'Should a part-time job with half the hours come with half the annual leave?'

The Abu Dhabi resident's new role requires four hours of work a day but the holiday entitlement has also been slashed

Close up of woman signing contract in job application form. Getty Images
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I have been offered a job with a company on a part-time basis but I have some queries about the terms that I was sent. I know the owner and the company has only had full-time employees in the past, so I can get some changes made but I'd like to know my legal position before I start asking for contract alterations. The job will be five days a week but from 8am to 12pm, so half the normal hours, but also half the pay. I have a family so will need to take annual leave but the letter says that as I am working half the hours, I will only get half the standard amount of days off, so just 11 days a year. That isn't enough but is it correct in law? TC, Abu Dhabi

The annual leave offered in this situation is not correct. Even if an employee has a working day of just four hours, a day off should be for the full day, so the actual hours worked and the remainder of the day that they are not paid for. This is a full 24-hour period, just as it would be for any full-time employee.

UAE Labour Law makes no specific provision for part-time employment, so the standard rules apply to all employees. Article 75 states: “The worker shall be entitled during every year of service an annual leave of no less than the following periods: a. Two days for each month should the period of service of the worker be of six months at least, and a year at most. b. Thirty days for each year should the period of service of the worker exceed one year. Should the service of the worker be terminated, the worker shall be entitled to an annual leave for the fractions of the last year.”

A part-time employee should not be treated differently to full-time employees so all the usual terms will apply in respect of probationary period, paid sick leave after the probationary period, maternity leave and the end of service gratuity entitlement.

I want advice on redundancy and seeking compensation for  arbitrary dismissal. I am a life coach here in Dubai and I want to get compensation from my employer. I have been given notice of redundancy and they are offering me 30 days' notice and one month's salary. I know they are still recruiting more coaches as they are opening more facilities later in the year. I am a top performer within the company and have been an employee for longer than most of the coaches who still have their jobs. GW, Dubai

If an individual is made redundant but the same role is advertised then there is a good case for arbitrary dismissal. It is understood that this company is registered with Dubai Economic Department with a mainland licence, so UAE Labour Law applies in full. As GW has performed well in the company, we can assume that Article 122 of Labour Law is relevant and this states: “The termination of the employment of the worker by the employer shall be deemed arbitrary should the cause of termination not be related to the work …”

Article 123 goes on to say: “Should the worker be arbitrarily dismissed, the competent court may order the employer to pay a compensation to the worker. The court shall assess such compensation, taking into account the work conditions, the type of work and the extent of damage incurred to the worker as well as the duration of employment. In all cases, the amount of compensation must not exceed the wage of the worker for a period of three months calculated on the basis of the last due wage.”

This situation certainly sounds as if GW has grounds to register a case against the employer for arbitrary dismissal and so could receive compensation if he registers a case against them with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

I'm on a tourist visa in Dubai. I need an international driving licence; how can I get one? CG, Dubai

To obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP), an applicant needs to be legally resident in the UAE with a visa and a driving licence issued in the UAE. The person must provide their passport, residency visa and UAE driving licence copies to apply. This means CG should apply for an IDP from his home country.

UAE residents can apply for an IDP from a number of places including RTA offices, Dnata and Emirates Post Office at a cost of Dh180.

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