A questioner asks: I have been working in a factory for more than two years. A month ago I broke a machine in the course of my work. The manager told me that I would have to pay for the repairs. If I refused, he warned me that my services will be terminated immediately. I agreed to this and the amount was cut from my salary. A week after this incident, however, the manager terminated my services without notice. In the letter of termination, it was mentioned that my dismissal was due to the machine incident. Based on the statement of a colleague working with me on the machine, the factory decided that I had purposely broken the machine. They claim that under the labour law, Article No 120, they have the right to terminate my services. It is also mentioned in my termination letter that I will lose my end-of-service benefits. What should I do in this case? What is the position of the labour law in this matter?
Article No 120 of the UAE labour law under which the company has claimed to have terminated the questioner’s services without notice is not applicable in this case. The termination is against the law as the employer is required to notify the Ministry of Labour about the incident (broken machine) within 48 hours and that the company as a result of such a mistake has incurred material loss. Therefore, I advise the questioner to file a complaint against the company before the Ministry of Labour to claim his rights. He can request the ministry to consider his termination as arbitrary dismissal and request the ministry to refer the complaint to the competent court in case no amicable settlement can be reached with the employer.