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People who mistreat Senior Citizens face Imprisonment and Fines

The UAE passed a federal law in 2019 to protect the welfare of older people. The Public prosecutors reminded the people of the country about the UAE’s Senior Citizen Law which protects the rights of older Emiratis. Individuals, whether they are family members or elderly care institutions, who mistreat or neglect the UAE senior citizens will face imprisonment of two years and fines of AED 10,000 to AED 50,000. Additionally, the law also punishes anyone who witnesses abuse but does not report it.

According to Federal Law No 9 of 2019, Emiratis who are 60 years of age or over are entitled to the following rights:

  • the Right to Independence and Privacy
  • the Right to Protection from Violence and Abuse
  • the Right to an enabling environment, housing, education and work
  • the Right to Social care including the provision of elderly community centres and social clubs
  • the Right to medical care including preventive health services, medical insurance, mobile nursing units and supportive medical devices
  • the Right of Confidentiality of Information
  • the Right to preferential treatment concerning government transactions, facilities, social aid and medical services.
  • Full medical, financial and educational care and must be registered in a dedicated database.

The UAE has retirement homes for Emirates Senior Citizens called Elderly care centres which fall under the responsibility of the Ministry of Community Development. Should a family face difficulties in providing care for elderly people, they are required to inform the Ministry of Community Development, care centres, the police and any other relevant departments. The centres provide primary health care, social, psychological and physical therapy for seniors. Caregivers who insult senior citizens can face stiff penalties. The same requirement is necessary should a senior citizen die or change their home address. Registration of an elderly relative in a care home can be done online.

Source: https://www.thenationalnews.com/uae/2021/10/26/uae-prosecutors-say-people-who-mistreat-senior-citizens-face-jail-and-fines/

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When can a bank close a customer’s account without prior notice?

In accordance with Article 5.1.2.2 (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations for the UAE Banking Customers on “Account closure by the Licensed Financial Institution”, banks or financial institutions in the UAE need to inform the customer in writing the reasons for the closure at least 60 days in the advance notice before the closure of the bank account, in order to shut down the bank account of the customer.

However, under Article 5.1.2.2 (b) of the Consumer Protection Regulations for UAE Banking Customers, a bank or a financial institution has the right to close the bank account of a customer without serving any prior notice in case the Licensed Financial Institution suspects or find out to the use of the account by the Consumer to carry out illegal transactions or financial/white-collar crimes.

Additionally, Article 5.1.2.2 (c) of the regulation, provides an exception to the banks and financial institutions to act under the UAE’s Financial Crime Compliance requirements for closure of bank accounts.

Legal Tip:

If the customer’s bank account has regular financial transactions and it is closed without a valid reason, the customer may lodge a written complaint with the concerned bank reporting invalid closure of the bank account.

In the event the concerned bank does not respond to the customer complaint within a reasonable time frame, the customer may approach the Consumer Protection Department of the Central Bank of UAE and file a written complaint with supporting evidence and relevant documents.

 

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Comprehensive Guide to Wage Protection System (WPS) in UAE

There are only two main incentives to work; Wages and fear of losing it! Henry Ford

Understanding the Wage Protection System (WPS)

The Wages Protection System in the UAE is a state-of-the-art electronic salary transfer system that enables institutions and organisations in the private sector to facilitate payment of salary to their employees via banks, exchange bureau and through other financial institutions approved and authorized by the UAE Central Bank as a payment system.

The wage protection system was developed by the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates in conjunction with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE). The system provides MOHRE with the ability to establish a reliable database that records all salary payments in the private sector thereby ensuring timely payment of agreed-upon wages.

Compliance to Wages Protection System (WPS) is a mandatory legal requirement under Ministerial Decree No. 739 of 2016 concerning Protection of Wages, for all private organisations registered under the MoHRE, therefore, all such organisations must subscribe to Wages Protection System (WPS) and pay the wages of their employees through the WPS by delivering records of employee’s salary to their respective banks for salary distribution, thereby allowing MOHRE to ensure that all employees’ dues are paid correctly.

