The employer may not renew residence visa only for 40 days.
Question: I am working for a company on an unlimited contract and recently submitted my resignation. However, my visa will expire in 20 days, while the duration of my notice period is two months. Do I still need to serve my full notice period even though my visa is expiring? What are the options open to me? Can my employer renew it for just 40 days and then cancel it or can I just request cancellation of visa and leave?
Answer: Pursuant to your queries, we assume that you are employed by a mainland company in the UAE and your employment is governed by Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regulating employment relations in the UAE (the 'Employment Law') and subsequent ministerial orders issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
It should be noted that employment contract and the residence visa are two different aspects. Since you are employed on an employment contract of unlimited duration, you are to serve notice period even though your residence visa sponsored by your employer is expiring shortly. The unlimited term of employment contract usually does not have an end date.
Since there is no end date for employment contracts of unlimited duration, it cannot be terminated only for the reason of expiry of a residence visa. Article 1(II) of the ministerial decree no. 775 of 2015 on rules and conditions for the termination of employment relations covers the terms and conditions for termination of an unlimited term of the employment contract. It states: "An employment relation between employer and employee may be terminated In the case of unlimited (not term-bound) contracts if any of the following instances occur:
Based on the aforementioned provision of law, you may request your employer to terminate the contract on mutual understanding. In the event the employer does not agree for mutual termination, you may have to pay salary in lieu of 40 (forty) days notice period for early termination of the employment contract. This is in accordance with Article 119 of the Employment Law. It states, "Where an employer or an employee fails to give the other party notice of the termination of the contract or reduces the period of the notice, the party obliged to give notice shall pay the other party compensation, called 'compensation in lieu of notice', even where no prejudice has been sustained by the other party as a result of such failure or reduction. The said compensation shall be equal to the employee's remuneration in respect of the entire period of notice or the time by which it was reduced. Compensation in lieu of notice shall be calculated on the basis of the remuneration last received, in the case of employee remunerated on a monthly, weekly, daily or hourly basis or in the case of an employee remunerated at piece rates, on the basis of the average daily remuneration referred to in Article 57 of this Law."
Your employer may not renew your residence visa only for the sake of 40 days, rather he would mutually terminate the employer contract, cancel your visa and pay your end of service benefits. Or else the employer may ask you to pay 'compensation in lieu of notice' for 40 days and thereafter may proceed to cancel your residence visa and settle your end of service benefits.
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"Your employer may not renew your residence visa only for the sake of 40 days, rather he would mutually terminate the employer contract, cancel your visa and pay your end of service benefits."
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: [email protected] or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai
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