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Employee Discipline

Employee Discipline: How Many Warning Letters Before Termination in UAE


Do you know what to do if an employee is terminated by the company in the UAE?

Well, for all the employers and employees in the UAE, understanding the employment terms and conditions, its processes, and implications are important. The nuances related to the UAE workforce are complicated and elaborating on them is essential, especially the laws and regulations related to termination decisions.

In this article, we will discuss termination in the UAE, how many warning letters before termination UAE, legal obligations regarding it, and other aspects.

So keep on reading to know more about it.

Understanding Warning Letters

Issuing warning letters before termination in the UAE is a common practice. An employee’s contract for a job in the UAE is in vulnerable condition through these warning letters. These warning letters for employees are actually official notices issued to the underperforming employee or the employee who is noncompliant with the company’s policies.

These warning letters for employees are opportunities for an employee to rectify their mistakes and improve their behavior towards work or provide better performance.

Types of Warning Letters

We have discussed how crucially warning letters are used in the UAE to notify the employee about performance issues. Now let’s understand how many types of warning letters and how many warning letters before termination UAE are issued to employees.

Well, there are three warning letters issued to employees before termination:

First Warning Letter To Communicate Regarding The Corrective Measures

Employee’s behavior or performance issues are addressed through the first warning letters for employees. This warning letter is actually a method to notify the employee formally that their performance, actions, or activities in the company are not up to the mark and they are expected to put more effort into meeting the standards. The letter outlines the specifics of improvement needed including:

  • Clarity On Issues With Employee
  • Timely Issuance
  • Outlining Expectations
  • Employee Acknowledgment

Second Warning Letter To Emphasize On Improving More

If the employee is not improving the performance or the behavior persists despite the issuance of the first warning letter, the employer issues the second warning letter. This letter highlights the current scenario regarding the employee’s work and addresses how serious the situation has become. It also emphasizes that immediate improvement is required by the employee.

Key considerations for the second warning letter include:

  • Detailed documentation of employee
  • Progress Assessment after the issuance of the first warning letter
  • Consequences in case of not meeting the required expectations
  • Supervisory Support in case of any difficulty at work

3rd & Final Warning Letter As A Last Rectification Opportunity

The 3rd warning letter is the final warning letter that is issued as a last chance for employees to immediately rectify their behavior and performance at work. It highlights the worse condition of the situation of employee’s work and performance and acts as a prelude to possible termination.

Considerations for the 3rd & final warning letter include:

  • Comprehensive documentation for previous warnings and employees’ performances, instances, and reports
  • Consequences of termination along with the date
  • Offer for the supervisory guidance
  • Employee acknowledgement and consent for improvement

So now you know how many warning letters before termination UAE. Also, keep in mind that these warning letters are structured for a UAE’s approach to address behaviour and performance issues of employees and keep employers compliant with UAE labour laws. Employers must issue three warning letters before termination diligently to ensure legal compliance and fair employment practices.

Procedures for Issuing Warning Letters

As we already know warning letters for employees are red notices for employees to communicate them about the security protocol breaching, underperformance, or behaviour issues. It strengthens the employee-employer relationship because the assessment of their shortcoming is done through verbal and written communication and the performance of both the employee and the company is improved.

Here is the procedure to issue warning letters to the employees for further improvement:

Investigation and Documentation

Effective documentation is required for all the warning letter issuance which outlines clearly all the issues. It becomes a detailed account of the actions, activities, and performance of the employee in the company emphasizing the specific violated policies.

Meeting with the Employee

An employee meeting is conducted before the issuance of warning letters as it will clear the air between the management and the employee if there is any misunderstanding. Verbal communication is important to clarify the conflicts and that is where the meeting plays a vital role.

Issuing the Warning Letter

After documentation, investigation, and meeting with the employee, one should start issuing warning letters in sequence. These warning letters should outline the issue with the employee clearly along with the documentation proof, and supervisory advice.

However, in any case, if the behavior of an employee does not change after all the warning letters; the employer can conduct termination as it is legally allowed now.

Termination Procedures

Understanding the termination procedures is necessary for all employers and employees to follow fair employment practices and stay compliant with the legalities and labour laws of the UAE. We are listing the details regarding the termination and the related procedures below:

Grounds for Termination

The UAE Labor Law outlines specific grounds for termination of an employee. The scenarios on which an employer may decide to terminate an employee include negligence of the employee towards his or her job duties, serious misconduct, and deliberate disobedience, fraudulent activity within an organization, or breach of trust.

Furthermore, if the employee is incompetent and the productivity is lacking it leads to the poor quality of work. An employer first issues warning letters and then the termination may occur if there is no improvement.

Defiance and dishonesty or breaking the rules and regulations of the company are also solid grounds for termination in the UAE. Employees should also handle attendance issues like frequent absences or late arrivals seriously as it may lead to unproductivity which eventually leads to termination.

Process for Termination

The process of termination in the UAE is fully legally compliant and both employers and employees are required to follow the protocols outlined by the UAE Labor Law.

