Friday, February 3, 2012

A company cannot increase six-month probation period - UAE Labour Law

More than 7 months ago I worked in a company on a contract for limited period. After completing six months of service my company terminated my contract saying that this termination is within the probation period as per the company and the company has the right to do so because I did not pass the probation period, and they said I am not entitled to end of service or termination compensation because I did not complete one year in service. I have learnt from the company that the probation as per the company system is for eight months, not six months. Also, I was informed that in accordance with the Labour Law the period of six months is the minimum and maybe agreed to increase it according to the company system and interest. Is this true? What is my legal position in this case as I have signed a letter in this regard and agreed on the probation period which is eight months? What about my termination as per the labour law. Is it within the probation period or after, and what is my right in this regard?
Article no37 of the Federal Labour Law No8 of 1980 states the following. “A worker may be engaged on probation for a period not exceeding six months, during which his service may be terminated by the employer without notice or severance pay: provided that a worker shall not be engaged on probation more than once in the service of any employer. Where a worker successfully completes his period of probation and remains in his job, the said period shall be reckoned towards his period of service”. Therefore, based on this article no agreement shall be made to increase the probation period and the company has violated the labour law because they have terminated the questioner’s limited contract after the probation period and the company must compensate the questioner by paying three months full salary plus other end of service rights.
Questions answered by Advocate Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Shaiba Advocates and Legal Consultants.