Sunday, September 26, 2010

Salary overdue for more than one year cannot be claimed as per UAE Federal Labour Law

I worked in a company for more than three years. Almost one month ago, I submitted my resignation from work upon obtaining a better job; I worked for the company for salary and commission basis. I had not received my salary for more than a year. I used to receive my commission and company told me that I would be paid in full at the end of my limited contract, which has expired. I asked company for my end of service gratuity which includes my commission, tickets, leave arrears and overdue salary for almost 13 months. At present company is delaying the settlement of my rights. I turned to the Ministry of Labour where the legal researcher told me that as per the law I may not demand the company to pay the overdue salary which are from more than one year back, however the other rights may be claimed especially since the company is currently the said salary. Is there an article in the labour law entitling the employer not to pay salary over dues for more than one year although the employer was delaying the payment of such salary and used to promise every time, witnessed by my colleagues, that he would pay the said salary once the companies condition improves and, finally, he promised to settle this matter upon the expiry of the contract. Can I use my colleagues in the company to testify before the competent court for obtaining my overdue salary? Please advice and guide me so that I can get my overdue salary along with my labour rights.

Article 6 of the Federal Labour Law No8 of 1980,which states that no claim for any of the rights provided for in this law shall be heard if brought to court after the lapse of one year from the date of accrual. There for, the questioner may not claim for the overdue salary from more than one year ago. However the questioner may claim the remaining right stated by the questioner pertaining to the end-of service gratuity on the basis that it becomes due sa soon as the contract expires.
Answer By Advocate Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba
Article 6 of the Federal Labour Law No8 of 1980

Without prejudice to the provisions concerning the collective labour disputes, stipulated hereunder, if the employer, worker or any beneficiary thereof lodges claim concerning any of the rights occurring to any of them under this law, he is required to apply to the concerned Labour Department, and the latter shall call both parties and will take whatever is considered necessary for settlement of dispute between them amicably. But if amicable settlement has not been reached, the said department must refer the dispute to the competent Court within a fortnight from the date of application being submitted to it. The case so referred should be accompanied with a memo giving a summary of the dispute, evidence of both parties and the comments of the Department.
Within three days from date of receipt of the application the Court will fix a hearing for the case, and a summon to this effect will be served upon both parties of the dispute. The Court may request a representative to appear for the Department of Labour to explain the contents of the memo submitted by it.
In all cases no claim for any rights due according to the provisions of this Law will be heard after lapse of one year from date of its maturity, neither will the action be heard if the procedures provided for in this Article have not been complied with.