Can Employers Terminate Employees Without Notice in UAE?

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"If company terminates an employee in UAE" - Image depicting a business meeting with a concerned employee and employer discussing termination in the United Arab Emirates.
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The UAE Labor Law has particular stipulations that protect employees from arbitrary dismissal and, in some cases, an employer may have valid reasons for immediate termination. While the law permits employers to terminate employees without notice in specific scenarios, the reasons must align with those provided in the employment law context. For example, an employer may be contemplating “”what if company terminate an employee in UAE?”” This question deals with the legal realities of workforce reduction and entails several considerations which we’ll be exploring in this article.

Understanding UAE Employment Law

The primary law regulating employment relationships in the UAE is Federal Law No. 8 of 1980, as amended (the ‘Employment Law’). This comprehensive set of regulations addresses various employment matters such as termination of limited contract by employer, notice period in UAE for unlimited contract, among other things. It is crucial for both employers and employees to comprehend the terms articulated in this law to ensure that their rights and obligations are fulfilled. The Employment Law covers a broad spectrum of areas including but not limited to, terms and conditions of employment contracts, working hours, leaves, the disclosure of trade secrets, and termination of employment.

The Concept of Termination Without Notice

Typically, the termination of an employment contract in the UAE requires notice from either party. However, there are occasions where an employer can terminate the contract instantly, without providing a notice period or end of service benefits to the employee. This immediate termination letter to employee has to meet specific conditions as per the law and serve as solid evidence in case of any legal proceedings. It must be mentioned that these circumstances are strictly confined to instances laid out by the Employment Law.

Unlimited contract termination benefits

Situations Where Termination Without Notice Is Allowed

The conditions permitting an employer to terminate an employment contract without notice as per Article 120 of the UAE Employment Law are:

  1. Gross Misconduct such as assault on the employer, malpractice, or fraudulent behavior.
  2. Continuous Poor Performance, even after the employee has been warned and given a reasonable period to improve.
  3. Breach of Employment Contract, including divulging confidential business information. A sample letter of nonrenewal of employment contract from the employee, for instance, may lead to breach of contract if it doesn’t adhere to the notice period stipulated in the contract.

The Rights of Employees

Even in situations where immediate termination is justifiable, the UAE Employment Law offers protection for employees. The rights of the employees in such cases are:

  1. Severance Pay: If an employee is terminated without following the protocol stipulated in Article 120, they are entitled to receive compensation in the form of severance pay.
  2. Legal Protection: Employees also have the right to contest the termination in a court of law to ascertain that their termination was justified.

What Employers Should Consider Before Terminating Without Notice

The decision to terminate employment without notice isn’t one employers should take lightly. Several factors, such as financial implications and reputational risks, must be taken into account. Each termination case entails different repercussions. Most notably, financial implications could arise if the termination is found to be unlawful, as employers could be liable for end-of-service benefits and compensation. Moreover, employers should be mindful of the reputational risk that comes with dismissal, especially if the case gains public attention. Therefore, it is always advisable for employers to seek legal advice before proceeding with termination without notice.

Letter for Non-Renewal of Work Contract

Steps to Follow for Termination Without Notice

In situations where termination without notice is necessary, employers must follow the procedures outlined in the employment law:

  1. Gathering Solid Evidence: The first step is to gather any evidence supporting the reason for termination. This could include emails, CCTV footage, witness testimonies, or other forms of proof.
  2. Following Due Process: The employer must follow the procedures outlined in the UAE employment law, such as presenting an immediate termination letter to the employee.

The Aftermath of Termination Without Notice

1. Breach of Labor LawTerminating an employee without notice may be considered a breach of UAE labor laws, leading to potential legal consequences for the employer.
2. Unpaid WagesThe terminated employee may be entitled to unpaid wages and benefits for the notice period they did not receive.
3. Gratuity PaymentEmployers may be required to pay gratuity to the terminated employee, which is a lump sum payment based on years of service.
4. Compensation ClaimsThe employee can file compensation claims against the employer for damages suffered due to the abrupt termination.
5. Visa and ResidencyThe termination without notice can impact the employee’s visa and residency status, potentially leading to deportation if not resolved.
6. Legal DisputesTermination disputes may result in legal proceedings, which can be time-consuming and costly for both parties.

Termination without notice can have lasting impacts on both the employer and the employee. Legally, if an employer can not justify immediate termination, the employee can file a lawsuit, leading to penalties for the employer. Such situations can also have a damaging effect on the employer’s reputation and work environment. On the employee’s side, immediate termination can be a distressing event. Without prior notice to plan job hunting, financial difficulties can arise. Furthermore, they might face challenges when seeking re-employment, especially if the reasons for termination become public.

Resignation Letter in UAE: Step-by-Step Guide


In conclusion, while UAE employment law allows employers to terminate an employee’s contract without notice in specific scenarios, it’s crucial to understand that the reasons for such termination must align with those specified by the law. Both employers and employees have to be well-versed in these employment regulations to ensure a fair work environment. Even in these extreme situations, a balance has to be maintained to respect both the rights of the employer and the employee.


1. Can an employer terminate an employee without notice in UAE?

Yes, an employer can terminate an employee without notice in the UAE, but only under certain conditions as specified by the UAE Employment Law.

2. What situations justify termination without notice in the UAE?

Gross misconduct, continuous poor performance, and breach of employment contract are some circumstances justifying termination without notice.

3. What should an employer consider before terminating an employee without notice?

Employers should consider the type of violation committed by the employee, the employee’s record, and whether they have sufficient proof of violation before terminating without notice.

4. How can I contest my termination without notice?

You can seek legal protection and contest your termination in the court of law, and legal advisors can guide you through the process.

5. As an employer, how can I protect myself while terminating an employee without notice?

Proper legal advice, solid evidence, and strictly following the procedures outlined by employment law are crucial steps an employer can take to protect themselves.