The WPS covers all institutions registered with MOHRE across various businesses in multiple sectors and industries to benefits different categories of labours. However, government organisations and public sector institutions are exempted from WPS compliance.

Major Advantages of Wage Protection System;

  • Ensure timely payment of agreed-upon wages to employees.
  • Making a seamless salary process system that helps employers to protect their interests and reduce the time and effort required to pay due wages and salaries.
  • Improves job security, strengthens work relationships and protects the rights of employers and employees in the private sector.
  • Ensure transparency and competitiveness in work relationships.
  • It provides protective and proactive measures to employees and avoids labour or industrial disputes regarding the payment of wages.
  • Ensures that the UAE Ministry of Labour is updated on new wages data in the private sector which helps effective administration of the labour market.

Registration Process for WPS in the UAE

In the UAE, private-sector employers can simply register for the Wages Protection System. The entire system is accessible through MoHRE’s official website, where employers may create an account using their company’s details as provided by the Ministry. Employers may then log in to their account and update the lists with the following information;

  • Bank account details.
  • A list of workers, together with information about the bank or agency with whom the company works.
  • The bank or agency with which an employee has a bank account.
  • The specific date on which the salary must be paid.

Payment Process of WPS;

The employer is required to perform the following procedure to transfer the salary of the employees;

  • Open a bank account with an approved bank (or agent in case it does not hold a bank account in the UAE).
  • Enter into a WPS Agreement with the bank or agent.
  • Provide salary transfer instructions to the bank or agent.
  • The bank or an agency notifies the UAE Wages Protection System, which sends employee information, wages, and salary transfer instructions to the UAE Central Bank via an electronic system to the UAE Central Bank.
  • The UAE Central Bank then forwards all of the required information to MOHRE for verification.
  • WPS provides authorisation to the employer’s bank or agent permitting it to pay the salary of the employees.
  • Finally, the salary is transferred to the employee’s bank account by the bank.

Fines for evading WPS

In accordance with Ministerial Resolution No. (15) of 2017, the following sanctions shall apply for activities involving fraudulent use of the WPS;

  • Entry of incorrect data in the WPS with intent to avoid or circumvent shall be punishable with a fine of AED 5,000 for each worker and a maximum of AED 50,000 in case of multiple workers.
  • Failure to pay on due dates through the WPS shall be a punishable fine of AED 1,000 per employee
  • Forcing employees to sign on fraudulent payslips claiming that they have received their salaries shall be punishable with a fine of AED 5,000 per employee.

Laws regarding Payment of Salary in UAE;

  • Workers in the UAE who are employed on a monthly or annual basis must receive their salary once a month on due dates and no later than 10 days after the end of each compensation period.
  • In case the contract does not specify such times, the employer must pay the employee once every 14 days.
  • Payments must be made in the UAE’s national currency and on working days.

 

Penalties on companies failing to pay Salaries;

 A. Penalty on companies employing over 100 workers;

In case the company employs more than 100 workers and fails to remit their wages within a period not exceeding 10 days, the consequences will be as follows;

  • The Company will not be issued work permits starting from the 16th day from the date of delay in wages.
  • Companies delaying wages a month from the due date will be referred to judicial authorities for punitive measures.
  • Action would be taken against all companies owned by the same owner.
  • The owner(s) will not be able to register any new company.
  • Employees’ bank guarantees will be liquidated.
  • The company will be downgraded to the third category.
  • Workers will be permitted to find other job opportunities

Additionally, if a company delays salaries for more than 60 days, the company will be fined AED 5,000 per worker (whose wages are delayed), with a maximum fine of AED 50,000 in case multiple workers’ wages are delayed.

B. Penalty on companies employing less than 100 workers

If a company employing less than 100 workers fails to pay the salary within 60 days from the due date, penalties will include:

  • Barred from issuing work permits.
  • Liability to pay monetary fines issued by MOHRE
  • referral to Court proceeding.

In case the company commits such violations more than once a year, penalties stated for companies that employ over 100 workers shall be applied by MOHRE.

