Collecting Everything Due You in the UAE

money-bag1800487There have been a series of incidents where schools postponed paying teachers their final pay and severance until the last day of school. In fact, some schools even hold-off until teachers have returned to their country of origin to transfer funds. This practice has lead some teachers to never receive their money. In other words, the school stalls until it’s too late for teachers to have any recourse.  Read complete article .

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12 Responses to Collecting Everything Due You in the UAE

  1. Teacher says:

    I went through a similar situation in that when I was leaving a company in the UAE, I was told that I had to sign off on papers saying I had received everything owed to me – which I had not. I went to the MoL and was told that we are not entitled to indemnity unless we work for a full year. If a person works for one year, the company stops their contract in June. So if you are hired and start work in August, you have not worked for the entire year and, thus, are not entitled to indemnity. Other schools in the Gulf usually pay the indemnity on a pro rata basis, so if you work from August, September whatever until the end of the school year, you still receive indemnity but based on the total number of days worked. I did not sign that papers (others did not as well), but I found that the company never cancelled the visas. They had told us that this would be done automatically, which was not the case. The problem becomes complicated if you want to return to work with another company as you would need the previous company to cancel the visa or to issue you a letter of no objection – which they do not always do. So you can end up with a job, move back to the UAE, and then be stuck as the new company cannot do anything until the previous one has submitted their proper paperwork.

    As a side note, when I went to the MoL, their offices had been changed from one place to another and only certain offices handle certain issues. From what I experienced, they were not very helpful. It was more or less “Not our problem” in their eyes.

    Otherwise, in response to “Sarah”, living and working in the UAE can be great. In general, the people are friendly, there is a lot to do in terms of beaches, shopping, and traveling, and it is an exciting time to be involved in the education here as it is going through many changes. Getting here can be challenging with all of the documentation that is required, but it is a lovely country and safe in terms of being a woman. It is helpful to be respectful of the culture in terms of attire and language. I have found that it is helpful to just look around you. If the women are all in abbayas, for example, you may want to dress more conservatively – especially when you are not right in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. It’s all about being sensitive to your surroundings, isn’t it?

    I have been in several countries in the Gulf region, and the UAE is one of the nicest in terms of clean, services, and places to explore. Hope that helps.

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  2. Sarah says:

    Great article thank you for sharing it.

    I was recently offered a teaching job in UAE. In the beginning I was so excited about it but now I am a bit hesitant to accept the position and I have 5 days to decide… I would appreciate it if someone who taught in UAE would tell me about living and moving to Abu-Dhabi…. thank you in advance

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  3. Alan Tin-Win says:

    I worked in Khartoum, Sudan for 3 years. Many offices there closed between 13:00 – 17:00 to avoid the heat of the afternoon, so if you are trying to contact the Ministry of Labor in the UAE, you try calling between 10:00 – 12:00 am. Good Luck!!

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  4. Tarps says:

    A copy of the labor law can be found here but as I have said previously, it’s not enforced.
    http://www.zu.ac.ae/library/html/UAEInfo/documents/UAELabourLaw.pdf

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    • UAEex says:

      Dear Tarps:

      I’m pretty certain I know exactly which program within the MoE that you worked with, too! My position in it was “cut”. I won’t bore everyone here with the details of that unfair and hypocritical move on their part; suffice it to say that I am out–and out of the country now, too, for several months–and I couldn’t be happier to be rid of the UAE for an extended break after 4 years in two very different settings (international school and MoE national school “reform” initiative).

      I fully agree with Tarps’ take on lip service, lack of accountability, and inaction on the part of agencies in the UAE which are supposed to uphold the written law. Hypocrisy, lies (even so boldly as to one’s face), lack of professionalism, the run-around, inefficiency, blatant discrimination and more are the name of the game there to the point where you are in shock and awe when you receive decent and fair service (whether at a government agency or a private company).

      No one will stand up for you in the UAE, no matter how much you’ve been wronged or how strong your case is. Go into any situation there with this in mind, as well as a huge amount of skepticism (don’t trust ANYONE, expat or UAE national). Imagine that you are in the Wild West (everyone for himself). Keep a firm grip on your wallet and keep details about yourself to a minimum (because you never know who might use it against you in the future). It starts to feel like a rather terrible way to live if you are not used to dealing with the world in this way. I am very thankful to be back in a sane, efficient and fair land for a while, as I regroup and decide what my next move will be and where it will take me.

      Good luck to all!

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  5. Tarps says:

    I work for the Ministry of Education. I was hired for one position, a year later they changed the title of my job but with a 35% pay cut. This is illegal by the laws of this country. I went to the labor department, they just smiled a lot and would do nothing. Apparently the law doesn’t apply to government departments.

    I have chosen not to renew my contract and they won’t pay me until I do a list of things, one being get my apartment checked and hand in my key. In other words, be homeless or pay hotel rates. The law says you can stay in your apartment for one month after you receive your final pay but again the labor courts won’t do a thing.

    Ministry of Education is a government department. What hope do you have when the government won’t abide by its own laws.

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  6. Dear Amanda,

    We have been trying to email and phone the Ministry of Labor in various UAE cities. No one answers the phone or returns our emails. Some phone numbers posted on the government web site are incorrect. Their live chat link is not working. Here is the URL of the official site http://www.mol.gov.ae/index.aspx

    Below is a link to the Ministry phone numbers posted on the ISR web site:

    http://www.internationalschoolsreview.com/nonmembers/uae-ministry-labor-laws.htm#phone

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  7. amanda says:

    Hi, I need urgent help in the UAE, my school EIS is taking money off me and refusing end of gratuity payments and flights – who at the ministry do i go and talk to and where?

    thanks

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  8. ISR member says:

    At Gulf English School in Doha, several teachers went to the Ministry of Labour and went to great lengths to hold this very disreputable school accountable for their unethical practices. Even though Qatari law is strong in theory, nothing is done to stand up against unscrupulous employers.

    It is a waste of time hiring a lawyer and pursuing legal action if you are not a citizen. I hired a lawyer in Africa, paid him and left the country and absolutely nothing was done, even though the case was very strong.

    On another angle, does anyone know of any organizations which give assistance to domestic workers who are mistreated in the Middle east? It is criminal the way so many are mistreated and I would like to find a way to help.

    The Gulf countries should all be boycotted by teachers.

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  9. Alun Seguin says:

    With regard to the Dubai British School scam, of which I was a victim to the extent of sending money for a visa card and a labour card, is there recourse? Or am I just another sucker who fell for faked letter head not only of the school but the Ministry of Labour?

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  10. LuapG says:

    I’ve read a lot on this web site about teachers being cheated out of money by various organizations that call themselves “schools”. It is good to hear that there is actually an organization looking out for our rights. My only concern is will a case against a school just turn out to be like the case of the teacher that has spent years just trying to collect his belongings? It seems the legal agencies in the UAE can be intimidated by wealthy people.

    http://www.internationalschoolsreview.com/nonmembers/dr.spilchuk-april09.htm

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