What is a Labour Ban and how to avoid it?

A Labour Ban is a legal action towards an employee preventing him/her from accepting a new employment in the country for a specific period of time, usually six months.

The usual case for a Labour Ban is when an employee in an unlimited contract leaves his/her job before finishing one year of service with the employer, or an employee in a limited contract leaves the job before the expiry date of the contract.

There is also the case when the employment contract expires without any action of renewing.

How to avoid the Ban?

  • Every employee should check to see whether if their employment’s contract term “period” is limited or unlimited, this is a crucial point in any employment contract as it defines many important things in your employment relationship with your employer, such the resignation notice period, the end of service amount and the labour ban conditions.
  • If you see that you employment contract is for a limited period of time, please make sure not to resign and/or quit your job for any reason before finishing the specified employment period in your contract.
  • In case if your employment contract is for an unlimited period of time, you will need to finish at least two years which is the duration of a labour card, before deciding to leave the work.
  • Also, if you are married and sponsored by your spouse, you may keep your visa sponsorship on your spouse as your employer may not ban you from work for any reason as long as you are not on their sponsorship.
  • During your employment, try to report to your employer “in writing” any fault or abuse to your employment legal rights according to your contract, such as significant delay in receiving your agreed salary, working for overtime hours without being paid Etc., as it is decided that employers may not ban an employee after the end of the working relationship when it is found that the employer has failed to honour their legal or contractual obligations towards their employees.
  • Do not hesitate to report to the Ministry of Labour the situation if you are not being paid for at least two months.

No Labour Ban

Listed below are certain cases when a labour ban may not be imposed:

  • A Labour ban (or immigration ban) will not be imposed on UAE nationals
  • Expatriate workers moving into a government job will not be banned
  • Oil company employees may not be banned
  • Expat workers moving to another employer within the same free trade zone
  • Expatriates who have completed a fixed term contract, and have submitted proper resignation notice
  • Expatriates who have completed the one year term of an unlimited contract, and hold a NOC from the current employer
  • Expatriates who are sponsored by their spouse for a residence visa
  • Expatriates who have worked for a company for more than three years on unlimited contract
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