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28 February 2024

Compensation for sacked Dubai secretary

By Mohammed El Sadafy

Dubai Court of Cassation has ruled in favour of a secretary, who was arbitrarily terminated, ordering the employer to pay her three months’ salary as compensation.

She has the right to receive Dh15,000 as compensation, ruled the court, which also rejected the employer’s claim that she made a mistake while on the job.

The defendant claimed that the secretary sent a letter to one of the institutions without authorisation, causing the company financial commitments.

The court also rejected the employer’s claim that he fired the secretary during her probationary period.

The Court of Cassation rejected the employer's challenge based on Article 37 of the same Act, which states that the employee should not be subject to more than one probationary period.

The court emphasised that it is not permissible to extend probationary period for more than six months, which is the legally-approved period.

The secretary filed a lawsuit with the Court of First Instance against the company, saying she was sacked seven months after being appointed.

She requested the court to ask the company to pay her Dh27,000 in dues. She explained that she had joined the company as a secretary on a monthly salary of Dh5,000.

The Court of First Instance issued a verdict in favour of the secretary, and asked the employer to pay her Dh12,000.

However, she did not accept the verdict and challenged the ruling before the Appeals Court, which amended the amount to Dh22,000.

This time, the employer did not accept the verdict and moved the Court of Cassation, which issued the above ruling.

The court based its verdict on Articles 115 and 121 of Labour Relationships Act No. 8 of 1988 that states the validity of ending services of employees should they make mistakes.

The court pointed out that in case the employees’ mistake lead to loss or damage to the employer, the latter shall notify the Ministry of Labour about the mistake within 48 hours.

The court also mentioned that the employer had no documents to prove that the company had suffered loss or damage after the secretary sent the letter without his knowledge to another company.

The court clarified regarding the trial period that the employer acknowledged that the secretary enrolled at work four months prior to the date of the contract of employment. It clarified that this period should be added to the probation time, which should not be taken from the date of signing work contract.