Does Your Company Refuse To Bear Emirates Id Costs?

The EIDA had urged all employers to take up the responsibility of bearing the cost of the ID cards of their employees.

A friend of mine works at a drilling company, and suddenly received notification that his previously-signed contract of 28 days of work followed by 28 days off was changed – with immediate effect – to 42 days on, and 21 days off. Is this legal? Workers at the company have approached the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, but have not received any response so far. It should also be noted that the company is not refunding fees for renewal of Emirates IDs, despite having done so originally. Is this legal? I can vaguely recall something about companies having to refund these costs.

Pursuant to your queries, it should be noted that employees employed in mines comes under category of ‘Dangerous Operations’ and the working hours for employees working under such category of employment shall be seven hours. This is in accordance with ministerial order no. 4/1 of 1981 related to working hours for employees working in Dangerous Operations. Since the employment is related to mining industry, the said scenario your friend and his colleagues are undergoing is somewhat different in nature. Further, you have not mentioned how many hours of work your friend is working. If your friend and his colleagues are only working seven hours in a day then they are only eligible for one day off in a week. This is in accordance with aforementioned ministerial order and article 65 of federal law no. 8 of 1980 regulating employment relations in the UAE (the “Employment Law”), which states: “The maximum normal hours of work of adult workers shall be eight a day or 48 a week. The hours of work may be increased to nine hours a day in commercial establishments, hotels and cafes and of guard duties and any other operations where such increase is authorised by order of the Minister for Human Resources and Emiratisation. The daily hours of work may be reduced in the case of arduous or unhealthy operations by order of the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

“The normal hours of work shall be reduced by two during the month of Ramadan.

“The period spent by a worker in traveling between his home and place of work shall not be included in his hours of work.”

By practice, the employment in mining, quarries or in drilling rigs is at times likely to be for longer 48 hours a week, without any off day. The employees may work for long period without an off day and then be compensated by long break of holidays for a few days or weeks. However, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (the “Ministry”) will lay down some guidelines relating to working environment, working hours and holidays to such kind of specific industries or sectors. If the employer complies with the regulations of the ministry, then the employees cannot complain about the change in work schedule and holidays.

Further to your question, it may be noted that there is no legal provision in the Employment Law relating to bearing the cost of the UAE Resident Identity Card by the employer or the employee. However, in the year 2013, EIDA had urged all employers to take up the responsibility of bearing the cost of UAE Resident ID cards of their employees since its issuance is connected with the issuance/renewal of the residence visa of an employee. Therefore, your friend and his colleagues may request their employer to bear the cost of obtaining/renewal of the Emirates ID card.

Article 6 (a) of ministerial order no. 52 of 1989 regarding the rules and procedures to be adopted at the labour permit sections with respect to the recruitment of non-national employees for employment in the UAE states: “An undertaking from the employer to the effect that he shall sponsor and be responsible for the recruited employee, the bearing of his recruitment expenses and his employment in accordance with the employment contract in a away not prejudicing the provision of the federal no. 8/1980 referred to herein.”

The interpretation of the above ministerial order may require the employer to bear the cost of the issuance/renewal of the UAE Resident ID as part of the recruitment expenses borne by the employer.

Major maintenance works that disturb tenants are illegal

I want to know whether it is legal for a landlord to undertake major maintenance work in a building while tenants reside in the property. My landlord is currently undertaking a project which requires them to drill and a refurbish a flat while the tenant remains inside. They did not provide any temporary accommodation for the resident, and construction materials are left in the corridors of the building. Drilling causes a lot of dust, which is leading to adverse health effects. What legal recourse do we, the tenants, have?

Pursuant to your queries, we assume that this building is in the emirate of Dubai. Your landlord should not undertake major maintenance work which will affect your health of the residents living in the same building and which will cause disturbance and to the other residents. This is in accordance with article 17 of law no. 26 of 2007 regulating the relationship between landlords and tenants in Dubai, which states: “The landlord may not make to the real property or any of its amenities or annexes any changes that would preclude the tenant from full use of the real property as intended. The landlord will be responsible for such changes whether made by him or any other person authorised by the landlord. Further, the landlord will be responsible for any defect, damage, deficiency, and wear and tear occurring to the real property for reasons not attributable to the fault of the tenant.”

It is the responsibility of the landlord to give eviction notice to the tenant one year in advance if he has planned to undertake major maintenance and refurbishing works of the residential building. This is in accordance with article 25 (2) (b) of law no. 33 of 2008 amending law no. 26 of 2007 regulating the relationship between landlords and tenants in Dubai, which states: “The landlord may seek eviction of the tenant from the real property prior to the expiry of the term of the tenancy only where the real property is in a condition that requires restoration or comprehensive maintenance that cannot be carried out in the presence of the tenant in the real property, provided that the condition of the real property is verified by a technical report issued by or attested to by Dubai Municipality.

“For the purpose of above article, the landlord must notify the tenant of the eviction reasons 12 months prior to the date set for eviction, provided that this notice is given through a notary public or registered post.”

You may also approach the police station having jurisdiction and the Rental Dispute Centre located in Dubai. This is in accordance with article 34 of law no. 26 of 2007 regulating the relationship between landlord and tenants in Dubai, which states: “The landlord may not disconnect services from the real property or disturb the tenant in the use of the real property in any manner. If this happens, the tenant may have recourse to the police station under whose jurisdiction the real property falls to seek a remedy for the violation to file a police report regarding the violation. He also may have recourse to the tribunal (Rental Dispute Centre) by filing a claim for damages for any loss he may have suffered, supported by official reports that support the existence of such violation.”

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