UAE legal Q&As: Can employer take leave from me for weekend days?

A reader asks if their employer can legally deduct two days from their annual leave for a Friday and Saturday, while another has a query about a bounced cheque.

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Q: My contract is based on calendar days, with Fridays and Saturdays off. I went on holiday for 30 days and my leave was ending on a Thursday. I resumed my duty on the following Sunday as it was the next working day but my employer counted 32 days of leave instead of 30, including the last Friday and Saturday. Can they legally do this?

A: Yes, the company has the right to deduct 32 days but only if they are following article number 65 from the UAE Labour Law that relates to the regulation of weekly working hours. However, if the company had clearly scheduled the weekend to be on Fridays and Saturdays in the contract, then it does not have the right to deduct the extra two days, according to Articles 70, 75 and 77 of the Labour Law. Article 70 clearly states that Friday is the weekly day off and if an employee’s services are urgently needed on this day, the employee must be paid the same amount they are normally paid for a day’s work, in addition to 50 per cent extra and a lieu day. Articles 75 and 77 involve annual leave balance and the types of other leaves that can be taken. If the company has not based its decision to deduct the two days on Article 65, you have the right to submit a complaint against then with the Ministry of Labour. But knowing your legal rights now, you can try first to approach your management and discuss the issue.

Q: I gave a man a Dh10,000 loan and got a post-dated cheque for the amount from him, along with his signature on the receipt of my loan. One month later his cheque bounced and he stopped taking my calls, and I didn’t have an address for him to report him to police. I left the case but then I ran into this person by coincidence a few months ago. I told him his cheque bounced and I needed my money. He never denied he owed me and admitted it on WhatsApp and texts but he has still failed to pay me. I have a copy of the bounced cheque and his thread of messages promising to pay. Can I file a case against him? Will I get my money back?

A:You can approach the nearest police station and lodge a bounced cheque report against the man. Provide soft and hard copies of all the conversations the two of you had on WhatsApp or any other form of communication. Also provide a copy of the cheque that bounced and the receipt the man signed. He will be referred to the Court of Misdemeanours on a charge of issuing a cheque that bounced, which is a crime according to article 401 from the UAE Penal Code. The man can face prison if he does not reach a settlement with you.

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