The remuneration shall include all the monetary and in-kind elements provided by the employer to the worker in exchange for the effort and time provided by the worker. The U.A.E Labor Law has provided guarantees to protect the worker’s wage and to obtain it in full as stipulated by law as follows:
First: Protecting The Remuneration from The Deduction:
In accordance with Article No. (60) of the Labor Law, any amounts of money may not be deducted from the employee’s remuneration to recover rights, except in the following cases:
A. Repayment of advances or amounts of money paid to the employee in excess of his entitlement, provided that deduction in this case may not exceed 10% of the employee’s periodic pay.
B. Installments which are payable by law by the employees from their remuneration, such as social security and insurance schemes.
C. Subscriptions of the employees in the saving fund or advances due for payment to the fund.
D. Installments in respect of any social scheme or other privileges or services provided by the employer and approved by the Labor Department.
E. Fines imposed upon the employee due to offenses committed by him/her
F. Any debts payable in execution of court judgment provided that not more than a quarter of the employee’s pay shall be deducted. In the event of numerous debts or creditors, half of the remuneration at the most may be deducted and the sums of money attached shall be divided pro rata among beneficiaries after payment of any legal alimony amounting to one quarter of the remuneration.
The last clause (F) reflects the protection granted for the employee from his creditors, who may request the seizure of remuneration to fulfill their rights, because that the remuneration is the source of living of the worker and his family. The law has determined the seizure percentage for the single creditor that the seizure percentage shall not exceed the quarter and in the event of the diversity of the creditors the seizure percentage shall not exceed the half of the remuneration. And if alimony is among these debts, then quarter is assigned and the remaining quarter of seized half assigned to pay other creditors pro rata, i.e. employee fees are 8000 AED and half of this amount seized for the benefit of the creditors, then quarter (2000 AED) to pay alimony and remaining 2000 AED paid for creditors pro rata.
In order to estimate the percentage of the remuneration of the employee which may be deducted, first; the percentage should be calculated of the aforementioned deductions as states in the clause (A – C) of Article No. (60) of the said Labor Law, and the remainder shall be deducted of the percentage mentioned in clause (H) of the same Article- If the remuneration of the worker is ten thousand Dirhams, and the total amount deducted from loans, subscriptions, installments and fines is AED 1,000, the amount deducted from it for the application of item (H) which mentioned above is nine thousand Dirhams.
Second: Estimating The Deduction In Case The Employee Causes Damages, Loss or Destructions;
In Accordance with Article No. (61) of the Labor Law which states that “If the employee has caused the loss, damage or destruction to any tools, machines, equipment or products owned by or kept in custody of the employer, to the extent that involvement of the employee was due to his fault or violation of the employer’s instructions, then the employer has the option to cut from the employee’s pay the amount required for rectifying error or restoring the item to its original condition, provided that the amount to be deducted shall not exceed five day pay each month. The employer can apply to the competent court through the concerned Labor Department for authorizing him to deduct more than this amount if the employee is financially sound or has another source of money”.
Third: The Privilege Right to Obtain The Remuneration:
As states in Article No. (4) of the labor Law states that “All amounts payable to the employee or his beneficiaries under this Law shall have lien on all the employer’s movable and immovable properties. And payment thereof shall be made immediately after payment of any legal expenses, sums due to the public treasury and Sharia alimony awarded to wife and children”.
In the aforementioned article the legislator went outside the general rules established for the general privilege rights which stated in the text of Article 1515 of the Civil Transactions Law in two matters to protect the worker’s right and ensure access to it:
The Labor Law grants the employee the right of privilege over all the employer’s money, regardless of the amount or period in which the amount is due, meanwhile the general rules restrict the privilege to the extent as much as it is entitled of the general privilege rights in the last six months.
The labor law has preferred the privilege of the employee over the privilege states in the law for the due amounts supplied to the debtor and to those who dependents for food, clothing and medicine. Essentially the privilege rights are fulfilled by the percentage of each, while the labor law grants the worker the right to precede the privilege of the suppliers of food, clothing and medicine.
Fourth: Estimating the Deductions in Case of Imposing a Fine Penalty
As states in Article 104 of the Labor Law “A fine may be a certain amount of money or an amount equal to the remuneration of the employee for a certain period of time. A fine in respect of a single offence may not exceed remuneration payable for five days. It is not permissible to deduct within one month an amount equal to more than five days pay from the employee’s remuneration in settlement of fines imposed upon him”
Fifth: Proving The Eligibility of The Remuneration
As states in Article No. 58 of the said law; “Settlement of the remuneration payable to employees irrespective of its amount or nature shall be evidenced only in writing, by declaration or oath. Any agreement to the contrary shall be null and void even if made before the effective date of this Law”.
It is considered a protection for the worker as the worker is the weak party in the labor relationship, the legislator in this Article has went outside the general rules of the proof, where it requires the worker to prove his eligibility to his remuneration by writing or its alternative, declaration or oath or whatever the value of the remuneration, even if the value of the remuneration is less than five thousand Dirhams. However, the general rules for the proof requires the testimony of witnesses or evidence if the amount of debt is less than five thousand Dirhams. Accordingly, until the employer is discharged of the remuneration debt, he must provide written proof or declaration or oath of his fulfilment to the worker.
“it is not permissible to claim employee payment prior an official receipt or acknowledgement, or taking the oath or refusing to the same, i.e., the receipt issued by business owner regarding employee payment is not enough to prove the full fees payment.
Sixth: It is not Permissible to Force A Worker To Buy From A Certain Store or The Products of The Employer:
For the Protection of the worker from the possibility of forcing him to receive his wages in kind instead of cash, and it can happen through the payment of cash and then require/force the worker to buy products of the employer or his stores at prices controlled by the employer, Article 59 of the Labor law states the following “No worker shall be obliged to buy food or other commodities from specific shops or products manufactured by the employer”
If the employer is allowed to obligate the worker to buy from a certain place, he will impose the remuneration he wants and it may be lower than the minimum remuneration. That shall be achieved by giving the worker his remuneration in cash and then the worker is required/forced to buy from the employer`s shop or his products at higher prices than the other stores. By this method the employer will recover part of the remuneration paid to the worker.
In light of the aforementioned it reveals to us that the legislator has granted the protection for the worker with regard to obtaining his remuneration, where the legislator has codified all the provisions to protect the worker`s rights to obtain his remuneration and preventing his remuneration to be deducted under any circumstances in a way that affects his living or his family, that shows the human sense and the social commitment that is considered by the U.A.E law, which never considered the work relationship as a purely economic relationship.