UAE legal Q&As: Can a driver’s licence from a previous residency be used again?

A returning expatriate asks about using his old Dubai driving licence, while another reader asks about a company forcing its sacked employees to take accrued leave, rather than get paid for it.

Q: I was a resident of Dubai for a few years before returning home to the UK. I have now returned to the UAE, this time to live and work in Abu Dhabi. My new residency visa will soon be approved and, at that time, I will not be permitted to drive while using my UK licence. I still have my Dubai driving licence from the first time I was resident here. I wondered, do I need to get a new licence from Abu Dhabi or is the original Dubai licence still acceptable? People have been giving me conflicting answers.

A: It makes no difference whether your licence was issued by Abu Dhabi, Dubai or any other emirate, it is a UAE licence to be used to drive in the entire country and you can certainly use it on your return here, as long as it is still valid. If it is expired, you can still easily submit an application to issue a new one.

Q: Can a company in the UAE force employees to take accrued leave when being sacked, rather than the company pay it when they leave? My company is terminating employees, giving them 30 days’ notice then, at the end of their 30 days, is forcing them to take leave and not pay for the unused leave. Is this legal?

A: This is an illegal procedure by the company and a violation of labour laws, which state that an employee should be paid all their unused annual leave balance. Employees who are being sacked and not offered their accrued paid leave can visit a Ministry of Labour office and lodge a complaint against the company. The ministry will assign a legal researcher to investigate and, upon the findings of the investigation, the ministry will issue a decision.

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Published: July 23, 2016 04:00 AM