Claim No: SCT 168/2023
THE DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE COURTS
In the name of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai
IN THE SMALL CLAIMS TRIBUNAL
BEFORE H.E. JUSTICE MAHA AL MHEIRI
|Hearing :||8 June 2023|
|Judgment :||26 June 2023|
JUDGMENT OF H.E. JUSTICE MAHA AL MHEIRI
UPON the Claim Form being filed on 2 May 2023
AND UPON a Hearing being held before H.E. Justice Maha Al Mheiri on 8 June 2023, with the Claimant and the Defendant’s representative in attendance
AND UPON reviewing the documents and evidence submitted in the Court file
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
1. The Defendant shall pay the Claimant the amount of AED 20,000.
2. The Defendant shall pay the Claimant the Court filing fee in the amount of AED 400.
SCT Judge and Assistant Registrar
Date of issue: 26 June 2023
1. The Claimant is Mikru (the “Claimant”), an individual filing a claim against the Defendant regarding his employment at the Defendant company.
2. The Defendant is Mako (the “Defendant”), a company registered in the DIFC located at, DIFC, Dubai.
Background and Hearing
3. The underlying dispute arises over the employment of the Claimant by the Defendant pursuant to an employment contract dated 1 March 2023 (the “Employment Contract”). The Claimant was hired in the position of ‘Head Chef’ with a monthly salary of AED 20,000 consisting of the following:
(a) Basic salary in the sum of AED 8,000; and
(b) Accommodation and transportation allowance in the sum of AED 12,000.
4. The Claimant started working for the Defendant on 1 April 2023 and worked for 1 month. The Claimant requested that the Defendant pay him his salary at the end of April and to issue him an employment visa (the “Requests”), however, the Defendant met neither of these requests.
5. The Claimant submits that, although the restaurant was closed, he was dealing with Mr. Moweri the owner of the Defendant directly by sending him proposed menu options for the restaurant and interviewing staff for the opening of the restaurant.
6. Due to the Defendant’s failure to respond to the Claimant regarding his Requests, he stopped working for them.
7. On 2 May 2023, the Claimant filed a claim in the DIFC Courts’ Small Claims Tribunal (the “SCT”) claiming the amount of AED 20,000 for his April salary and 2-months’ compensation in the amount of AED 40,000.
8. The parties met for a Consultation with SCT Judge Hayley Norton on 29 May 2023 but were unable to reach a settlement.
9. In line with the rules and procedures of the SCT, this matter was referred to me for determination, pursuant to a Hearing held on 8 June 2023 with the Claimant and the Defendant’s representative in attendance.
10. This dispute is governed by the DIFC Law No. 4 of 2021 (Employment Law Amendment Law) (hereafter the “DIFC Employment Law”) in conjunction with the relevant Employment Contract.
11. The Defendant’s representative argues that he has never seen the Claimant and that he did not work for the Defendant.
12. After review of the submissions filed by the parties, I find that the Claimant did in fact work for the Defendant during the month of April 2023, as evidenced by the WhatsApp conversations between the Claimant and Mr. Mower, Upon review of the WhatsApp conversations and the Employment Contract, I find this to be sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the Claimant was working for the Defendant.
13. Accordingly, the Defendant is ordered to pay the Claimant the amount of AED 20,000 for his outstanding salary for the month of April 2023.
2 months’ compensation
14. The Claimant claims the sum of AED 40,000 as two months’ compensation for the treatment that he experienced and loss of job opportunity.
15. There is no evidence provided by the Claimant to demonstrate that he was treated unfairly by the Defendant. Even if there was evidence to prove such a claim, there is no remedy under the DIFC Employment Law to provide compensation to an employee who was unfairly dismissed.
16. Article 62(1) of the DIFC Employment Law states as follows:
“62. Minimum notice periods
(1) An Employer or an Employee may terminate an Employee’s employment without cause in accordance with this Article.
(2) Subject to Articles 62(3), 62(4), 62(6) and 63, the written notice required to be given by an Employer or Employee to terminate the Employee’s employment shall not be less than:
(a) seven (7) days, if the period of continuous employment of the Employee is less than three (3) months, including any period of Secondment;
(b) thirty (30) days, if the period of continuous employment of the Employee is in excess of three (3) months but less than five (5) years, including any period of Secondment; or
(c) ninety (90) days, if the period of continuous employment of the Employee is in excess of five (5) years, including any period of Secondment.”
17. Although the Court is aware that the Claimant left his former employer to join the Defendant, it is a risk that any employee takes while joining a new company. It was the Claimant’s decision to stop working for the Defendant, without giving the Defendant any notice period.
18. Therefore, I find that the Claimant’s claim for compensation of 2 months’ is dismissed.
19. In light of the aforementioned, I find that the Defendant shall pay the Claimant the sum of AED 20,000.
20. I am of the view that, as the Claimant has been successful in some of his claims, he is entitled to recover a partial sum of the court fee applicable to the filing of this case. The Defendant shall therefore pay to the Claimant the amount of AED 400 for the Court filing fee.