I worked for a publishing house in Dubai for seven years. I resigned in 2018 but my employer refused to pay me my end-of-service benefits worth 250,000 Dh ($68,000).
I filed a complaint against my employer before the labor court and won. However, he appealed the verdict. The case went to civil court, where I again won the case. The employer appealed again and the judge ruled in my favor again.
A warrant has been issued against the founder, who refused to pay other employees their end-of-service benefits, too much. However, he has two passports, one of which he handed over to escape the arrest warrant.
He dissolved the company, which was an LLC. He’s still in the country and hasn’t paid my dues yet.
Is there a way to enforce the judgment and make sure he pays the debt he owes us? SS, Dubai
Due to the nature of this investigation, I have sought advice from Thenji Moyo, Gateley UK’s Legal Director based in Dubai.
Ms Moyo said: “The employee should contact the company’s appointed liquidators to register the judgment on the list of creditors to secure payment from the company’s assets. The judgment could be enforced against assets, which include bank accounts, furniture, company vehicles, etc. In case there are no assets in the UAE, the employee is in a difficult position as the judgment is against the company.
“The company is a limited liability entity, which acts as a corporate veil and protects shareholders from personal liability. Any debts of the company are not towards the founder in his personal capacity. The employee should also check if the founder is registered as the managing director of the company. If the employee can establish the general manager’s mismanagement, then he can bring a civil and criminal action against him in his capacity as general manager.
It’s always disappointing to hear about people and companies who treat employees this way and don’t pay what is legally due. It is hoped that upcoming changes to employment laws in the UAE will reduce the number of such cases.
I lent my friend money and he gave me two postdated checks as security. It’s not a huge amount and it’s for a good reason, but I want the money back.
The checks are dated February and March of this year, but I plan to be out of the country from late January to late May.
Can you tell me how long the checks are valid in the UAE? BB, Abu Dhabi
In the UAE, a check is valid for six months from the date written on it, known as the date of issue.
If a person tries to pay with a check dated more than six months old, the bank will reject it.
I am quitting my job soon and my residency visa will be canceled on my last day of work. I understand that there is a 30 day delay Grace period during which I can stay in the UAE after the cancellation of the visa.
I have a new job but it won’t start for a few weeks. I have booked a holiday abroad. Can I enter and leave the country freely during the grace period? FS, Dubai
The grace period after visa cancellation is designed to give people time to start a new job, but it is not the same as having a real visa.
Once a person leaves the UAE within their grace period, they cannot re-enter without a valid visa.
FS has indicated that she is South African, so she is not eligible for a visa on arrival but must apply for one.
She has two options. She can either apply for a visit visa or her future employer can apply for a work entry visa on her behalf. This has a cost for the employer and he may not wish to incur this cost if he has employed someone who is in the country.
If FS is traveling with Emirates Airline or Etihad Airways, they can go to the relevant website and select the “manage your booking” option, where they will find an option to apply for a visit visa by entering information and uploading documents .
A fee is payable, which varies depending on the validity period of the visa, and it is issued online.
If FS is traveling with another airline, they must apply for a visit visa before travelling. She can apply through Amer and will need a multiple entry visa inside the country. The standard rate is 1800 Dh.
Keren Bobker is an independent financial advisor and senior partner at Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 25 years of experience. Contact her at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE
The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information purposes only.
Updated: January 23, 2022, 5:00 a.m.