What are the Reasons for Labour Conflicts that Lead to a Travel Ban in the UAE?
Posted by Al Rowaad Advocates & Legal Consultants on December 15th, 2022
A travel ban is generally understood as prohibiting a person to cross a country’s border, including by entering, exiting or re-entering it.
Employment or labour relations in the UAE are governed by the Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 On Regulations of Labour Relations (Labour Code). Along with the Labour Code, several ministerial and cabinet decisions, including the implementing regulations have also been issued regulating the labour relations.
While the Labour Code does not specifically mention a travel ban as a result of a labour conflict, it provides insight on labour ban which could be imposed on an employee.
What is a Labour Ban?
In common parlance, labour ban essentially means restriction on being employed in the UAE and this differs from travel ban as a person can be situated in the UAE (provided he has a residence visa not dependent on a work permit) but is not allowed to work.
What are the Conditions of Labour Ban?
Labour Code: Article 9 of the Labour Code provides conditions of terminating an employment contract by an employee during probation period. Under this provision, if an employee wishes to terminate the employment contract to leave the UAE during probation, he is required to notify the employer at 14 days before the date specified for termination of the contract.
If the employee leaves the UAE without observing the rules, then such employee will not be granted a work permit to work in the UAE for a period of one year from the date of leaving the country.
Additionally, if an expat employee leaves his job for an illegal reason before the end of the contract term, another work permit to join another job in the country will not granted to him for a period of 1 year from the date of suspension of work. This is provided under Article 50/1 of the Labour Code. That said, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE) is entitled to exempt certain job categories, skill levels or workers from this labour ban.
Labour Dispute Regulations: It is also worth noting that Ministerial Decision No. 47/2022 On the Regulation of the Procedures of the Labor Disputes and Complaints (Labour Dispute Regulations) also provides certain instances where a labor ban may be imposed. These have been provided under Article 8 of the Labour Dispute Regulations, which states as follows.
“Taking into consideration the provisions of Articles (9) and (50) of Federal Decree-Law No. 33/2021, as well as Article (28) of its Implementing Regulation, the worker whose labour relation has ended due to the cases mentioned below shall not obtain a work permit before the lapse of one year from the date of leaving the State:
1- In case the worker terminates the labour relation during the probationary period, provided that the employer does not breach the contractual obligations.
2 – In case of proving that the complaint of work interruption is valid.”
Exceptions to the Labour Ban
Article 28/2 of the implementing regulations of the Labour Code (Cabinet Decision No. 1/2022 On the Implementing Regulation of Federal Decree-Law No. 33/2021 Regarding the Regulation of Employment Relationships) also provides exceptions to labour ban of an employee.
Article 28/2 of the implementing regulations state as follows.
“Subject to the provisions of Article 50 of the Decree-Law, if the foreign worker leaves work for an illegitimate reason before the end of the contract term, he shall not be issued another work permit for a period of one year from the date of absence from work, with the exception of:
a- The worker who is under the residence of relatives.
b- The worker who requests a new work permit at the same establishment.
c- The worker who has professional, skill or knowledge levels that the State needs.
d- Golden visa holders.
e- Any professional categories according to the needs of the labour market in the State that are determined by decision of the Minister in accordance with the workers’ classification approved by the Council of Ministers.”
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Joined: February 3rd, 2021
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