Abu Dhabi company should pay for repatriation of employee who finished contract

I have completed a three-year contract with my company but they don’t want to pay my repatriation ticket. The company human resources assistant told me that they were willing to renew my contract and that I am the one who refused to continue with them, so I have to pay for my repatriation costs. Can you advise me on what to do? CS, Abu Dhabi

If someone is on a fixed-term contract and works the full period, their service is considered completed and there is no obligation for the individual to continue working for an employer even if there is an offer to do so. In this case, Article 131 of UAE Labour Law applies: “Expenses for repatriation of an employee to his place of origin or any other place agreed upon by both parties shall be borne by the employer. If the employee after the end of his contract takes up employment somewhere else, repatriation expenses upon termination of his service shall be paid by the last employer subject to the provisions in the preceding clauses, and if the employer has failed to repatriate the employee and has not paid the repatriation expenses, the competent authorities shall do this at the employer’s expense by way of attachment.” If CS plans to leave the UAE the employer should pay for his flight to his home country. If the employer is not complying with the law, he should raise a case with the Ministry of Labour and should do so as soon as possible.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 20 years’ experience. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE

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


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