 

Source:

https://u.ae/en/information-and-services/jobs/payment-of-wages https://www.bayut.com/mybayut/wps-uae-guide/

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Laws governing the Enforcement of Foreign Judgement in UAE

The general rule is that when UAE is a party of reciprocal enforcement treaty, whether bilateral or multilateral, the recognition and enforcement of the foreign judgement and orders in the UAE will be governed by the provision of the relevant reciprocal enforcement treaty or convention. However, in the absence of such a treaty in place covering the matter, the legal provisions governing the enforcement of the foreign judgment in UAE as defined under Article – 235 of the UAE Civil Procedures Code, Federal Law No. 11 of 1992, will take effect.

Rather than relying on the UAE Civil Procedural Laws, the Courts of UAE recognize the judgements that are in correspondence with these reciprocal treaties and prefer to emphasize more on the requirements mentioned under the reciprocal treaty for enforcing a foreign judgment in UAE

The Reciprocal Enforcement Treaties

The UAE has entered into and ratified a number of reciprocal enforcement treaties, such as;

  • The Riyadh Arab Agreement for Judicial Co-operation, having 18 signatories’ states such as – the UAE, Jordan, Bahrain, Tunisia, Algeria, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Iraq, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Yemen;
  • The Gulf Co-operation Council Convention for the Execution of Judgments having 6 members of the GCC namely the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.
  • Cooperative Agreement for Enforcing Foreign Judgement with various individual countries including China, India, France, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Somalia, Algeria and Egypt.
  • The New York Convention (1958): provides mandatory recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral agreements and arbitral awards. The convention allows parties to agree to resolve their disputes through arbitration, the subsequent award is almost universally enforceable.
  • The Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements (2005) provides a framework of rules relating to jurisdiction agreements in civil and commercial matters and the subsequent recognition and enforcement of a judgment given by a court of a contracting state designated in a choice of court agreement.

The recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and orders in the UAE with regards to any litigation matters involved with the above-mentioned countries will be governed by the provisions of the relevant reciprocal enforcement treaty or convention.

Failure to review and address the relevant reciprocal enforcement treaty may render the court judgment ineffective in the UAE.

The legal provision governing the Enforcement of Foreign Judgement in UAE

Foreign judgments, orders and writs are subject to enforcement in the UAE under Article 235 of the UAE Code of Civil Procedure, Federal Law No. 11 of 1992, (“Civil Procedure Code”) Title 4: “Execution of Foreign Judgments, Orders and Writs.”

In absence of any reciprocal enforcement treaty between the foreign country and the UAE, Article 235 of the UAE Civil Procedures Code provides all the requirements for the recognition of foreign judgments in the UAE, and it lays down the following conditions;

Article 235(1)

The UAE court must ensure that the foreign state issuing the judgments or the orders, for which enforcement is sought in the UAE would also agree to enforce and execute the judgments and orders issued in the UAE under the same conditions as prescribed in the law of that country.

Article 235(2)

  1. The UAE Courts does not have jurisdiction over the dispute in which the judgment/order was rendered and that the Court which had rendered the judgement is competent in accordance with the international laws.
  2. The Court that has rendered the judgment is competent and have full jurisdiction in accordance with the laws of that Country where the Court made its ruling.
  3. all Parties involved in the dispute were duly summoned to appear and were duly appeared before the foreign court.
  4. The Judgment or the order must be final (force of res judicata) and does not susceptible to recourse or appeal, under the laws of the Court that rendered it.
  5. the foreign judgement does not contradict with any existing Judgement or order rendered by any UAE court and does not contain anything contrary to public policy or morality in the UAE; and

Any foreign judgment that complies with the above-mentioned requirements of Article 235 of the Code of Civil Procedure (even where there is no recognition treaty), will be recognizable and enforceable in the UAE.

Procedure for Enforcement of the Foreign Judgement in the UAE.

To have a foreign judgment recognized in the courts of UAE, the applicant must submit the petition before the Execution Judge sitting in the Court of First Instance. Within three days after receiving it, the Execution Judge must issue an order to execute it. The order of the Execution Judge is subject to appeal to the Court of Appeal in accordance with the rules and procedures prescribed for filing an appeal.

