Ex-hus­band can be de­tained at air­port for flout­ing court

The National - News - - BUSINESS | MONEY & MARKETS - KEREN BOBKER Keren Bobker is an in­de­pen­dent fi­nan­cial ad­viser and se­nior part­ner with Hol­born As­sets in Dubai, with over 20 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence. Con­tact her at keren@hol­bor­nas­sets.com. Fol­low her on Twit­ter at @Fi­nan­cialUAE The ad­vice pro­vided in our colu

QI am a Mus­lim and so is my ex-hus­band. We got di­vorced through the court sys­tem in Dubai in 2009 and he holds a European pass­port. The court in­structed that he should pay ap­prox­i­mately Dh65,000 to me each year but he has not paid in the eight years that have passed. He will be trav­el­ling to Dubai this year and I would like to know if it would it be pos­si­ble to speak to the au­thor­i­ties to ar­rest him un­til he pays me, or if he could be ar­rested at Dubai air­port when he ar­rives? AH, Dubai A It is dis­ap­point­ing to hear that some­one is not abid­ing by a court-sanc­tioned agree­ment and I con­tacted Madeleine Mendy, the head of fam­ily law at Bin Se­van Ad­vo­cates for her ex­pert com­ment. She ad­vised: “When an or­der for pay­ment is made by the Dubai Courts and the in­di­vid­ual who the or­der is made against fails to pay, en­force­ment pro­ceed­ings can be started at the Dubai Courts. In this par­tic­u­lar case, if AH starts an ex­e­cu­tion case at the Dubai Courts and an or­der is en­tered against her ex-hus­band, and the ap­pro­pri­ate steps are taken with the rel­e­vant court-ap­pointed au­thor­i­ties to en­force the or­der, her hus­band will be de­tained upon ar­rival at Dubai air­port, even if he is only tran­sit­ing through the air­port.” I queried whether a lawyer needs to be en­gaged to do this and Ms Mendy fur­ther ad­vised: “It is more cost ef­fec­tive to do it alone and the court sys­tem is pretty straight for­ward in par­tic­u­lar as she has pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence.”

I need clar­ity on my leave salary and gra­tu­ity. My com­pany ter­mi­nated my con­tract on Au­gust 31 and agreed to pay me three months’ no­tice pay. Can you tell me if the gra­tu­ity will be paid un­til Au­gust 31 or un­til Novem­ber 30? What date will my salary be paid to? Can I use com­pany ac­com­mo­da­tion for the next three months as it is men­tioned in my con­tract that ac­com­mo­da­tion is pro­vided by my com­pany? In case the com­pany can­cels my visa, am I el­i­gi­ble for ac­com­mo­da­tion ex­penses for the bal­ance of the no­tice pe­riod? DD, Dubai

If some­one is given three months’ no­tice of ter­mi­na­tion then they should be con­sid­ered em­ployed for the full no­tice pe­riod with all the at­ten­dant ben­e­fits, so for DD this is un­til Novem­ber 30. This means that the visa should not be can­celled un­til the end of the no­tice pe­riod and all other ben­e­fits and al­lowances such as med­i­cal in­sur­ance, travel al­lowances and ac­com­mo­da­tion must be pro­vided dur­ing the en­tire three-month pe­riod.

The last salary pay­ment should also in­clude any an­nual leave ac­crued and not taken, in­clud­ing that ac­crued dur­ing the no­tice pe­riod, as well as the end of ser­vice gra­tu­ity cal­cu­lated to the end of Novem­ber. Ar­ti­cle 131 of the UAE Labour Law cov­ers the re­quire­ments in re­spect of ac­com­mo­da­tion pro­vided by the em­ployer and clause 2 states: “In the event where the em­ployer pro­vides the worker with ac­com­mo­da­tion, the worker shall va­cate the ac­com­mo­da­tion within thirty days from the date of ter­mi­na­tion of the em­ploy­ment thereof.” My in­ter­pre­ta­tion is that if em­ploy­ment ends on Novem­ber 30, then the ac­com­mo­da­tion should be avail­able for a fur­ther 30 days from that date, al­though many peo­ple will va­cate sooner.

I have been work­ing as a sales ex­ec­u­tive on an un­lim­ited con­tract. How­ever, for the last two months my em­ployer has not paid my salary. I have found a new job in the GCC and asked them to can­cel my visa but they are ask­ing me to pay the can­cel­la­tion amount. I still haven’t had my salary. They are hold­ing my pass­port and re­fus­ing to give it back. FH, Abu Dhabi

This em­ployer is act­ing un­fairly and un­law­fully on sev­eral counts. If any em­ployee wishes to leave a com­pany they should never be asked to pay for any fees in­curred by the em­ployer. This is clearly set out in the Min­is­te­rial Or­der 52 of 1989, Ar­ti­cle 6 which states that the em­ployer is re­spon­si­ble for all re­cruit­ment and em­ploy­ment ex­penses. No em­ployer is per­mit­ted to re­tain an em­ployee’s pass­port and any that do are break­ing the law. If some­one gives no­tice of res­ig­na­tion, the em­ployer is obliged to can­cel the visa at the end of the no­tice pe­riod and must re­turn the pass­port. Salary pay­ments are also due and these should also be paid along with any end of ser­vice gra­tu­ity that has ac­crued. I rec­om­mend that FH con­tacts the Min­istry of Hu­man Re­sources and Emi­rati­sa­tion on their helpline num­ber, 800 665, to reg­is­ter a case as soon as pos­si­ble. He can also go to a lo­cal labour of­fice. As the em­ployer is wholly in the wrong he should find the min­istry sup­port­ive.

It is more cost ef­fec­tive to do it alone and the court sys­tem is pretty straight for­ward MADE­LINE MENDY Lawyer

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