Ask the Law: Can a worker be terminated without notice in UAE for leaking company secrets?

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The company can also file a criminal case by submitting all evidence of the breach that was committed. Picture for illustrative purpose only
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Question: I am a company owner. A month ago, I discovered that one of my employees, who has been working for me for more than five years, has been disclosing the company’s secrets to a competitor, in exchange for money. This was discovered through the emails on the employee’s computer. What is the appropriate action to be taken against this employee, and do I have the right, according to the new Labour Law, to stop him from work? Please advise.

Answer: You have the right to terminate him without notice, after conducting an investigation as per Clause No. 5 of Article 44 of the new Labour Law, which states that “the employer may dismiss the worker without notice after conducting a written investigation with him and the dismissal decision shall be in writing and justified and the employer or its representative shall hand it over to the worker if:

The worker disclosed a work secret related to industrial or intellectual property, which resulted in losses to the employer, missed opportunity or achieving a personal benefit for the worker.

It is better also to file a complaint against him in front of the labour office.

You can also file a criminal case against him by submitting all evidence of the breach he committed. Making a report by an IT expert to prove the breach with the damages he caused and the benefit he gets would be a good way to prove this matter in front of the criminal court. In case the criminal court finds him guilty then you have the right to file a compensation case in front of the labour court.

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In case you do not want to terminate him, you have the right to suspend him temporarily from work as per Clause No. 1 of Article 44 of the new law, which states that “the employer may suspend the worker temporarily from work for a period not exceeding 30 days, in order to conduct a disciplinary investigation with him if the investigation interest so requires, along with suspending half the wage during the suspension period”.

If the investigation concluded non-violation, or punishment of the worker by warning, the worker shall be paid the wage that was suspended during the suspension period.