely contractual.

There is nothing in the UAE Labour Law in respect of such payments, but I would expect there to be something in a contract of employment. If the travel is requested during employment and not agreed as part of the terms of the role at the time of accepting and starting employment, the employee should raise the issue with the employer if they feel they deserve compensation.

It is also important to ensure that the company's medical insurance is valid in Oman in case HB falls ill.

It is not uncommon for employees to travel across the GCC and to stay away from their home for some time. However, it is often part of the employment contract and any additional payments would be by specific agreement.

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: March 13, 2021 01:29 PM

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