The Execution Judge must be satisfied that the application has fulfilled the legal requirements in respect of the enforcement of foreign judgments in the UAE as defined under Article 235 of UAE Civil code procedure. Additionally, the application for execution of foreign judgement must include the following particulars as set out in Article 16 of the Cabinet Decision No. 57 and must be submitted to the execution judge.

1. Statement of the claim (Petition) must be submitted to the case management office either electronically or in writing.

Key information to be included in the Statement of claim (Petition);

  • Judgement Debtors’ and Creditors’ – name, surname, ID number or photocopy thereof or any similar documents issued by government entities confirming his identity, details of occupation, profession, place of domicile and work, and contact information. If the claimant has no domicile in the UAE, an elected domicile must be provided, as well as the contact details of its legal representatives his surname, ID number, fax number or e-mail address.
  • The details of the Court before which enforcement proceedings are filed.
  • The date of filing the statement of claim with the case management office.
  • The subject matter of the enforcement proceedings, the demands and grounds thereof.
  • The signature of the applicant or his legal representative.
  1. The applicant’s Power of Attorney (PoA).
  2. A certified notarized and legalised copy of the foreign judgment.
  3. Supporting documents such as proof that the judgment is final and not capable of being appealed, along with any other evidence required to prove that all procedural rules and regulations in respect of the defendant were fulfilled.

Please note that the execution judge shall have the right to obtain the required documents supporting the application before issuing his decision.

Mechanisms for enforcing the foreign judgments in UAE

The legislative framework that recognises the enforcement of foreign judgments in UAE can be achieved by two different authorities such as;

  • the UAE Federal Court System
  • the DIFC Courts.

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts 

Under Article 24 (2) of the DIFC Court Law, the reciprocal enforcement treaties signed by the UAE also applies to the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts. As a result, where the UAE has agreed to mutual enforcement of judgments, orders, or awards, the DIFC Court will also conform to those agreements and execute any such foreign Judgements, orders, or awards.

In addition, the DIFC Courts themselves are also signatory to several memorandums of understanding for mutual enforcement and recognition of foreign judgments with a number of commercial courts and authorities, including the UAE Ministry of Justice, the Ras Al Khaimah Courts, the Federal Court of Australia, the Supreme Court of Singapore, the High Court of Hong Kong, the Federal Court of Malaysia, and the Federal Court of Singapore.

Conditions required for a foreign judgment to be ratified and enforced in DIFC Courts;

The concerned foreign judgment, order, or award must be;

  • final and conclusive; (Please Note – A judgement is considered final even if it is subject to an appeal).
  • certain judgements such as judgments ordering the payment of taxes, fines, or penalties cannot be enforced in DIFC courts; and
  • the foreign court must be competent to resolve the dispute.

If the foreign judgment satisfies all the above-mentioned requirements the grounds to challenge the enforcement of a foreign judgment will be limited in the DIFC. Such grounds include (are not limited to) instances where the foreign Judgement was

  • obtained by fraud;
  • contrary to public policy;
  • fails to comply with the requirements set out in the applicable treaty
  • the proceedings were conducted in a manner that is contrary to the principles of natural justice

Points of consideration

A. Translation – Arabic being the official language of UAE, the courts in UAE operate in Arabic language only. Therefore, all documents and evidence required to be submitted in the court must be translated to the Arabic language by a certified translator and thereafter attested by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ). However, proceedings in the DIFC and the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Courts are conducted in English and therefore need no translation.

B. Notarisation and Legalisation – Documents in court proceedings are required to be notarized and legalised by a certified Public or Private Notary. Ideally, the Notary witnesses the signature of the documents and after the process of notarization is completed, the documents need to be legalized/attested. All the original documents must undergo the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), attestation which is a mandatory procedure to validate the authenticity of the documents.

Conclusion

Enforcement of a foreign judgement in the UAE depends on various factors. Firstly, in case there is a treaty between the UAE and the foreign country, regard must be given to its requirements mentioned in the recognition treaty. Second, in absence of any such treaty, regard must be given to the conditions set out in Article 235 of the UAE Civil Law.

Source:

  1. The UAE Civil Procedure Code, Federal Law No. (11) Of 1992 Chapter (IV)
  2. The Cabinet Decision No – 57.
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