16 February, 2009

Information needed abt employment contracts

Sorry if this sounds a bit stupid, but I'd like to be clear on the legality of things, if anyone has an answer.

Say you signed a contract with someone, wherein you're the employee, and the contract states X amount of salary. Employer one day says he/she has no more money with which to pay you. You still help out as you have personal reasons for doing so, but with no monetary compensation. Under these circumstances, is the person still legally your employer? Can the employee look for and take up another job, should he/she find one?


Anonymous said...

even if they don't pay you they are still your employer as long as your contract valid when saying contract it is the Ministry of labour contract or the free zone or specialized zone contract.
I know that you can look for another job and get one as long as you legally document it (the new job) but to do so you have to cancel the old contract in most of the cases, then if you are willing to give up your unpaid compensation then the employer and you have to agree on that or go through any kind of settlement and gratuity if applicable.

D said...

Thanks... one more thing, the employee is NOT on the employer's visa ... so does that affect what you said in any way?

Dubai Entrepreneur said...


Ah.. the employee/employer relationship has to be recognized by the Ministry of Labor (or a free zone authority). If this very relationship does not exist in the authority's eyes, then he is not obliged to pay you anything and you don't have to do anything in return.

Why is that a question?

IANAL said...

Ask your non-paying current employers to give you a No Objection Certificate(NOC) to get another job.

Check with the Labour Ministry/FZ authority if there is any specific mention required on such a document. (license number etc..)

If he refuses file a complaint at the Labour Ministry/FZ authority to get out of your contract and eventually force you employer to pay you.

DO NOT RESIGN, or submit any documents or do anything that may look like your looking for another job! If you do the labour ministry may consider that you are the one breaking the contract and you could end up getting a 6 months to one year ban if you don't get the NOC.

They don't care if you're being paid or not until you file a complaint with them. And even filing a complaint does not mean you're free to look for another job.. It sucks but that's roughly how the law is in the UAE.

If you can't resolve it amicably. I'd advise you to get a lawyer if you can afford it. Often a nice letterhead paper from a local lawyer will unblock many situation and he can help you navigate or expedite the labour ministry maze circuit... I'm not sure how much a couple of hour of a clerk cost nowadays..

If anyone can recommend one.

Regarding the ban, I don't think they will ban you out of the country if you have a wife/kid visa, but they can probably prevent you from getting another job.

If you bought your visa from the black market your ""legal"" employer is the one who sold it to you. He's the one you need to get the NOC from. Your contract with the ""actual"" employer you can use to wipe yourself because that's about all the value of that ""contract"".

In all cases standard disclaimer apply. IANAL. It's just my understanding of the thing.

Good luck.

the real nick said...


In theory, there are three basic elements of any contract, the violation of any invalidates the contract. The parties, consideration (=remuneration) and (definition of) obligations. Since one of these has been violated because you have not been paid, you should be able to terminate the contract.

The reality in Dubai is that you are at the mercy of your employer to release you.

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