Monday, May 24, 2010

Employer has filed an absconding case

A reader from Dubai asks: My husband was working in a trading company for the past three years and after completing his third year, he renewed his visa. But during the global economic recession, the manager of the company asked my husband to look for a new job. My husband managed to get a job offer from another company, but when requested the company to cancel his visa, he learnt that the local sponsor of his old company had filed an absconding case against my husband and some others working in the company. They claimed that my husband had completed only one year with the company, however, my husband’s residency visa shows the date of joining the company. We tried to contact the manager regarding this issue, but we could not get hold of him as the company was closed permanently. We finally contacted the company’s local sponsor, who told my husband that he should go home and stay there for six months and then he will cancel his visa, so my husband left the UAE and stayed in India for seven months. However, when I contacted the sponsor following the elapse of this period, he asked me to bring my husband’s labour card to cancel the visa, which I did. He then asked me to call him after one week, but when I did, he told me that he will cancel the visa but does not know when it will happen, adding that it may even take a year. I’m in a very difficult situation because I am living here with my son while my husband is out of the country and we need him with us. What can I do now?
I would like to clarify to the questioner that if she failed to reach an amicable solution with the employer concerning her husband, she shall file a complaint before the Ministry of Labour to request the cancellation of her husband’s visa. The Ministry of Labour will call the sponsor in this regard and settle the matter. Also, she should make sure whether the employer has filed an absconder complaint against her husband while abroad, as the Labour Law does not entitle the employer to file an absconder complaint against the worker while he is outside the country.
Questions answered by Advocate Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Bahar Advocates and Legal Consultants.