Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Employees Rights 101

All employees have basic rights in the workplace -- including the right to privacy, fair compensation, and freedom from discrimination - according to the article I've just recently read online.

This is about my colleague who has recently joined the company four months ago and is in a really and I mean very tight situation right now, and in my personal opinion, being mistreated by our company management which adds to his burdenA few weeks ago, his mother fell ill, got paralyzed and was hospitalized. He tried to ask for permission if he can take an emergency leave so he can go back to his home country Sri Lanka to see his mother.  The head of our department told him that as per the company policy, since he has not completed one year working with the company, he is not yet entitled  to take  either paid or unpaid leave but  he can pay 45 days salary in cash and upfront, only then he will be able to get his leave application approved and collect his passport from the HR.

I mean could they be any more cruel than that? They could have at least considered the fact that his mother is in the hospital and he'll struggle financially having to send his salary for medication and also the expenses for  his wife and kids. If the management's only concern was that he might not come back to Dubai anymore and taking this certain amount of money will make sure he comes back well  they better think again, they just gave the man the motive not to even consider coming back anymore. He would say, what's the 45 days salary to go back for if this company are unjustifiably inconsiderate to me? But my colleague who did not have any other option decided  to stay. And not very surprisingly, 4 days ago they called him in for a meeting about his work performance and told him that the level of his performance was very poor and they are not happy about it  at all, that they were not satisfied with all his efforts as it does not reach their expectations etc etc. And I found out that during this meeting, they told him that if his level of performance have not improved he might just as well resign or they will terminate him!

If he will resign, he will pay for the the 45 days salary. And if they terminate him, he will pay for all the fees of his employment visa application and labour card .They will also give him a visa ban and will not be allowed to work in Dubai for 6 months. He will need to buy his own ticket to go back to Sri Lanka. Are they really giving him an option or some torture?

What they're doing is definitely and very much inhumane. But this however, depends on what the employment manuals and contracts stated. I have asked my colleague to call the Dubai Ministry of Labour office to check about the 45 days salary that he needs to pay upon resignation but they only asked if  he signed a limited or unlimited contract. They said that  if it's a limited contract then he might have to pay for whatever the company asked him to pay?!?! We'll since we are a Limited Liability Company, I assume we have a limited contract lol! ( I am on my husband's visa and I did not sign any employment contract or whatsoever and no labour card either so I am not legally employed in this company but I still consider myself lucky coz I will no longer have to go through all of those sheez just to get my A out of here!)

My colleague, who again did not have any other choice has handed his resignation letter and begged  for redress. I was able to read the response email sent by the head of our department, it's quite funny but at the same time I felt so annoyed. Here's an excerpt:

"I understand you have problems back home but please be mindful in professional life the personal problems are always different subject matter. Company is already extending the facility of not charging you with the visa cost and following the practice of UAE Labor law that you need to pay for 45 Days.

We are ready to terminate your service on the grounds that you have not be able to improve your performance which we have been highlighting to you over past 4 months.

The company is not a charitable organization, be professional and act like a professional. If we terminate you all the visa process cost will be paid by you and you will get your own ticket back to Sri Lanka. The other option is for you to resign from your post and either pay the company for 45 days or work from 6th Mar and will end on the 19th April as without pay to adjust the 45 days payment.

You have mentioned in your resignation letter that the company wanted to have you resign, please bear in mind it was an option out of good will given to you by the Group GM.. If you want to resign resubmit your resignation letter or the other option is we will terminate your service and will advice you all the visa processing cost."

I felt really bad when I saw my colleague cried in front of everybody today while telling us how he feels about the situation he is currently into.He just said that based on his experience, everything you do unto others will come back to you one way or another.

And oh did I mentioned that the head of our department went for an emergency leave yesterday? He found out the other night that his father was not well and so he flew back to Pakistan as soon as he can. Wow, I hate to say this but I hope it's not karma already taking its toll....










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