My employment contract was terminated without notice. I worked with the company for seven months and they owe me some money.

Can I request for all unpaid salaries and for anything extra as I was expecting to stay with the company for two years? BY, Sharjah

If an employer terminates the employment of an individual, they must give them notice in accordance with their contract terms and provide a valid reason.

This is covered in Article 43, part 1, of the UAE’s Labour Law. “Either party to the employment contract may terminate the contract for any legitimate reason, provided that the other party is notified in writing and work shall be performed during the notice period agreed upon in the contract, provided that such period is not less than 30 days and not more than 90 days,” the law states.

BY is entitled to payment in full for all time worked. The employer should have also abided by the notice period rule.

“The party who did not abide by the notice period shall pay to the other party compensation, which is called notice period allowance, even if the absence of notification does not cause damage to the other party and the compensation shall be equal to the worker’s wage for the full notice period or the remaining part thereof,” according to part 3 of Article 43.

BY should be paid for all days worked and for another 30 days in respect of the notice period, which the employer failed to adhere to.

I recommend that he contact the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) to register a case against the employer for non-payment of money owed and for compensation as per part 3, Article 43 of the Labour Law.

The telephone number for the MoHRE is 800 60. BY should find the MoHRE to be supportive as it is clear that he has not been treated properly.

I run a small business and am confused about days off for our staff on public holidays.

Our company deals with the public, so employees work different days, with two days off a week that are not always the traditional Saturday-Sunday weekend.

UAE public holidays often fall on a weekend. While our employees who work those specific days receive a day off to compensate, the others miss out.

We have thought about taking our own steps to make it fair. Can we update our company guidance? What does the law say about this? DP, Dubai

I am pleased to see that an employer is trying to treat all employees fairly. We need to clarify what the law says about working on a public holiday.

The topic of public holidays and who is entitled to which days off can be confusing, so I asked Sarah Brooks, managing director of UAE-based Fikrah HR, which advises small businesses on best HR practices, to clarify the law.

“I have been in discussion with the legal team at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, specifically in relation to the Eid break, but this applies to all public holidays in the UAE,” Ms Brooks says.

“What is important to note is that all official public holidays are just that — a holiday — and this means that if an employee is working on any of these days, they must be paid overtime in accordance with Article 28, clause 2.”

If work conditions require employees to work during public holidays, the employer shall compensate them with another day for each day they work during the holiday, according to the clause.

Otherwise, the employer can pay them the wage for that day, according to the salary established for normal working days, plus an increase of not less than 50 per cent of the basic wage for that day, the clause says.

The same terms apply to any employee who works over the weekend, according to Article 19, clause 4.

What this means is that any employee who works during a day that is a public holiday can either be given a day off in lieu or be paid overtime. What day of the week the holiday falls on is irrelevant.

These are the minimum requirements as per UAE law, but any employer may exceed this if they wish to do so.

“A company can have an internal policy that provides additional days off work, but this should be properly documented and understood by all parties in order to avoid any confusion,” Ms Brooks adds.

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only.

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