Question 1: Does the Labour Law applicable to managers cover partners of companies too? Can I claim my pending salaries, annual leave and other allowance?
Answer 1: All labour cases in the UAE are governed by Federal Law No. 8 of 1980. Therefore, partners in a business are not considered as “employees”, instead they are treated as “investors” in the business. However, if you hold an employee position, additional to your status as a manager, you will be considered as an employee working in the company.
Your dispute regarding unpaid salaries as well end-of-service gratuity, annual leave etc will be referred to the competent Civil Court if you are partner in a business or to the Labour Court in case you have a labour contract.
Question 2: I have worked in a company for one year under a limited period contract which expires in December 2020. In my internal contract signed with the company, it is mentioned that at the end of my limited contract, I must sign the new contract on a limited basis with the same terms and conditions. Am I obliged by law, upon the expiry of my current employment contract, to renew the contract for a limited period? If I don’t do that and leave, the employer has the right not to pay my end-of-service benefits. Is that right?
Answer 2: I would like to clarify to the questioner that upon the expiry of his current limited contract as per UAE Labour Law, he has the right to choose the type of contract he wishes to sign. Therefore, the questioner may renew with another contract for an unlimited period. What is mentioned in the internal labour contract – that the employee must only renew with a limited contract – is against the UAE Labour Law. The employee has the right to get an air ticket at the time he leaves, unless he joins a new employer.
As for query on the end-of-service benefits, the conditions are considered against the UAE Labour Law and not valid.