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Stranded UAE employees face salary deductions

Workers unable to return to the Emirates due to the volcanic ash cloud over Europe could have their salaries cut, says law firm.

April 18, 2010 2:10 by

Workers stranded overseas due to the cloud of volcanic ash over Europe could face deductions to their salaries, according a law firm with offices in the UAE.

The eruption of Mount Eyjafjallajoekull in Iceland has led to major disruption in commercial flights, with many UAE employees stuck abroad after taking a holiday. The flight cancellations have also coincided with the recent Easter break.

Under UAE law, employers can dock the pay of any staff member not returning to work on time, according to legal firm DLA Piper Middle East.

The firm says that, under Article 89 of the Federal law of 1980, “any worker who fails to resume work immediately after the expiry of his leave shall automatically forfeit his remuneration for the period of his absence, with effect from the day following that on which the leave expires”.

However, DLA Piper says it would encourage employers to be flexible over the issue.

“Whilst employers will have sympathy for staff who have become stranded overseas, through no fault of their own, the UAE Labour Law is clear that an employer can stop pay until they return,” commented Neil Crossley, Partner, Employment Pensions and Benefits Group, DLA Piper Middle East.

“However, under their contract employees can offer to use up remaining annual holiday or seek to work remotely, if possible. We would encourage employers to be flexible given the circumstances are outside of the employees control and equally encourage employees to look for solutions that cause minimum disruption to the company.”

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  1. Miss Anne Thropic on April 19, 2010 5:46 am

    Oh Lord, this will just give UAE employers ideas… Especially the ones who already confiscate passports or try and make staff pay for their visas or don’t give health insurance or do whatever they can to deny workers what rights they do have here…

  2. Mukhtar A. on May 2, 2010 10:24 am

    I am afraid to say that the interpretation of Article 89 of UAE labor labor has to do with the extension of leave without proper justification and it has not nothing to do with absence of work due to unforeseen circumstances.
    The view given above does not make any legal sense and the person who has given it should go thru the whole UAE labor law and more specifically Article 60 to understand when an employer has the legitimate right to deduct an employee’s salary. The law makes good balance between the interests of employees, employers and public interests to achieve justice and equity.

    In a nutshell, in absence of specific provision under UAE labor law dealing with such stranded situation (which is beyond an employee’s control), then the practices, law provisions and legal principles provided in the civil code will decided such scenario.

    The above is not a legal advice and can not be relied upon, but it is just a comment on the wrong view given.

  3. Andrew on May 2, 2010 12:23 pm

    Too late, the genie (or should we say jin?) is out of the bottle.


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