Skip to main content


Absconding, also known as “runaway,” “skipping work,” or “leaving without notice,” is a significant concern in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This issue refers to the act of an employee fleeing their job without informing their employer or seeking proper clearance. In accordance with Article 28(1) of the Cabinet Resolution No., an employer may file an absconding complaint with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (the ‘MOHRE’) if an employee is absent from work continuously for seven days without formally informing the employer. Absconding is considered a violation of labor laws in the UAE and can have severe consequences for both the absconding individual and their employer.

The UAE has experienced rapid economic growth over the years, attracting millions of expatriate workers from around the world seeking better job opportunities. The country’s economic success relies heavily on its foreign workforce, making the labor market diverse and dynamic. However, this also means there are individuals who might resort to absconding due to personal reasons, such as dissatisfaction with working conditions, financial troubles, or contractual disputes.

One of the primary challenges related to absconding is its potential impact on the employer. When an employee leaves their job without prior notice, it disrupts the company’s operations, causing a shortage of skilled labor and affecting productivity. Employers might struggle to find immediate replacements, leading to additional recruitment expenses and a delay in completing projects.

From the employee’s perspective, absconding poses considerable risks. The UAE’s labor laws are stringent and designed to protect both employers and employees. Absconding violates an individual’s legal obligations, making them liable for potential fines, deportation, and bans on re-entry to the UAE for a specified period. Moreover, the absconding employee might face difficulty finding new job opportunities, as employers may be hesitant to hire someone with a history of absconding.

To address the issue of absconding, the UAE government has implemented various measures to monitor and regulate the labor market. The sponsorship system (kafala) plays a crucial role in this regard. Under this system, expatriate workers are sponsored by their employers, granting the employers significant control over their employees’ residency and work permits. If an employee absconds, their sponsor can report them to the authorities, leading to legal consequences.

In recent years, the UAE has introduced several initiatives to improve labor conditions and minimize instances of absconding. These initiatives include the Wage Protection System (WPS), which ensures that employees receive their salaries on time and in full, reducing financial disputes as a potential reason for absconding. Additionally, the introduction of the Labor Market Information System (LMIS) enables authorities to monitor labor market dynamics and identify any emerging trends of absconding.

Despite these efforts, certain factors contribute to the persistence of absconding cases. Some employees might be unaware of their rights and legal obligations, leading them to make hasty decisions without understanding the consequences. Additionally, language barriers and cultural differences can also hinder proper communication between employers and employees, exacerbating issues that may eventually lead to absconding.

To address these challenges effectively, it is crucial for employers to maintain open communication with their employees and provide a conducive work environment. This includes ensuring adherence to labor laws, providing timely payment of wages, and addressing any grievances promptly. Employees, on the other hand, must familiarize themselves with their rights and responsibilities, seeking legal advice if facing difficulties at work.

Overall, absconding in the UAE remains a significant concern for both employers and employees. It disrupts businesses, exposes individuals to legal consequences, and affects the overall stability of the labor market. By promoting better communication, understanding labor rights, and implementing effective government initiatives, the UAE can work towards minimizing instances of absconding and creating a more harmonious and productive work environment for everyone involved.

Read more

Latest Articles