According to Article 43, the employment contract can be terminated by the employer for any ‘legitimate reason’. The following considerations should be kept in mind before it:

  • Identification of the issues along with the documentation
  • Provide employees with the proper guidance for rectifying the issue
  • Create a proper plan for performance improvement
  • Issue warning letters and know how many warning letters before termination UAE
  • A written notification is given to the employee.
  • The employer has to provide a 1-month notice to the terminated employee, which can be extended to 3 months or 90 days
  • Termination meetings with the employee, communicating the employee’s rights to ensure fairness and respect
  • Transparent communication
  • Employee termination
  • Arrangements for the exit interview by the HR department
  • Employee support and assistance are offered for the post-termination process to foster a positive experience of transition

Frequently Asked Questions: Warning Letters and Termination in the UAE

How Many Warning Letters Before Termination in UAE?

There are 3 warning letters before termination in UAE. It is a common practice to issue three warning letters In the UAE before the termination of an employee or his or her contract. These warning letters are official notices and opportunities for employees to rectify performance issues and behaviour.

What is a warning letter, and when is it issued?

A warning letter serves as a formal document issued to an employee by an employer and is the standard HR process to address concerns like misconduct, poor performance, misbehaviour, or breach of rules and regulations. The warning letter helps the employee understand the expectations that a company has for improvement in future behavior.

How many warning letters are typically issued before termination?

In UAE, 3 warning letters are issued before the termination of an employee. These warning letters are issued after the necessary documentation and meeting with the employee.

What should be included in a warning letter?

Here are some things that need to be included in the warning letter:

  • The company’s name
  • The offending employee’s name and job title
  • Name of supervisor
  • Date of issue.
  • Comprehensive documentation for previous warnings and employees’ performances, instances, and reports
  • Consequences of termination along with the date
  • Offer for the supervisory guidance
  • Employee acknowledgement and consent for improvement

Can an employee appeal a warning letter?

Yes, an employee can appeal against a warning letter in case it does not outline the appropriate issues. The employer can then proceed to the inquiry of an employee for adequate evidence and address the concerns that the employee has raised in the appeal.

The legal considerations when issuing the warning letters include:

  • Knowing how many warning letters before termination in UAE and remaining consistent in issuing them.
  • Emphasize fairness and Labor Law compliance.
  • Legal compliance related to notice periods and regulations related to gratuity.
  • Employers need to communicate their expectations from the employees clearly
  • Foster transparency throughout the issuance of warning letters before the termination of an employee in the UAE
  • Provide necessary support and resources to an employee to improve

How should employers handle termination of employment?

Employers must handle the termination of an employee with utmost care. First, they should know how many warning letters before termination UAE allow. The issuance of 3 warning letters is necessary. The employee meeting should be conducted to inform the employee about the issue face to face. This conversation must be based on facts and should be brief. Explain in detail the next steps to the employee for the rights, dues clearance, termination benefits (if any), and handing over the belongings.

Can an employee be terminated without prior warning letters?

Well, warning letters are a legal approach to inform the employee about issues regarding performance, misconduct, or negligence. However, the employer may terminate the employee immediately without a legal prior notice in cases like showing false identity or nationality, or if the documents and certificates submitted are fakes. Also, workers in probation period can be terminated without prior notice. It may happen during or at the end of the probation period.

What rights do employees have during the disciplinary process?

There are specific rights entitled to the employees even during termination. These rights must be clearly outlined by the employers, including the notice periods serving, leaves balance, gratuity and other benefits on the end of services, and any dues that are outstanding.

Also, in case of termination, an employee must be informed of all the issues and allegations, and the right to have a company or ally in disciplinary hearings, and an employee can also appeal the warning letter or termination decision if there is solid evidence against the false allegation or issue highlighted.

How can employers ensure compliance with UAE labour laws when issuing warning letters and terminations?

Due to the complexity of the UAE labor laws, expert guidance through legal counsel is highly recommended for employers. They should keep in mind how many warning letters before termination UAE when issuing warning letters and for a smooth termination process. Also, tailored advice from experienced legal professionals ensures employers fulfil their responsibilities and get information on the employee’s rights. It helps in minimizing the risks related to legalities, promoting ethical employment practices, and maintaining a just working environment.

What should employees do if they receive a warning letter or face termination?

When employees receive a warning letter or they are terminated, they should follow up with their manager and ask for their feedback on the improvement of their performance before termination. not only it will help them move on to the next steps, but also let them know their job responsibilities and goals to improve work quality or behaviour at the workplace. Also, one should immediately start a search for the job in case of termination. Also, knowing your rights will help you in a smooth transitioning process.


We have shed light on how many warning letters before termination in UAE, and other critical aspects that must be understood by both employers and employees. We have discussed all the legalities involved in the case of termination and the various types of warning letters before termination.

For more information or insights on the UAE job market and employers, feel free to contact us through email or phone.

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