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In UAE six-month employment ban is still very much in force

Ministry says new law only makes job shift more flexible as it turns down several requests.New rules enforced by the UAE at the start of 2011 allowing workers to shift to another job still include a six-month ban on those who do not fully abide by the specified terms, the ministry of labour has said.
In a statement carried by the Arabic language daily Alkhaleej on Sunday, the ministry said it turned down applications in January by many workers who had left their employers and wanted to move to another sponsor because they failed to justify their move.
“Those workers mentioned some mistakes committed by their employers but they did not comply with the new cabinet decision nor did they know the measures that govern such a decision or the terms needed to be met in order to get consent by the ministry for their shifting to another employer,” it said.
The statement said the ministry found that those workers had quit their jobs without any real reason, trying to benefit from the new job transfer measures without clearly understanding them.
“This prompted the ministry to impose a six-month ban on them because an exemption of this ban will be granted only under the new regulations…the six-month ban is still in force but the new decision was introduced only to add some flexibility to job transfer under certain conditions and rules which should be enforced by the ministry of laour without any exception,” it said.
“Such condition must mainly include that the work contract between the employee and the employer should be terminated with the consent of both parties and the worker has competed at least two years in the job with that employer.”
But the ministry said such a condition could be excluded in case the employer breaks terms of the contract or fails to pay workers their wages for at least 60 days. Workers can also apply for transfer in case their establishment has shut down.
“Another case involves a court suit against the employer by the employee provided the court issues a sentence in favour of the employee…in any case, the worker should not quit the job without any reason or justification as this will result in a six-month ban.”