Cost of making Dubai secretary work without visa? Dh169,000

The Dubai Court of Cassation upheld the verdict of lower courts and ordered a real estate company to pay an executive secretary Dh169,000 for three months’ work.

The secretary was in the process of transferring her visa to the new company and had not completed the transfer procedures at the time of the court verdict.

The company argued that it only had a ‘business relationship’ with the secretary and, therefore, labour laws are not applicable as the parties are not dependent on a contract.

The court rejected the company’s argument and based its ruling that a company or employer, that uses services of a foreigner not under its sponsorship without adherence to established procedures for transfer of sponsorship does not negate the existence of an employment relationship between the parties.

The court added that the bond of dependency between the secretary and the company in terms of subjecting the employee to the supervision of the employer and work directly for the company existed.

The court ruled that both the parties abided by the contract of employment or the labour relations regulatory act.

The secretary filed a lawsuit before the Dubai Court of First Instance seeking Dh375,000 from the real estate company.

She claimed that she had joined work as an Executive Secretary on a salary of Dh9,500 plus one per cent commission and added that she was surprised when the company terminated her.

The Court of First Instance ruled that the secretary has the right to receive Dh329,000.

The company appealed the verdict at the Appeals Court, which amended the amount to Dh169,000, in addition to the cost of ticket to her home country.

The company then appealed the verdict at the Court of Cassation, which issued the verdict in the secretary’s favour.

The Court of Cassation gave the verdict despite the employment contract being ‘conditional’ as the secretary was in the process of transferring her sponsorship from to a new firm.

The court explained, that though the secretary had not completed the sponsorship procedures because the new company allowed her to work - where the secretary carried out many sales – it confirms the company overlooked this requirement.

The court also rejected the company’s claim that the secretary is not eligible for any commission on the grounds that what she did was only book procedures while actual sales happened six months later – after she left.

The court explained that the secretary was obliged to get one per cent commission of the sale as per the employment contract, which confirms that executives are eligible for the commission on successful sale.

The court asserted that the expert’s report proved that the secretary had achieved sales of Dh15.5 million and, therefore, the secretary has the right to get one per cent commission.

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