Court: employer cannot extend probation

Six months is the statutory probation period

The employer has no right to extend the probation period of an employee beyond the statutory period of six months, according to a new principle laid down by the Dubai Court of Cassation.

The court said if the employer has not used his right to end the services of the employee within the six months set by law, he has no right to extend the employee’s probation period any further.

The court also said that if the employer terminates the services of an employee for a serious reason, then it is not required for the employer to prove the legality of the dismissal.

The court said the employee should try to find out the reasons for his arbitrary dismissal and the burden of proving unfair dismissal lies on the employee.

These principles were established when the court  considered a case brought by an employee against his company.

The plaintiff had asked the court to compel the company to pay him Dh44,000. He said he had joined the company on a basic salary of Dh5,000 plus Dh1,500 as transportation allowance and Dh3,500 as housing allowance.

He added that he asked the company to pay him Dh10,000 as a compensation for not warning him in advance about the dismissal, Dh30,000 as compensation for unfair dismissal and Dh1,500 as value of the air ticket to go home.

The Court of First Instance gave a verdict supporting only the claim of the employee for  the price of an air ticket to his country unless he has taken up another job in UAE.

The employee then went to the Court of Appeal, claiming that the employee does not have  the right to be compensated for unfair termination as he had been contacting the company's customers, offering them competitive products and asking them to be his, and not the company’s, customers.

The Court of Appeal accepted these arguments and said the employee cannot deny allegations that he had received several warnings for breach of duties.

But the Court of Appeal ordered the company to him Dh15,000 for unfair dismissal.

The company then approached the Court of Cassation which gave the above verdict.

(Image courtesy Shutterstock)

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