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Punitory Action & Arbitrary Dismissal in the UAE- Connect Legal

Facing an arbitrary dismissal from an employer is not an uncommon scenario. Many employees in the region have faced this situation in the last recent years. Nevertheless, workers in the UAE count on the Labour Law to protect them and establish disciplinary action against employers.

In this article, we will be going over the arbitrary dismissal topic. Have you ever experienced an unfair termination from a job? We will bring to light one of the most significant issues that both employers and workers must deal with when entering into an employment contract. Let us observe:

  1. Can I take action against my employer for unfair dismissal?
  2. Article 47: ¿What does it say about arbitrary dismissal?
  3. How can I file a labour complaint?
  4. How can Connect Legal help you with this matter?

1. Can I take action against my employer for unfair dismissal?

arbitrary dismissal

Firstly, let us define arbitrary dismissal. Arbitrary dismissal refers to any type of termination or forced resignation that occurs for reasons that are illegal, illegitimate, or in violation of the government’s specific norms and regulations.

According to UAE Labour Law, workers have the right to sue their employers if they are fired unfairly or compelled to leave their jobs for any of these reasons:

  • When employees take action to improve workplace health and safety regulations and the workplace environment.
  • If workers want to exercise their rights as outlined in UAE labor law and their respective employment contracts.
  • When a female worker is on maternity leave.
  • If workers reveal material that is related to an infringement within the workroom.

If the employer or the company breaches local law and does something that qualifies as a contract violation and leads to an employee’s unfair termination, the employee may be able to make a claim for illegal or arbitrary dismissal UAE. The following are acceptable justifications for pursuing arbitrary dismissal claims:

  • Withdrawing the employee’s necessary perks while continuing in violation of the employment contract.
  • When an employer changes an employee’s working circumstances or the workplace environment without justification.
  • When a worker has not given the support that is necessary for the employee to accomplish his or her job tasks.
  • If a worker is demoted without cause or an adequate explanation.
  • When an employer fails to give workers a safe and healthy work environment.
  • If a company cannot do something against harassment in the office or does not want to do anything about it.
  • In the event that a company dissolves and a worker does not obtain remuneration.

1.1 Disciplinary action

The statutory regulations governing disciplinary measures are modest, yet they clearly specify how an assessment process should be carried out. According to Article 102 of the UAE Labour Law, a company may impose disciplinary sanctions on its employees, such as a warning, fine, or dismissal. Article 110 of the UAE Labour Law establishes severe legal formalities, stating that the penalties in Article 102 may not be in place unless and until:

  1. The employee has received written notice of the accusations made against him.
  2. Employees were given the opportunity to respond to the claims.
  3. The employer has looked into any defense offered by the worker in response to the claims.
  4. The procedures outlined in (1) through (3) above will appear in the employee’s personnel records; consequently, the punishment will be at the end of the statement.

There are severe time constraints for taking disciplinary action. The disciplinary procedure starts by the employer within a 30-day period of discovering the misbehavior, and any disciplinary consequence must be in place within 60 days from the date of the investigation’s conclusion.

Getting the method correct before implementing a specific disciplinary consequence is critical to avoiding litigation. Or, in the worst-case scenario, protecting the employer if an employee files a claim. If a company fails to follow the necessary procedure, the ultimate disciplinary penalty may be declared illegal by the Labour Courts (regardless of the employee’s bad performance or behavior).

1.2 Company entitlement

Arbitrary dismissal, which is prohibited by UAE Labour Law Article 122, occurs when an employer dismisses an employee for reasons unrelated to job performance; regardless of the employee’s nationality or citizenship status, or forces the employee to quit. It also happens when an employee files a grievance against the employer and is forced to resign as a result of doing so. However, there are a few circumstances where a company in the UAE may be entitled to fire an employee even if no notice is provided, and these include the following:

  • When a worker submits fake documents under an alias.
  • If the employee’s probationary period is still in effect.
  • When an employee makes a grave mistake that causes substantial and enormous costs for the business and the workplace.

1.3 Arbitrary dismissal UAE

Employees in the UAE who have been fired may file a claim for arbitrary dismissal according to the UAE Labour Law.

The cause for the dismissal and the steps the employer will follow before terminating the employment will ultimately determine whether an employee is successful in making any such claim. Employers must therefore adhere to the proper method from the outset.

If an employer fulfills the requirements stated above, gives the employee the proper written termination notice per the contract of employment, and dismisses the employee for a “good reason,” they may dismiss a person operating under an indefinite term contract at any moment with written notice.

