Feb 9, 2015

Employer Liable To Pay For Flight Home Of Resigned Staff Leaving The UAE

Employer liable to pay for flight home of resigned staff leaving the UAE

I worked for a free zone company for three years on an unlimited contract. My contract ended in November, but my visa expired on January 24. A month before my visa expiration I informed the company of my intention of non-renewal. Now they have asked me to sign the final settlement. My question is, aside from the gratuity, am I entitled to a one-way ticket back home? CB, Dubai

A final settlement includes the full salary due to the final day of work and payment in lieu for any days of leave accrued and not taken. If the employee is leaving the UAE, then the employer is liable to pay for the flight. A settlement should not be signed unless the individual is happy with it. Article 131 of UAE Labour Law applies and this says: “At the end of the contract, an employer shall sustain repatriation expenses of the employee to the place of recruitment or to any other place which the two parties had agreed upon. If the employee served with another employer after the termination of his contract, the new employer shall pay the costs of travel at the end of service.” The Labour Law goes on to state “the expenses of the repatriation of the employee means the cost of his travel ticket as well as what the labour contract or the regulations of the establishment stipulate regarding the right of the employee to travel expenditure for the employee’s family and the cost of shipping of his belongings”. As CB will be leaving the UAE, the employer must pay for her flight and appropriate expenses. If the company fails to comply, CB should raise a formal complaint with the Ministry of Labour.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 20 years of experience. Contact her atkeren@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. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice.

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