Claim No: SCT 030/2023
IN THE DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE COURTS
IN THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
ORDER WITH REASONS OF JUSTICE SIR JEREMY COOKE
UPON reviewing the Claimant’s Appeal Notice dated 14 April 2023 seeking permission to appeal against the Judgment of H.E. Judge Nassir Al Nasser dated 30 March 2023 (the “Judgment”) (the “Permission Application”)
AND UPON reviewing Rules 53.87 and 53.91 of the Rules of the DIFC Courts (the “RDC”)
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THATthe Permission Application is dismissed.
SCT Judge and Assistant Registrar
Date of Issue: 15 May 2023
SCHEDULE OF REASONS
1. This is an application for permission to appeal on the part of Marut. There is no application for permission to appeal by Mostar to whom I shall refer as " Mostar ".
2. The way in which an appeal takes place from the Small Claims Tribunal is as a review of the decision made below unless there is some special reason which would give rise to a re-hearing where the Court would look at all the evidence all over again. The function of this Court is merely to review the decision of the judge below to see if something has gone wrong but not to examine every piece of evidence that has been put forward then or any new evidence which is sought to be put forward now.
3. The fundamental position is this. Mostar resigned from her position on 8 January 2023. The judge below awarded her, in respect of her wages and benefits, the sum of AED 10,900 from which there is no appeal though it is now said, in reliance upon comments made by the judge, that she might have been entitled to more had the calculation been made correctly in relation to holiday pay. The grounds for appeal were twofold, as set out in the documents. First, that the basic salary was AED 5,000, not AED 6,000 and, secondly, that the judge below should have found that Mostar was in breach of contract because she was both rude and caused damage to at least one customer's nails, which gave rise to complaints, and was generally an unsatisfactory employee.
4. Having looked at what the judge found and having heard what is said today, it is clear that the judge was entitled to find that the basic salary was AED 6,000, not AED 5,000, and that there had been a salary increase. The original contract date in fact had an end date of November 2022 on the papers, although it is said that the plan was that she would stay for three years. There are two WhatsApp messages from Mr Ramy referring to the AED 6,000 salary, one as from September. The figures show payments which are more than AED 6,000 which are, I accept, neutral in themselves because of bonuses and the like which could be paid. Today, however, it has been accepted that there was a conversation in which the sum of AED 6,000 was referred to.
5. The judge was therefore entitled to come to the conclusion, based on the figure of AED 6,000, that the sums claimed were justified and although he found that there may have been a wrong calculation in relation to holiday pay, he granted the whole of the claim. That has not been appealed formally and I am not in a position to change that figure today.
6. So far as the breaches of contract are concerned, there are issues of fact which arise in relation to the cause of damage to the particular lady's nails. There is no evidence of actual compensation paid to that lady and it is argued that in fact the responsibility for her problems lay with her and not with the salon. The other difficulty with the claim that is made by Marut is that it is essentially a claim for loss of reputation. The difficulty with such claims is that there is no certainty of loss so that the legislation in the DIFC does not provide for compensation to be payable in respect of loss of reputation. As a matter of English law, which the DIFC Courts would be likely to follow in this respect, there are only particular types of claim which can give rise to a claim for loss of reputation in any event.
7. In these circumstances, permission to appeal must be refused because there are no realistic prospects of success and no other compelling reason why this matter should be dealt with on an appeal in the higher Court. Permission to appeal is refused and no further order. The judgment of the lower Court will stand as it is.