Libelous posts in Social Media prohibited under UAE Laws
Atty. Barney, last month I ended my 2 year relationship with my ex-girlfriend. I owe her AED 2,000 and promised to pay her when my financial situation improves. We are both working here in Dubai. Since the breakup, she continuously defames me in her Facebook account and makes negative stories about our past relationship. We have common friends who were able to view her posts and I feel humiliated by her acts. Is there any legal action I can do about this, Atty. Barney? – Rommel
You may file a criminal complaint against your ex-girlfriend for violation of the UAE Penal Law, specifically for publicly posting negative comments about you which affects your name and honor. She may be detained for a period not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding AED 10,000 may be imposed upon her. In addition, the acts committed by your ex-girlfriend are also penalized under the Cybercrime Law of UAE which states that a person by using a computer network or an information technology means shall be punished by imprisonment and a fine not less than AED 250,000 and not in excess of AED 500,000 or either of these two penalties when he insults or accuses another person of a matter of which he shall be subject to punishment or being held in contempt by others.
Non-renewal of Tenancy Contract
Atty. Barney, I have a 1 year tenancy contract for my flat here in Dubai which will expire on December 31, 2017. I have no intention of renewing it since I will be going back to the Philippines. Do I need to notify my landlord about it or just wait for the contract to expire? – Manilyn
You have to check your Lease Contract if there is a requirement for you to notify your Landlord about your intention of not renewing the contract. If there is such a requirement then you must comply with it, otherwise, you are only required to surrender the property to your Landlord upon the expiration of your contract. The Law regulating relationship between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai states that, upon the expiry of the term of the Lease Contract, the Tenant must surrender possession of the Real Property to the Landlord in the same condition in which the Tenant received it at the time of entering into the Lease Contract except for ordinary wear and tear or for damages due to reasons beyond the Tenant’s control. The usual practice is to send an advance notification of non-renewal to your Landlord, even though this is not mandatory.
Resignation due to Illness
Atty. Barney, my husband is an OFW here in Dubai. Recently, he got sick and now he is on his 15thday sick leave. Per advice of his attending physician, he needs to rest to gain back his health. In their company a total of 45 days is actually paid as sick leave. With this on my husband’s mind, he is thinking of not rendering his resignation until the exhaustion of the 45-day sick leave. I would want him to file resignation as early as possible so he can spend some time in the Philippines to fully recover. Is there anything we can do to still claim his unused sick leave or does my husband really need to exhaust the 45 days? – Andrea
If your husband needs to resign due to his illness, he may do so and still he is entitled to receive his wage for the remainder of his 45 days sick leave. According to the Article 86 of the UAE Labour Law, if the laborer resigns his job, by reason of his illness, before the lapse of the first 45 days of his sick leave and the government medical officer or the medical practitioner designated by the employer accepts the cause of resignation, the employer shall pay the resigned laborer the wage due against the remainder of the first 45 days. In your husband’s case, he is entitled to receive half of his wage for the remaining 30 days of his sick leave.