Ask AJ – This month – Unfair Dismissal

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Each month we will be putting a legal problem to legal consultant Ali Al Jabal to answer.

Problem: I was surprised to find via email, that my Company had sent me my termination letter after working hours on Thursday 24th May 2016. Additionally, my approved vacation started on the Friday 25th May 2016. Therefore, I couldn’t have actually received my termination letter.

I was also officially sick on the Thursday 24th May 2016 and could not confirm receiving my Termination letter (without any signature or delivery of the letter to my hands).  As a Manager, I have done a lot for my Company and have acquired many improvements during my employment. I even received a bonus for successful completion of my probation period and my Directing Manager at last month’s meeting promised to give me a bonus for my second quarter, I just can’t understand it!

As you can see I am extremely confused and hurt and this has all come to me as such a surprise. Could you tell me if this legally constitutes unfair dismissal?

Answer:  Essentially, all employers have the right to dismiss their employees. However, there are legal safeguards imposed to ensure Employee protection. It should be preliminarily stated that the termination of service of employment during an employee’s leave constitutes unfair dismissal. Methodically speaking, the notice sent to you is legally binding and obtaining your signature is not necessary. All that is needed is a confirmation receipt that the letter was sent or such notice was delivered by registered letter with a note of delivery to the most recent address supplied by the Employee.

However, when an employer issues a notice to the worker for termination of the employment contract during any leave (sick or annual leave), the notice period shall only be reckoned from the day following the end of his or her leave. Legally speaking, an employer shall not terminate the contract of employment during the worker’s leave.  As this breach has occurred in your case unfair dismissal can be established and you will thereafter be entitled to compensation.

This is further compounded, by the fact that your Employer terminated the contract of Employment, without providing you with a reasonable opportunity to amend your poor efficiency or decline. Based on the apparent facts, as you have not received any warnings about the decline in your performance or any other work related-matters, your employer will be liable to award you compensation.

To contact Ali Al Jabal at 
Al Jabal Consultancy

Attorneys and Legal Consultants
Tel: +973 17 530 400 

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