Claim No. SCT 364/2022
THE DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE COURTS
In the name of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai
IN THE SMALL CLAIMS TRIBUNAL OF DIFC COURTS
BEFORE H.E JUSTICE MAHA AL MHEIRI
|Hearing :||21 December 2022|
|Judgment :||28 December 2022|
JUDGMENT OF H.E JUSTICE MAHA AL MHEIRI
UPON this Claim being filed on 12 October 2022
AND UPON a hearing having been listed before H.E. Justice Maha Al Mheiri on 21 December 2022, with the Claimant and the Defendant’s representative in attendance
AND UPON reading the submissions and evidence filed and recorded on the Court file
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
1. The Claimant’s claims are dismissed.
2. Each party shall bear their own costs.
Ayesha Bin Kalban
Date of issue: 28 December 2022
1. The Claimant is Lucile (the “Claimant”), an individual filing a claim regarding her employment at the Defendant company.
2. The Defendant is Loki Ltd. (the “Defendant”), a company located in the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”).
Background and the Preceding History
3. The underlying dispute arises over the employment of the Claimant by the Defendant pursuant to an Employment Contract dated 15 August 2019 (the “Employment Contract”). The Claimant was hired as a ‘Consultant’ with a monthly salary of AED 100,000. On 1 March 2020, the Claimant signed a Second Employment Contract with the Defendant with a monthly salary of AED 60,000.
4. The Claimant’s employment with the Defendant continued until 19 October 2020, when the Claimant was terminated with notice by the Defendant. 18 November 2020 was the Claimant’s last working day.
5. The Claimant submits that she did not receive her final settlement upon termination, and therefore she requested her end of service benefits from the Defendant who, she submits, had continuously delayed her payments citing reasons to be the COVID-19 outbreak and the financial difficulties that had befallen the Defendant as a result. In consideration of the Defendant’s circumstance caused by the pandemic, the Claimant submits that she had waited and was constantly reassured that payment will be made.
6. On 9 September 2022, the Claimant’s residency visa expired, and the Defendant informed her that it will not be paying her final settlement.
7. On 12 October 2022, the Claimant filed a claim in the DIFC Courts’ Small Claims Tribunal (the “SCT”) claiming AED 135,000 for her final settlement payment by the Defendant.
8. The Defendant responded on to the Claim Form on 12 December 2022 indicating its intent to contest the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts. On 21 December 2022, I heard the parties’ arguments at a Hearing.
9. At the Hearing, the Defendant submitted that the Claimant acknowledges and accepts in her Claim Form that 18 November 2020 was her termination date.
10. Under Article 10 of the DIFC Employment Law, the Claimant was required to bring any claim within 6 months from the date of her termination day, 18 November 2020. The Claimant was therefore required to bring her claim by 18 May 2021. However, the Claimant's claim form was filed on 12 October 2022 and is therefore 17 months out of time.
11. This dispute is governed by DIFC Employment Law No. 2 of 2019 (the “DIFC Employment Law”) in conjunction with the relevant Employment Contract.
12. In reviewing the case file, one crucial factor that effects the Court’s ability to determine the Claimant’s entitlement came to light.
13. It is the Claimant’s submission in all the evidence submitted to the Court that her last working day with the Defendant was 18 November 2020. There is no other evidence submitted demonstrating that the Claimant was working beyond that date.
14. Although the Claimant submits that the parties were in settlement negotiations, there was no official documentation promising the Claimant that she will be paid the amount. It is the Claimant’s duty to be aware of her rights and that she had 6 months from her termination date to file a claim.
15. Article 10 of the DIFC Employment Law which sets out the limitation period for which an employee can bring their claim before the Court
“10. Limitation Period
Subject to Article 61(2), a Court shall not consider a claim under this Law unless it is brought to the Court within six (6) months of the relevant Employee's Termination Date.”
16. In light of the above finding, I have determined that the Claimant’s claims are time-barred having exceeded the 6 months’ limitation period from the Claimant’s termination date.
17. The Claimant’s claims are dismissed.