Claim No: SCT 146/2015
THE DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE COURTS
In the name of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai
IN THE SMALL CLAIMS TRIBUNAL OF DIFC COURTS
BEFORE H.E. JUSTICE SHAMLAN AL SAWALEHI
FLORETTA BANK DIFC
Hearing: 19 August 2015
Judgment: 25 August 2015
JUDGMENT OF H.E. JUSTICE SHAMLAN AL SAWALEHI
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:
The Defendant shall pay the Claimant the sum of AED 92,363.80
1.The Claimant requested the Defendant to pay him all the benefits due at the end of his Employment Contract. The Defendant has refused to pay, which led the Claimant to file this case before the Court.
2. No settlement was reached by the parties at the end of the consultation and, consequently, the case was sent for adjudication. On 19 August 2015 I heard both parties’ submissions.
3. In the Claimant’s Particulars of Claim, the Claimant argued that upon his resignation the Defendant refused to compensate him for the untaken leave days of 2015, as well as for the return home tickets upon cancellation of his work residence visa. The Claimant has further argued that the sum he received from the Defendant does not reflect his full entitlement on the termination of employment and has asked to be compensated for the penalty related to not paying his dues within 14 days after termination of the employment on 14 July 2014.
4. In its Defence, the Defendant argued that they had agreed to pay the Claimant all his dues at the end of his Employment Contract as detailed in the Leave Letter dated 26 April 2014 “the Leave Letter”, except the Claimant’s end of service in the amount of AED 92,363.80 that was indicated as Gratuity in the Leave Letter, because the Claimant had not signed the Leave Letter or otherwise indicated his agreement to the gratuity amount as stated. The Defendant further argued that the gratuity amount was then further withheld due to the wording in the “DIFC Employment Cancellation Request Form with Pending issues” signed by both parties on 2 August 2015, which specifically stated that “the final dues if any owing to this employee are a matter to be determined and resolved at a later stage pursuant to ongoing proceedings pending before the final Court”.
5. I have examined both parties’ submissions and I have found that “the Leave Letter” had set out the relevant details relating to an employee’s departure from the company, and in this case it did cover all the Claimant’s dues, in accordance with DIFC Employment Law, and the Claimant is entitled to unpaid Gratuity in the sum of AED 92,363.80.
6. I have found that the Defendant had offered the Claimant to terminate his visa on the basis of the separate “issues pending” form, but the Claimant had requested that the Defendant postpone termination of the visa pending completion of the SCT process, as well as requesting to postpone the SCT Consultation as he was outside the UAE. Therefore, I consider that the Defendant had reasonable grounds for not paying the Claimant’s Gratuity on the termination date, 14 July 2015, and ultimately that valid reason waives the Defendant from any penalty related to not paying the employee dues within 14 days after termination of employment.
7. Then, I have found that at the termination date of the Claimant’s employment with the Defendant, there was no outstanding holiday entitlement for which he is entitled to be paid, as the Claimant had been requested by the Defendant in the Leave Letter to take all outstanding holiday during the Notice period, 3 months thereafter.
8. In addition to that, I could not find a contractual or legal basis for the Claimant’s Claim for a return ticket.
9. For the above-cited reasons, I have accepted the Claimant’s Claim for unpaid Gratuity, and I have rejected all other Claimant’s Claims including the Court’s fee.
Maha Al Mehairi
Date of Issue: 25 August 2015
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