Dubai: If you are working in the UAE, you may be receiving a ticket allowance every year, based on your company’s employee policy. However, what happens to the ticket amount if you change your nationality? This was the query raised by a Gulf News reader.
He asked: “My employment contract states that I am entitled to an annual leave ticket to my home country. When I joined the company I was issued tickets correctly to my home country. However, I recently changed my nationality. This has been communicated to my employer, but they have refused to acknowledge the change in their system and insist on furnishing me a ticket to my previous home country, for which I am no longer a citizen or have any ties or place to stay. What are my rights as I have been denied tickets to my new home country since the past two years? Can I be compensated for missing tickets, as I have paid out of my own pocket? How can I get my employer to acknowledge the change without any fear or repercussion?”
Gulf News raised the query with Mohamed Gamal, Legal Adviser at Kaden Boriss Legal Consultants Dubai, who spoke about the UAE’s Labour Law, which specifies an employer’s responsibility to provide a return ticket to an employee after the termination of an employment contract.
“There is no indication in the laws regarding the changing of an employee’s nationality. When it comes to the annual ticket for the worker, it is possible for the two parties to agree on the destination. But by law, the company is only obliged to provide the return ticket at the time of termination of contract and not the annual vacation ticket. However, corporate regulations can regulate this matter, which is left to them by law,” Gamal said.
Return ticket at the end of work contract
As for the return ticket, which employers are required to pay for at the end of the employment contract, the situation differs if the employee is subject to the UAE Labour Law for private sector employees or the Human Resources and Settlement Law for government sector employees.
“If he is subject to the Labour Law, then Article 131 of the law, (amended on 08/25/2020) applies to him – which states that upon the termination of the contract, the employer shall bear the costs of returning the worker to the party from which he recruited him or to any other place that the two parties have agreed upon. If, after the end of his contract, the worker joined the service of another employer, the latter would be obligated to pay the worker’s travel expenses at the end of the service,” Gamal said.
In cases where the reason of termination are due to the worker’s conduct, the deportation would be at the worker’s expense. Also Read: UAE: How to change the mobile number registered with your Emirates ID
“But if the worker works in a public sector, he is subject to Article 149 of Law No. 27 of 2006, where the travel ticket is disbursed to the worker in accordance with the nationality specified in the work contract at the beginning of the appointment,” Gamal said.