Am I subject to a one-year work ban if I resign during the probationary period?

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Dubai: With the entry into force this year of the new UAE labor law – Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 – what are the rules governing the situation in which an employee resigns during the probationary period?

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE) has issued several ministerial resolutions or decrees following the implementation of the UAE Labor Law, which provide further details on how the law will be implemented. Ministerial Resolution No. 47 of 2022, for example, provides details on the process that will be followed for the resolution of labor disputes and complaints.

Article 8 of this resolution states that an employee may face a one-year work ban if he leaves his job during the probationary period.

Article 8 of Ministerial Resolution No. (47) of 2022 concerning the settlement of labor disputes and complaints procedures

Article (8) – Prohibition to work for one year

Subject to the provisions of Articles (9) and (50) of Federal Decree-Law No. (33) of 2021 and Article (28) of its implementing regulations, a worker whose employment relationship has ended for the reasons set out below cannot obtain a work permit before the expiry of one year from the date of departure:

1. If the worker decides to end the contractual relationship during the trial period, provided that the employer does not violate his contractual obligations.

2. If it is proven that the work abandonment report is true.

*An Abandoned Work Report or Flight Report is filed by an employer when the employee does not report to work for seven consecutive days and the employer does not know where the employee is.

Gulf News spoke to legal experts in the United Arab Emirates to learn more about when someone can be subject to a one-year work ban and what exceptions the law provides.

When does an employee risk a one-year work ban?

Reda Hegazy, senior partner and arbitrator at Dubai-based law firm Alsuwaidi and Company LLC, said certain conditions were mentioned in Federal Executive Order No. (33) of 2021 and Ministerial Resolution No. 47 of 2022 , which the employee must follow to avoid the ban in case he wishes to terminate his employment contract during the probationary period, either to join another employer in the UAE or to leave the country.

“In the first case, an employee who wishes to join another employer in the UAE during the probationary period must serve a written notice of at least 30 days, which can be sent by e-mail or delivered by hand, to his current employer before the desired termination date. The new employer undertakes to compensate the current employer for the costs of recruiting the employee, unless otherwise agreed”, he specified.

“The second case is when an expatriate employee wishes to terminate the employment contract during the probationary period to leave the UAE. In this case, he must notify the employer in writing at least 14 days from the date of termination However, under Article 9 of the new UAE Labor Law, if the expatriate employee leaves the UAE without complying with the provisions mentioned above, the employee will not be granted a permit. to work in the UAE for a period of one year from the date of his departure from the United Arab Emirates.

Hegazy further added that Article 8 of Ministerial Resolution No. 47 of 2022, stipulates that in the event that the employee wishes to terminate his employment contract during the trial period, without any breach of the obligation to the employer, and that the employee has not complied with the conditions mentioned in Article 9 of Federal Decree-Law No. (33) as mentioned above, he or she would be subject to a work ban one year.

In this case, he must notify the employer in writing at least 14 days from the date of termination of the contract. However, under Article 9 of the new UAE Labor Law, if the expatriate employee leaves the UAE without complying with the provisions mentioned above, the employee will not be granted a work permit for work in the UAE for a period of one year from the date of leaving the UAE.

– Reda Hegazy, Senior Partner and Arbitrator at Alsuwaidi and Company

Categories not subject to the work ban

Hassan Mohamed, Partner at BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem and Associates LLP, also spoke about Article 11 of Ministerial Decree No. 1 for the year 2022 in relation to the Executive Regulation of Decree No. 33 for the year 2021, which places certain criteria and sufficient reasons not to have your work permit banned if you decide to leave during your probationary period. These are the following:

1) Be in a field of work required by the state;

2) A worker with a family sponsorship visa;

3) Holders of the Golden Visa; and

4) All professional categories according to the needs of the labor market in the country for which a decision is issued by the Minister in accordance with the job classification approved by the Council of Ministers.

How do I lift a work ban?

According to Hegazy, if an employee has a work ban, they can lift it and share their grievances with the MoHRE grievance committee.

“Under Ministerial Resolution no. 45 of 2022, regarding the formation of the grievance committee on the decisions of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, a grievance committee is constituted and is responsible for considering the grievance requests submitted by the employee and the employer regarding decisions made by the department. The grievance must be filed within 30 days from the date of knowledge of the disputed decision and must be duly substantiated with all supporting documents,” Hegazy said.

To learn more about setting up this grievance committee and how it works, read our in-depth guide here.

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