Company breaking UAE Labour Law for making employee work long hours

I work with a contracting company as a site engineer but my employer gave me a labourer visa, not one that fits what I actually do. I am forced to work for more than 11 hours daily with no overtime and my salary is paid late. I have also been forced to live in a dirty labour camp. Is there any way I can change my employer without getting a ban, as I have a limited contract and have not yet worked at the job for two years? HI, Sharjah

It is not right that a company applies for a visa with a job title that does not fit what an employee does, but this is quite common because of the various visa quotas. Of more relevance is the late payment of salary and forcing a person to work an illegal number of hours and not paying overtime. Article 65 of UAE Labour Law clearly states “the maximum normal working hours for adult employees shall be eight hours per day or 48 hours per week”. Article 67 states, “If circumstances of work necessitate that an employee works more than the normal working hours, the extra time shall be considered overtime, for which the employee shall receive a remuneration equal to that corresponding to his normal working hours plus an extra of at least 25 per cent of such remuneration”. It is quite clear that the employer is breaking UAE Labour Law so HI should contact the Ministry of Labour to register a case. If he decides to leave the company and is on a fixed contract he may have a penalty to pay, and whether he receives a ban will depend on his qualifications and the salary in any new job. In many cases there is no ban after having worked for a company for 12 months.

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

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice.

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