The UAE Labour Law does not define a “legitimate reason,” but if the cause for the dismissal was “irrelevant to the work,” it will be assumed that the employee’s employment was terminated arbitrarily.

2. Article 47: What does it say about arbitrary dismissal UAE?

Dubai: On February 2, 2022, the Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 Regulating Labour Relations, the UAE’s new labor law, went into effect. The amended legislation imposes a number of requirements on the private sector.

One of several Articles in the legislation also specifies the terms of an employee’s dismissal. Article 47 of the new labor legislation, titled “Arbitrary Dismissal,” outlines a worker’s rights if their company terminates them without presenting a legitimate explanation.

According to the law, if a worker can prove that the employer arbitrarily dismissed the worker through a petition lodged with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE), and the complaint is proven to be valid by the Ministry, the worker is entitled to compensation for arbitrary dismissal.

2.1 Article 47 – United Arab Emirates’ Labour Law

Here is a full look into what the new labor law says about suing an employer for arbitrary dismissal.

According to Article 47, it is unlawful for an employer to fire an employee for making a complaint to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization. Or initiating a lawsuit against the company, the legitimacy of which is now in place. According to the law:

Paragraph One: A worker’s dismissal by his employer is arbitrary if the employee makes a significant complaint with the Ministry or makes a lawful action against the employer.

Paragraph Two: If authorities determine that the dismissal was arbitrary in accordance with the preceding paragraph (1); the employer must pay the employee fair compensation evaluated by the relevant Court.

The type of job, the severity of the harm suffered by the employee, and the duration of his service will all be taken into consideration when determining the amount of compensation. In any scenario, the compensation cannot be more than three months’ worth of the worker’s wages, calculated using his most recent paycheck.

Paragraph Three: The terms of paragraph (2) above do not affect the employee’s right to compensation in lieu of notice or severance pay that is provided for in this agreement.

3. How can I file a labour complaint?

arbitrary dismissal UAE

Employees can file a labour complaint with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization in the following ways:

  1. Get in touch with the MoHRE’s hotline (800 60).
  2. Downloading the Ministry’s app and filing a labour complaint there.
  3. Visiting the Ministry’s website and selecting the option for making a labour complaint.

If you select the second or third option, you will have to establish an account. You will need your passport information and work permit (labor card) number for this. A legal counsel will contact you within 72 business hours of filing a complaint and attempt to resolve the matter amicably at first.

Employers must follow a reasonable and fair process, and any sanction must have support and justification by documentary evidence, to prevent the possible repercussions of dismissing employees or imposing less severe punishments. Both terminations for subpar performance and summary dismissals for inappropriate conduct according to Articles 88 and 120 of the UAE Labour Law should be subject to this.

Depending on the nature of the misbehavior, companies may need to file a police report and wait for a final judgment against the worker before verifying its final decision, or they may have to notify the appropriate authority (which changes depending on the type of offense committed).

4. How can Connect Legal help you with this matter?

To protect the rights of both the employee and the employer the region’s labour laws are regularly under supervision. We advise you to consult an attorney or legal advisor right away if you require their counsel. If your employer violates your employment contract, our team of UAE lawyers and legal advisers on Connect Legal will assist you in acquiring all pertinent information, including proof.

You can expect our complete attention and expert counsel as a client, regardless of your position in an organization. Our employment lawyers can assist you in becoming completely aware of all compensations and entitlements for which you may file a claim. We will offer you the necessary guidance from the beginning of an inquiry to the conclusion of the hearings. Yes, this involves moral assistance throughout a court hearing.

We have been providing legal consultancy and other types of assistance to our clients for decades now. Consequently, collecting a team of professionals in every area of the legal field. No matter what your legal issue may be, we have the right answers to any problem.

4.1 Our services

In our agency, we provide the assistance of different types of lawyers, including:

In the same way, our professional team can support you in the following practice area:

Connect Legal

Do you want us to help you with an arbitrary dismissal case? We are here for you. You can easily register on our page and get in touch with one of our attorneys. Also, you can send us an email with your request at Or you can give us a call at +971 433 16 688. We will do our best to give you a callback quickly once you request it and let us know about your issues.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a job in the field, we have the solution for you. Go on and upload your resume so you can find the most incredible job offers in the UAE. Our agents will do the most to match you with a position that goes according to your qualifications. If you want to know more about our process send us a quick email at

Hena Babu

Hena Babu
I am Hena Babu doing LLB commercial law at Middlesex University Dubai. I am originally from in India but have been in the UAE for all my life. I am an avid reader and loves right and researching on topics that intrigues me. I have also inculcated a practice of writing blogs on various Legal related updates.

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