Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lifting Labour Ban in Dubai

I am currently working with my employer but I want to work for another company once I complete one year of service. The other company asked me if my current one could provide a No Objection Certificate. I consulted our administration personnel who told me they could provide one. Am I safe doing this? What else do I need to consider, to avoid being banned?

The Ministry of Labour has amended the labourers' Visa Transfer Law, which, I believe, are in favour of both - the labourers and the labour market.

The ministry has ceased the previous condition that obligates the labourer to complete one year continuous service for his/her employer before being permitted to transfer his/her visa to another employer. According to the new rule, the Ministry of Labour no longer requires such a condition. So, any labourer who has not completed a year's service for his/her employer may transfer to another employer after obtaining a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the employer to transfer the visa to another employer, provided that the newly imposed fees should be settled.

Such fees are called "the one year non-completion fees" which is calculated at the rate of Dh500 per month. For instance, if the employee continues a period of two months service only then he/she would be obliged to pay a fee of Dh5,000 for 10 months.

Now any labourer, who completes a period of three years service and who could not obtain an NOC, can resign and can approach the Ministry of Labour and the ministry - as per his demand - will cancel the visa and apply a six-month ban. With the new rules and upon completion of three years' service, this ban can be lifted and the employee can transfer to another employer without the need to obtain such NOC from the previous employer, provided that the newly imposed fees should be settled in addition to the visa transfer fees. Such new fees are called 'ban lifting fees'.

Worth saying is that this new law is not applicable in Abu Dhabi but might be in the future. Therefore, the reader as per the new law will not have any problem as long as the company has promised to grant him a n NOC to transfer his visa.