What Is the Legal Recourse for Employees When Their Resignation Is Denied by The Employer?


Under Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations, employees and employers have specific rights and obligations regarding the termination of employment contracts.In the event that an employer denies an employee’s resignation, the labour law provides legal options for the employee to address this situation.

Article 43 of the Labour Law outlines the procedures and conditions for terminating an employment contract:

Notice Period:

    1. Either party may terminate the contract for a legitimate reason with a notice period between 30 to 90 days.
    2. The contract remains effective during the notice period, and the worker is entitled to full remuneration.
    3. Both parties may agree to exemption or reduction of the notice period, preserving the worker’s rights.
    4. Failure to comply with the notice period results in compensation, equivalent to the worker’s remuneration.

Worker’s Right to Absence:

If terminated by the employer, the worker has the right to be absent for one unpaid working day per week during the notice period to search for another job.

Article 45 identifies cases where a worker can leave work without notice and retain their rights:

    1. Employer’s breach of obligations.
    2. Assault, violence, or harassment by the employer.
    3. Serious danger in the workplace threatening worker safety or health.
    4. Employer assigning fundamentally different work without worker’s consent. 

Legal Options for Employees:

If an employer denies the resignation, the employee can take the following steps:

Completion of Notice Period: If the employee has served the notice period as per the employment contract, the employer may acknowledge the resignation.

Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation: If the employer refuses the resignation, the employee can approach the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation in accordance with Article 54. The ministry can intervene to address the dispute and ensure compliance with the labour law.


Employees in the UAE have legal protection under Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021, ensuring fair treatment in the termination of employment contracts. In the case of denied resignation, employees should be aware of their rights and take appropriate legal steps outlined in the labour law to address the situation and seek resolution.


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