DIFC Employment Rights

Guide on DIFC Employment Rights: Navigating SCT Employment Claims for rights, processes, and legal avenues in the UAE's DIFC framework.

Guide to SCT Employment Claims

We are delighted to bring to your attention the latest edition of our newsletter, meticulously crafted to guide you through the intricacies of asserting your employment rights within the framework of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) regulations.

Guide to SCT Employment Claims DIFC Employment Rights SCT Employment Claims UAE Legal Guide Employee Empowerment Legal Recourse

Empowerment to File a Complaint Against Your Employer

It is imperative to understand that if your employer fails to settle your dues within 14 days of your cessation of employment, you are legally empowered to lodge a complaint. Prompt action is essential, as the law stipulates a six-month window from your final working day to initiate a claim, beyond which your right to do so may be forfeited.

Exploring Your Legal Recourse

Your claim can encompass a variety of entitlements, including:

  • Unpaid Salary: Claim for the specific period you were not remunerated for.
  • Annual Leave Entitlement: If you have surpassed 90 days of service, you are entitled to paid annual leave, calculated based on your daily wage and permissible leave accrual.
  • Notice Period Compensation: If applicable, based on your contract terms.
  • DEWS/Gratuity: For employees with over a year of service, a gratuity is calculable based on your tenure and last drawn basic salary.
  • Filing Fees: The nominal costs associated with initiating a claim.
  • Penalty under Article 19(1) of the DIFC Law: This encompasses daily wage penalties for delayed payments post-termination.
  • Interest on Judgment: As per DIFC Practice Direction No. 4 of 2017.
  • Contractual Interest and entitlements such as tickets etc.: If specified in your employment contract.
  • Request an Order for Visa and Absconding case cancellation (if any) and claim all Costs for all proceedings.
  • Additional Relief: As per your employment contract.

Commencing a Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) Claim

  1. To initiate your claim:
  2. Gather Pertinent Information: This includes your employment start and end dates, DEWS details, outstanding salaries, leave records, and salary details.
  3. Utilize the P53/01 Form: Accessible on the DIFC Courts’ website (https://eregistry.difccourts.ae), this form is your gateway to officially starting your claim. It’s vital to fill it with accuracy and completeness, reflecting all the necessary details.
  • Drafting Particulars of Claim: Your claim should be meticulously documented, categorizing the content under headings like
  • Introduction
  • Parties
  • Factual Background
  • Grounds For Claim
  • And Reliefs Sought. This document should be a clear, concise, and factual representation of your claim.
  • Submission and Payment: After completing the P53/01 form, submit it to the DIFC Courts’ Registry along with the required nominal fee. This action formally initiates your claim process.

Navigating the SCT Procedure

The SCT procedure is renowned for its streamlined and user-friendly approach. It encompasses several stages:

  • Filing the Claim: This is initiated through the DIFC Courts’ eRegistry system, requiring the completion of the claim form and payment of the requisite fee.
  • Service of Notice: Once the claim is filed, the SCT Registry will serve notice to the respondent, who then has 7 days to acknowledge and indicate whether they wish to defend the claim. Should the Defendant fail to respond, it becomes necessary for you to personally serve the claim or dispatch it via courier and file the Certificate of service within 7 days of service.
  • Filing a Defence: The Defendant may file a response to the claim of the claimant and or file a counterclaim or challenge the jurisdiction.
  • Jurisdiction: If there is a challenge to the jurisdiction of the SCT, it will be dealt with by a SCT Judge before the claim proceeds.
  • Counterclaim: In the event you are served with a Counterclaim you may respond to it within 7 days (preferable) or address the same before consultation with the permission of the court or in the closing submission before the hearing.
  • Consultation: A SCT Judge facilitates informal discussions between the parties, aiming to reach an amicable settlement.
  • Jurisdiction Assessment: Any jurisdictional challenges are addressed by the SCT Judge at this stage.
  • Final Submission: Parties are given a final opportunity to file and serve further submissions in relation to the Claim and Defence before the hearing.
  • Hearing: If the matter is not resolved in consultations, a hearing is scheduled, focusing on a fair presentation of both parties’ positions.
  • Judgment and Appeal: The SCT Judge issues a binding judgment, subject to appeal on specific grounds within 15 days.
  • Enforcement: Non-compliance with the judgment leads to enforcement proceedings through the DIFC Courts.


We trust that this detailed overview will empower you with the necessary knowledge to navigate your employment rights and the legal avenues available within the DIFC framework. For further assistance or queries, feel free to reach out to us.

Author’s Bio:

Nikhat Sardar Khan, a distinguished legal expert with extensive experience in the UAE’s legal landscape, currently heads the Department of Litigation, ADR and Corporate at Hilal & Associates Advocates & Legal Consultants. Her expertise encompasses complex litigation and dispute resolution in commercial matters, banking, finance, corporate practice, and more. As a qualified arbitrator and experienced mediator, she holds certifications from prestigious institutions like the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb) and The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Her legal acumen, honed over decades of practice in both India and the UAE, positions her as a formidable figure in the field of law.

Nikhat Sardar Khan (FCIArb)(RICS)
Head of DIFC Litigation, Corporate & Arbitration- UAE,
MENA and India.
Arbitrator | Mediator | DIFC Practitioner
Email: ni****@hi*************.com

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