Executive secretary wins Dubai court battle

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An executive secretary in Dubai has won a court battle to receive AED169,000 — about £30,000 — from a real estate company, which was accused of allowing the woman to work in the emirate while applying for a work visa and then refusing to pay her.

The Dubai Court of Cassation upheld the verdict of lower courts and ordered a real estate company to pay an executive secretary AED169,000 for three months’ work, according to a report in Emirates 24/7.

The company tried to argue that it only had a ‘business relationship’ with the secretary and, therefore, the strict UAE labour laws were not applicable as the parties had not been dependent on a contract.

The court rejected the company’s argument and based its ruling that a company or employer, that using the services of a foreign national not under its sponsorship without adherence to established visa procedures did not negate the existence of an ‘employment relationship’ between the parties.

The secretary had originally filed a lawsuit before the Dubai Court of First Instance seeking AED375,000 (£66,370) from the real estate company. She claimed that she had joined work as an Executive Secretary and added that she was surprised when the company terminated her.

The Dubai Court of First Instance ruled that the secretary has the right to receive AED329,000. The company appealed the verdict at the Appeals Court, which amended the amount to AED169,000, in addition to the cost of ticket to her home country.

Read the full story from Emirates 24/7 here.

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    Daniel Fountain

    All stories by: Daniel Fountain