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Frona v (1) Floris (2) Floyd [2015] DIFC SCT 083

Frona v (1) Floris (2) Floyd [2015] DIFC SCT 083

June 30, 2015

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Claim No. SCT 083/2015

 

THE DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE COURTS

 

In the name of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum,

Ruler of Dubai

 

IN THE SMALL CLAIMS TRIBUNAL

BEFORE H.E. JUSTICE OMAR AL MUHAIRI

 

BETWEEN

 

 

FRONA 

   Claimant

 

and

 

(1) FLORIS

      (2) FLOYD        

                                        Defendants

 

 

Hearing: 15 June 2015

Judgment: 30 June 2015


JUDGMENT OF H.E. JUSTICE OMAR AL MUHAIRI


UPON hearing the Claimant and the Defendant;

AND UPON reading the submissions and evidence filed and recorded on the Court file;

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

1.The claim against the First Defendant be dismissed.

2. The Second Defendant shall pay the Claimant the salary of April and May 2015 in the sum of AED 15,000 as requested in the claim form.

3. The Second Defendant shall pay the Courts fee.

Background

4. The Claimant is Frona (“the Claimant”), an Employee of Floyd, Registered in the DIFC.

5. The First Defendant is Floris (“the First Defendant”), a company registered in the DIFC and 51% owned by Floyd.

6. The Second Defendant is Floyd (“the Second Defendant”) a company registered in the DIFC.

7. On 1 February 2014, the Claimant signed an Employment Contract with the Second Defendant as a Personal Assistant of SAM, the CEO of the First and Second Defendant at a monthly Salary of AED 15,000 which includes AED 9,000 Basic Salary, AED 3000 Housing Allowance and AED 3000 Car Allowance. Due to the ownership of SAM in both companies he advised that the Claimant’s Salary should be paid to her account by the First Defendant.

8. The Claimant from February 2014 until November 2014 worked for the Second Defendant at its office address as the CEO’s personal assistant. On 14 July 2014, the First Defendant provided an email correspondence in which it stated that: “as per SAM’s direction, all employees under Floyd sponsorship need to be transferred to Floris at the earliest possible.” Subsequently, on 20 August 2014 SAM sent an email to the Human Resources Manager of the First Defendant SAMI and copying the Claimant it stated that: “Frona Continues on the sponsorship of Floris.”

9. In November 2014, SAM as the CEO of the First and Second Defendant decided to move his office to the First Defendant’s offices in the DIFC along with the Claimant. But due to a dispute between the shareholders, SAM moved abroad and the Claimant remained working from the First Defendant’s Offices but as SAM personal assistant.

10. On 15 March 2015, the First Defendant provided the Claimant with Suspension of Access from Floris and its subsidiaries but mentioned in the letter the words “your employment with the First Defendant” and that the Claimant would be paid her full salary during the suspension period.

11. The Claimant since her suspension on 15 March 2015 by the First Defendant, did not receive her monthly salary from either the First or the Second Defendant for April 2015, May 2015, as a result the Claimant filed a Small Claim in the DIFC Courts.

The hearing

12. On 15 June 2015, a hearing was listed before me at which the Claimant and the representative of the First Defendant attended. The Second Defendant did not attend or submit any response to the Claim although he was served.

Submissions

13. The Claimant in her submissions argued that she was operating as a personal assistant for SAM and supporting other directors of Floris. On 15 March 2015 the Claimant received a suspension letter by the First Defendant notifying her that she would be on paid leave until the new management sorted the situation out with the old management.

14. Furthermore, the Claimant alleged that she had worked for the First Defendant since February 2014, and the fact that her visa was on the Second Defendant was a matter for HR and that when she received the suspension letter the First Defendant was aware that her visa was with the Second Defendant.

15. The Claimant also asserted that her email address was issued by the First Defendant and that all the communications, business cards and her access card were under the First Defendant’s name.

16. The First Defendant in the submissions alleged that the Claimant was not an employee of the First Defendant and that the employment contract was signed between the Claimant and the Second Defendant as a personal assistant for the CEO.

17. The First Defendant also alleged that the CEO of the First Defendant SAM, is also the CEO of the Second Defendant and given that the Claimant was the personal assistant of the CEO it was clearly illustrated by the email by the CEO that all employees of the Second Defendant were transferred to the First Defendant except the Claimant who the CEO decided that she should remain under the Second Defendant’s visa.

18. The Second Defendant did not acknowledge the claim although he was served at his last known address.

Discussion

First Defendant’s Liability

19. DIFC Employment Law, Schedule 1, Article 3 provides the definition of Employer and Employee.

“Employer: means any person who has entered into a contract of employment with an employee.”

“Employee: means an individual to whom Article 4 applies and who has entered into or works under a contract of employment; and includes a person who was an employee.”

20. Article 13 of the DIFC Employment Law, provides that:(1) “When an employee begins employment, the employer shall give to the employee a written contract of employment.(2) The Contract of employment, shall include as a minimum:(a) The names of the employer and employee;

(b)The date when the employment began;
(c) The title of the employee’s job or a brief description of the employee’s work;
(d) The place of work.”

21. As I stated above, the Claimant on 1 February 2014 signed an Employment Contract with the Second Defendant as a Personal Assistant of SAM, the CEO of the First and Second Defendants, the Claimant has moved to the First Defendant’s premises on the CEO SAM’s direction.

22. The Claimant also continues on the sponsorship of the Second Defendant, during which the First Defendant provided the Claimant with an access card to the premises to facilitate the CEO under her capacity as his personal assistant. The CEO also directed that the Claimant remain under the Second Defendant’s visa.

23. Although the First Defendant provided the Claimant with a suspension letter dated 15 March 2015 when the CEO was terminated, it does not confirm that the Claimant’s employment was with the First Defendant. Therefore, I accept the First Defendant’s submissions and am satisfied that the First Defendant is not liable for the Claimant’s employment.

Second Defendant’s Liability

24. As I explained above in this judgment, the Contract between the Claimant and the Second Defendant is valid and the Claimant did not provide any evidence that the employment contract had been terminated or transferred to the First Defendant. Also the Second Defendant failed to attend and there was no evidence provided of payment of the April 2015 and May 2015 salaries to the Claimant. Therefore, the Second Defendant is liable to pay two months salary as claimed by the Claimant in the claim form in the amount of AED 15,000.

Conclusion

25. For the reasons stated above, I conclude that the First Defendant is not liable to pay the Claimant. However, I hold the Second Defendant liable to pay the Claimant as per the employment contract dated 1 February 2014, in the sum of AED 15,000.

Issued by:

Nassir Al Nasser

Judicial Officer

Date of issue: 30 June 2015

At: 1pm

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