The Court of Cassation in Abu Dhabi has ruled that the estimate of a real salary of the worker falls within the discretion of the court, in case each of the parties presented contradicting evidence.
According to a report in Emarat Al Youm, based on this principle, the Court of Cassation ruled in favour of a consultant physician in a private medical facility, requiring the facility to pay Dh380,000 as late salaries and end of service gratuity, in addition to compensation of three months for unfair dismissal.
It is worth mentioning that the benefits were calculated on the basis of last salary received by the employee, and included allowances that were obtained in the last months of work.
In another case, the Court also ordered a private company to pay Dh40,500 as comprehensive overdue salary, allowances and compensation for unfair dismissal.
The court also ordered the company to pay the air ticket to his country.
The company appealed the verdict arguing that the ruling was based on the worker’s salary of Dh3,000 while what was written in the contract is Dh1,000.
However, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.
The company sought recourse in the Court of Cassation which, however, confirmed that the ruling of the Court of Appeal based its verdict on the last salary received by the labourer and as well on the testimony of witnesses.
The court determined that according to documents, the labourer worked for about 11 years in the company. The salary at the beginning of employment was Dh1,000 and had been the amount in the employment contract without amendment until his services were terminated.
The court noted that even though the official employment contract indicates that the value of salary is only Dh1,000, the labourer presented evidence that the last salary he received from the company was Dh3,270 for the month of March 2008 before ending his services in the company.
Meanwhile, several workers disclosed that their employment contracts that were signed at the beginning have not been renewed or changed.
“Employers were resorting to register low salaries in the labour contracts to avoid paying their dues, guaranteed them by law at the end of the working relationship,” they said.
Some employers submitted salaries in two parts – first by transferring to the banks and second by handling it in cash. As such there is no clear evidence how real salary can be based in case of a dispute between the parties.
On the other hand Labour Adviser Yousef Hamad, revealed that assessing the benefits of labourers, is beyond the powers of the Ministry of Labour.
In another ruling, the Labour Court in Abu Dhabi ordered a garment factory to pay one of its workers Dh15,000 as delayed salaries in addition to end of service benefits and allowances.
The court determined that “the total salary registered in the employment contract does not exceed Dh1,500, which includes housing allowance and transportation.”
It was revealed that some companies in the private sector twisted the rules and regulations by registering data different from the actual salaries labourers received, which is considered a kind of exploitation.
Such illegal practices were resorted to in order to evade payment of benefits in the event of termination of services and not pay real wages in the event of disputes broke out between the parties, it was learnt.
Details of such practices surfaced when the garment factory concerned in a circular accused the labourer of absconding, so as to avoid paying his dues.
But the worker filed a lawsuit in the labour court against the company accusing it of breaching the terms of contract between them.
The company wanted the dues calculated the value of salaries on the basis of the contract base salary, but the Court ruled that salary arrears calculated on the basis of actual salary received by the worker.