UAE employee does not return after going on holiday, will he be treated as an absconder?

I used to work for a major hotel in Dubai, starting there in October 2013 on a two-year contract. After 10 months I went on holiday but due to personal reasons I did not come back. My manager called me to ask where I was and I told him I could not return. Now I would like to go to Dubai again to work but would I be blacklisted with an absconding case? Will I be able to enter the country without problem and get a new visa? MB, The Philippines

Any employee who goes on holiday and does not return, especially if they do not even let their employer know, will be treated as an absconder. All matters relating to absconding employees are covered in Ministerial Resolution No (721) for 2006 of Federal Law No 8 of 1980 titled Escape Report Procedures as issued by the Ministry of Labour of UAE. Not only does this become a legal issue I would suggest that it is impolite and unprofessional not to notify an employer of your intentions. If no notice is given for ceasing employment, an employer can file a complaint against an individual if they are absent for seven days or more without notice or permission.

The Ministry of Labour can then cancel the employment visa and impose a ban. Any employee in this situation can be banned from working in the UAE in accordance with Article 128 of UAE Labour Law which states, “Any non-national employee who absents himself from work without lawful reasons prior to the end of the contract for a limited period, may not take up employment elsewhere even with the consent of the employer for one year after the date on which he absented himself from duties. And no other employer who is aware of that may employ or keep such employee in his service during such period”. Given the time elapsed, MB’s ban should have expired but it is his responsibility to check this with the appropriate ministry before returning. If any ban is still in force, any new applications for a visa will be rejected.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 years’ experience. Contact her at 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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