Unfair Dismissal and Employment Contracts

Employee use of email communication, which deemed to be seriously offensive to the recipient according to the company regulations.

FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Background:

  • An employee was dismissed from his employment following a work email sent by the Employee which was deemed to be seriously offensive to the recipient according to the company regulations. The employee has filed a case of unfair dismissal.

Legal process:

  • The employer had policies in place which clearly prohibited such conduct by employees, and the Labour Department found that the incident had the capacity to cause significant damage to Employer’s reputation, yet damages were still awarded to Employee.

Decision:

  • The Employee was awarded 92,000 AED in compensation on the basis that the dismissal was unreasonable and harsh, in spite of the potential damage suffered by the employer, due to the fact that:
  • Employer had failed to issue written warnings to Employee, and had also failed to record the occurrence of previous incidents;
  • Employer denied Employee the chance to understand and accept that his conduct was unacceptable.
  • Employee also did not have the opportunity to apologize and accept other disciplinary measures before being dismissed.

Conclusion:

  • This case demonstrates the importance of following a strict terminations policy when dealing with employees engaging in inappropriate conduct. Even if an employee has acted in a way that is damaging to the employer, the employer must adhere to the formality requirements set out by the Labor Laws when dismissing an employee. This includes giving adequate written and verbal warnings, recording incidents in a file for later reference and attempting to counsel and guide the employee into behaving according to company policy.

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