Understanding Absconding under UAE Labour Law: Implications and Procedures

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is known for its robust labour laws that govern the relationship between employers and employees. One important aspect of these laws is the provision for declaring an employee as “absconded.” Absconding occurs when an employee fails to report for work for a consecutive period of 7 days without valid reasons or prior notice to the employer. This article delves into the UAE Labor Law’s provisions regarding absconding, its consequences, and the procedures involved.

Absconding Definition and Criteria

Under the UAE Labour Law, an employee can be declared as absconded if they remain absent from work for 7 consecutive days without any justifiable cause, such as sick leave or authorized vacation. It is important to note that for an employee to be labelled as absconded, there must be a lack of communication with the company and a legitimate reason for the absence is absent. The employer must provide a valid proof of “absence without reasons” to the local labour department.

Employer’s Responsibilities

If an employer believes that an employee meets the criteria for absconding, they are required to initiate the process through the local labour department. The employer needs to submit certain documents, including the employee’s Emirates ID card copy, passport copy, company trade license, and labour card. It is crucial that the absconding report is based on genuine reasons and is not driven by any coercive or pressure tactics.

Procedure and Consequences

Upon filing the absconding report, the relevant authorities, particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, may impose a travel ban on the employee. This travel ban prevents the employee from leaving the country. However, employees have the right to challenge this ban through legal means. If the employee attempts to leave the UAE while under a travel ban, they may be apprehended at the airport and placed in immigration detention.

For employees who are not in the country when the absconding report is filed, they could face a lifetime blacklisting. This blacklisting status prevents them from re-entering the UAE. If the employer decides to retract the absconding application, the blacklisted status can be removed from the immigration system.

Implications for Employees and Employers

The concept of absconding has far-reaching implications for both employees and employers. Employees should be aware of their rights and responsibilities, ensuring they maintain open communication with their employer in case of any absences. Employers, on the other hand, must adhere to the procedures and guidelines set forth in the UAE Labour Law, ensuring that they do not misuse the absconding provision.

Absconding is a significant aspect of the UAE Labour Law that aims to regulate the relationship between employers and employees. The provisions surrounding absconding are in place to prevent unjustified absences and ensure that both parties adhere to their contractual obligations. Employees should be aware of the potential consequences of absconding, while employers should approach the process with transparency and validity. By understanding and respecting these regulations, the UAE maintains a fair and balanced labour ecosystem.

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