When it comes to practising law, the Middle East, and the UAE in particular, is all about M&A, corporate finance and construction. Its a place where money, religion and history form a fascinating blend of the ultra modern and ancient traditions. Comparable to China in its fundamental belief that the key to the future lies in the past, it is arguably one of the most challenging environments to conduct business in. It is also a place where employment law with all its rules and regulations and case law we are used to in New Zealand, Australia and Europe, simply doesnt seem to exist.
Even more interesting, then, that the Court of Cassation in Dubai recently acknowledged a similar concept to that of ‘constructive dismissal’ in other jurisdictions. The concept of a constructive dismissal is that an employer can dismiss an employee by making him resign. But this also requires, as a first step, that an employer has in fact an obligation to look after its employees, to treat them fairly and with respect. In a way, then, the idea of a constructive dismissal implies other basic principles, arguably also the trust and confidence requirement. Without getting too excited here, but it seems to me that Labour Law in the UAE might be much closer to UK or NZ law than I thought.
Interesting times indeed.
Michael Martin – Wuesten der Erde