UAE legal Q&As: Company won’t let me switch job during probation period

One reader questions the legality of the company's stance, while another wonders about the relevance of qualifications in the workplace.

Q: I worked for a company for a couple of months then left for a job with a much higher salary but the first company is ignoring my requests to shift sponsorship and its manager called me when I resigned and insulted me over the phone. What can I do?

A: UAE law grants all employees the right to resign from their job during the probation period, which is normally between three to six months, depending on the company. The employer also has the right, by law, to dismiss an employee during the probation period but no company has the right to keep the sponsorship of an employee after his or her resignation has been lodged. I suggest you visit the Ministry of Labour’s complaints section and lodge a complaint against the company for ignoring your requests to shift sponsorship. As for the verbal insult by your boss on the phone, you can report him to the nearest police station for issuing insults and, if you can provide evidence, he will be charged and sentenced by a court of law.

Q: Is there a law that restricts public or private sector companies to hiring only individuals with degrees? And if I worked for a company that hires people with no degree qualifications but pays them more than me, who has a degree, is there anything I can do?

A: Private and public companies have their own sets of rules and regulations when it comes to the hiring process and work requirements, and each company has the right to look over each candidate’s credentials and decide upon a suitable salary for that person. The UAE law is not applicable in such a situation as this is an internal issue for a company. However, companies should always be mindful that employing someone without the necessary qualifications or experience could have a detrimental effect on morale and the company’s general performance. Any employee who feels aggrieved with their salary can raise the issue with their line manager, or ask for a salary increase or a promotion via the company’s human resources department. However, if a promotion is approved, the Ministry of Labour should be informed.

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