Ask the Law: How can I enforce a travel ban against a person who owes me money?

Question: A year ago, I gave a person a loan of Dh100,000. It was mentioned in the debt contract that the amount would be returned within six months with 5 per cent interest. Currently, the debtor is refusing to return the debt. I have a feeling that he may even try to leave the country. What are the quick legal measures that I can adopt to retrieve my money and also prevent the debtor from running away.

Answer: You can file for a Payment Order. The creditor must first instruct the debtor to repay the debt within a period of at least five days and then obtain a Payment Order from the court in whose jurisdiction the debtor’s domicile is located. The payment demand should be announced by any of the means of advertisement specified in the regulations. The Payment Order shall be granted within three days of the application being filed. It must indicate the amount to be paid by the debtor.

Article 62 of Cabinet Resolution No 75 of 2021, amending certain provisions of Cabinet Resolution No 57 of 2018, provides:

1) Payment Order shall be applied if the creditor’s right is evidenced, electronically or in writing, is immediately due, and the entire claim consists of a debt of a specified amount, or a movable asset of a specific type.

2) If the right holder is a creditor with a commercial paper (such as a promissory note or check) or the financial claim relates to the enforcement of a commercial contract.

3) The Payment Order process shall not preclude a creditor from claiming compensation or interest, or seeking any precautionary measures.

The creditor has the right to ban the debtor from traveling if the debt amount is more than Dh10,000 and the court may issue a travel ban order upon fulfilment of certain conditions, such as the existence of a reasonable fear that the debtor may run away without repaying the debt. The burden to prove that the conditions for a travel ban are satisfied lies on the creditor.

Annual leave and end-of-service benefits

Question: I have been working in a private company for two years. Six months ago, I took a leave for three months without pay. According to the employer, this leave would not be included in the calculation of end-of-service benefits. Is this true, according to the new UAE Labor Law? Is the employer legally entitled to split my annual leave for more than once a year? Please advise.

Answer: First, the unpaid days of absence from work shall not be included in the calculation of the service term, according to Article 51 of the new law, which states that a full-time foreign worker, who has completed a year or more in continuous service , shall be entitled to end-of-service benefits at the end of his or her service, based on the basic wage and calculated as under:

A) A wage of 21 days for each year of the first five years of service.

B) A wage of 30 thirty days for each year exceeding such period.

The foreign worker shall be entitled to a benefit for parts of the year in proportion to the period spent at work, provided that he or she completed one year of continuous service. The unpaid days of absence from work shall not be included in the calculation of end-of-service benefits.

Regarding annual leave, the employer is entitled to divide your annual leave, if it is necessary for work requirements, according to Article 29 of the Labor Law, which states: The worker shall obtain his or her leave in its entitlement year and the may specify the dates of these leaves according to work requirements and in agreement with the worker, or grant them alternatively among the establishment’s workers, in order to secure the flow of work. The employer shall notify the worker of the specified date for his or her leave within a sufficient time of not less than a month.

As a general rule, the employer may not prevent the worker from availing his or her annual leave accumulated for more than two years, unless the worker wishes to carry it forward or receive a cash allowance in-lieu, in accordance with the regulations that are in force at the establishment and the Implementing Regulation hereof.

On the other hand, the worker shall be entitled to a wage for the accrued leave days if he or she quits service before using them, regardless of the leave duration. He or she shall also be entitled to receive leave wage for parts of the year in proportion to the period at work and it shall be calculated according to the last-drawn basic wage.

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