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Understanding the Consequences of Absconding in the UAE

Updated: Mar 7, 2023

Absconding, or leaving the country without permission from an employer, is a serious issue in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Under UAE law, an employee who absconds may be barred from working in the country again and may also be liable for financial penalties.



The issue of absconding is particularly prevalent in the UAE's large expat population. Many foreign workers come to the UAE on a work visa, which is sponsored by their employer. This means that the employee is tied to their employer and cannot change jobs without the employer's permission. Some employees, feeling that they are being treated unfairly or that they have found a better job opportunity, may decide to leave their current employer without obtaining the proper permission.


The consequences of absconding can be severe. Under UAE labor law, an employee who absconds is considered to have terminated their contract of employment, and the employer is entitled to file a complaint with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE). MOHRE will investigate the complaint and, if it is found to be valid, will issue a "ban" on the employee, preventing them from working in the UAE again.


In addition to being banned from working in the UAE, an employee who absconds may also be liable for financial penalties. Under the country's labor law, an employee who terminates their contract of employment without a valid reason is required to give their employer one month's notice. If the employee fails to do so, they may be required to pay compensation to their employer for the remaining period of their contract.


Employers also have the right to file a case in the court for any financial loss occurred due to absconding of the employee.


It is important to note that an employee is also prohibited from leaving the country if they have any outstanding financial or legal obligations to their employer, such as unpaid salary or loan amount. In this case, employees must resolve any outstanding issues with their employer before leaving the country.


In conclusion, absconding is a serious issue in the UAE, and employees should be aware of the potential consequences of leaving their job without permission. Employees who are unhappy with their current employer or who wish to change jobs should first seek permission from their employer and follow the proper procedures to ensure they do not run afoul of UAE labor laws.


For more details contact 600 590000, Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratization

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