Sign work permit cancellation UAE without salary payment

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Sign work permit cancellation UAE without salary payment

Postby cxsmith » 03 Mar 2015, 12:31

I joined a company in August 2014, granted a Visa in October, and as part of the employment process there was an unwritten expectation in joining the company ie I would not be paid a salary until the contract was awarded and the initial payment received. I stayed with the company until January completing the probationary period of three months.

I have recently had to resign from the company after approximately 6 months, however as part of my resignation I have agreed verbally top abide by our initial agreement to wait for any salary payments until the company has gained a specific contract. The Company has recently provided me with a Electronic Work Permit Cancellation which the have asked me to sign and return to them. I am concerned about the last two statements on the Cancellation Form.

The first states that No work permit will be issued till 6 months from cancellation date..........Does this mean I am subject to a "Ban" and cannot accept any work in the UAE for a minimum of 6 months? (My employment Category was Follow-Up Clerk at a salary of AED10,000/month)

The second is that I Certify that I have received all my dues up to date.........I assume that this means the company has paid me all outstanding salary and allowances and forms a legal statement to this effect absolving the company from any and all responsibility towards me.

Should I sign and return the Work Permit Cancellation? Do I have any other recourse to recover any owed salary? The company is concerned that they may be fined if I have not received any salary despite my original and abiding agreement.
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Joined: 03 Mar 2015, 12:12

Re: Verbal contracts are not worth the paper written on

Postby shawarma » 03 Mar 2015, 14:46

TL;DR version:

1. If you want your money don't sign anything to say you already have it. Otherwise assume you won't get it.

2. It sounds like you only have unpleasant options available to you. Sorry to be blunt like that. You have to work out which is the least unpleasant option for you. There are no good options that I can think of.

Longer version ...

1. I am not a lawyer, nor am I any sort of official authority on UAE labor law or government procedures.

2. Verbal contracts are or are not worth the paper they are written on. That applies anywhere, not just Dubai or the UAE.

3. Paper documents and contracts trump verbal contracts almost always. Exceptions for people with a lot more wasta than you.

4. If you sign a document that says you received all your dues then in the eyes of the Ministry or Labour (MOL), the law, and any other related authority, you have stated that you received all your dues. If you contradict that by saying ... but but but but but ... you had a verbal agreement, they will say you shouldn't have signed the document, case closed.

5. Your question boils down to a trust issue. Can you trust the company or person you made a verbal agreement with, to honor that agreement. Unless that person or company is me, I can't possibly answer that question accurately. And even if it is me, I still couldn't answer it accurately. Circumstances change, you might annoy me, I might change my mind.

6. The 6 month ban is automatic when resigning from a job within 2 years if it is an unlimited contract. It can be lifted depending on your qualifications and salary at next job, and if you worked for at least 1 year at your former employer. There are other factors to consider. See the reference below.

7. Your first mistake was making an unbalanced agreement in the first place. Your second mistake was not getting it in writing as part of your contract anyway. Your third mistake might be to sign that document saying you received all your dues if you haven't. However, if you don't, you can't get visa cancelled and can't get a new job (although that might be moot since you'll have a ban anyway).

Your options are:

1. Don't sign until company pays you. I don't know if that means you are technically still employed or not, and if yes, and it stretches to one year of employment, if that means you then have the possibility to lift the automatic ban. Until you sign, your visa can't be cancelled, and you are living in the UAE legally. Once the visa is cancelled, you have 30 days to exit, although it's not expensive to overstay a residence (not visit) visa. I think AED 10 or 20 per day but confirm that with immigration department.

2. Sign and hope the company honors their word. My most optimistic opinion in the absence of any specific information about the relationship between you and the company is that that is unlikely.

3. Ask the company to hold off cancelling visa until you have completed one year of employment with them so you can get the ban lifted. Don't put that in writing, it might be used against you as in the company could file an absconding complaint if you are officially employed but not turning up for work, and such a document might support their case. An absconding complaint which is upheld by the MOL usually results in a permanent ban.

You need to check on the likelihood of you being able to find another job at a high enough salary. Minimum is AED 5,000 if you hold High School Diploma.

4. If you don' get your money, file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour. If you have signed a paper saying you did get it, I doubt you'll get anywhere unless you have or can buy a huge amount of wasta (one translation is: an expensive reputable legal firm in the UAE but don't count on it).

5. Contact the MOL and the immigration department to ask questions and/or confirm anything I've said, or anyone else says. Even talking to different people at the MOL can result in conflicting information.

There are probably other options I haven't thought of.

cxsmith wrote:The company is concerned that they may be fined if I have not received any salary despite my original and abiding agreement.

Really? I don't believe that. As in I don't believe they are concerned about that. It sounds to me like them trying to manipulate you into signing something they know covers them, by trying to make you feel guilty or sorry for them.

It is correct that a company can be penalized by the MOL for non-payment of salaries. If they were really concerned about that, they would pay you.

What sort of company expects you to work for nothing?
Please use the forum for questions, not the PM system.
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