Claim No. SCT 199/2021
THE DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE COURTS
In the name of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai
IN THE SMALL CLAIMS TRIBUNAL OF DIFC COURTS
BEFORE H.E. JUSTICE NASSIR AL NASSER
|Hearing :||9 August 2021|
|Judgment :||16 August 2021|
JUDGMENT OF H.E. JUSTICE NASSIR AL NASSER
UPONthe Claim Form being filed on 29 June 2021
AND UPONthe Claim Form being Amended on 25 July 2021
AND UPONa Hearing being held before H.E. Justice Nassir Al Nassir on 9 August 2021, with the Claimant and the Defendant’s representative in attendance.
AND UPONreviewing the documents and evidence filed and recorded on the Court file
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
1. The Defendant shall pay the Claimant the sum of USD 10,773.36.
2. The Defendant shall pay the Claimant the Court fee in the sum of USD 215.46
Nassir Al Nasser
SCT Judge & Registrar
Date of issue: 16 August 2021
1. The Claimant is Leatrix (the “Claimant”), an individual filing a claim against the Defendant regarding his employment at the Defendant company.
2. The Defendant is Lebron (the “Defendant”), a company registered and located at DIFC, Dubai, UAE.
Background and the Preceding History
3. The underlying dispute arises over the employment of the Claimant by the Defendant on 18 April 2021 pursuant to an Offer Letter (the “Offer Letter”).
4. On 29 June 2021, the Claimant filed a claim in the DIFC Courts’ Small Claims Tribunal (the “SCT”) seeking payment of amounts allegedly owed to him pursuant to the Offer Letter in the sum of USD 12,500.
5. On 25 July 2021, the Claimant amended the Defendant’s name as set out in the Claim Form to Novus Fintech Limited instead of Stuart Lee Coles.
6. The Defendant failed to acknowledge the claim but filed a defence on 8 August 2021 which reflects his intention to defend all of the claim.
7. On 12 July 2021, a consultation was held before SCT Judge Ayesha Bin Kalban.
8. The Claimant’s case is that he joined the Defendant company on 18 April 2021 to 24 June 2021. As per the Offer Letter, the Claimant was to receive remuneration in the sum of AED 10,000 depending on the delivery of the high-level terms set out in the Offer Letter.
9. The Claimant alleges that in a meeting with the CEO held on 6 May 2021, and as recorded by email of the same date, he was offered a full time non-sales role with the Defendant with a salary of USD 10,000.
10. The Claimant submits that the first salary owed to him was overdue, and the CEO was absent from work for having contracted the COVID-19 virus. The Defendant’s partner made a transaction to the Claimant based partly upon the original Offer Letter amount of AED 10,000 and partly on an alleged salary increase of USD 10,000.
11. The Claimant submits that in the second month of the Claimant’s employment, the Defendant refused to pay him his salary. Therefore, the Claimant claims the sum of USD 10,000 for the second month of his employment and 5 days of pro-rated payment of his salary in the sum of USD 2,500.
12. In response to the Claimant’s claim, the Defendant submits that, the offer of employment provided to the Claimant was for a monthly salary of AED 10,000 and states that this is the only offer of employment between the Claimant and the Defendant.
13. The Defendant submits that the Claimant proposed a new level of remuneration in the sum of USD 10,000 on the basis that he would commit to work 6 days per week in the Defendant’s office, however, this was not agreed by the Defendant.
14. The Defendant also alleges that on 18 May 2021, it had provided the Claimant with a sum of USD 5,000 which the Defendant submits was in excess of what was owed to the Claimant and partly due to the absence from work of the CEO due the fact that the latter had contracted the COVID-19 virus.
15. The Defendant submits that the Claimant was paid his remuneration in full for the two months in the sum of AED 20,384.62 as follows:
a. Salary from 18 April until 15 May in the sum of AED 10,000;
b. Salary from 15 May until 31 May in the sum of AED 5,384.62; and
c. Salary for the month of June in the sum of AED 5,000.
16. This dispute is governed by DIFC Law No. 2 of 2019, as amended by DIFC Law No. 4 of 2020 (the “DIFC Employment Law”) in conjunction with the relevant Employment Contract.
17. The question is whether the Claimant is entitled to a monthly remuneration of USD 10,000 or AED 10,000.
18. The Defendant provided the Claimant with an offer letter which sets out that the Claimant’s salary was to be AED 10,000 depending on the delivery of high-level terms.
19. The Defendant submits that the Claimant worked for the period of approximately two months from 18 April 2021 to 24 June 2021 and that it had paid the Claimant the sum of AED 20,384.62 for the two months of employment, in accordance with the parties’ agreement as set out in the Offer Letter.
20. The Claimant submits that the parties had verbally agreed that the Defendant would pay the Claimant a monthly remuneration of USD 10,000 and presented an email dated 25 May 2021 which includes an attachment sent by the Defendant reflecting that the Claimant’s salary for the period from 18 April 2021 to 18 May 2021 breakdown was to be as follows, following the discussion between the parties:
a. From 18 April 2021 to 6 May 2021- the Claimant’s salary was to be calculated at the amount of AED 10,000 and
b. From 6 May 2021 to 15 May 2021- the Claimant’s salary was to be uplifted to the amount of USD 10,000.
21. Subsequently, the Claimant was paid the sum of USD 4,327. but the Defendant submitted that the Claimant was paid the total sum of USD 5,000 on 18 May 2021. The excess sum of USD 673 was paid to the Claimant due to the Defendant’s CEO absence.
22. At the hearing, the Claimant had confirmed that he received the total sum of USD 5,000.
23. The email dated 25 May 2021 clearly sets out that the Claimant’s entitlement to salary from 6 May 2021 had changed, in light of the fact that he was due to receive USD 10,000 per month. This amount reflects that the Claimant’s salary was increased on 6 May 2021 as submitted by the Claimant and in accordance with the contents of the email dated 6 May 2021 wherein it was set out that the Claimant’s role and salary entitlement had changed. The Claimant filed his claim claiming the remaining salary amounts owed from 18 May 2021 to 24 June 2021 in the sum of USD 12,500. However, having reviewed the amounts, I find that the Claimant would be entitled to USD 10,000 from 18 May 2021 to 18 June 2021. I set out my reasoning below
24. The period of time between 18 June 2021 to 24 June 2021 shall be calculated as follows: USD 10,000/30=USD 333.33 per day x 6 days= USD 1,999.99. However, on 24 June 2021 the Claimant was paid the sum of AED 2034.62 which is approximately USD 553.63. Therefore, the Claimant is entitled to the sum of USD 1,446.36 for the remaining 6 days of June 2021.
25. The Claimant was paid the total sum of USD 5,000 in relation to 18 April 2021 to 18 May 2021 with an excess of USD 673, the amount of which is to be offset from the amounts owing to the Claimant by the Defendant/
26. To conclude the above, I find that the Claimant’s salary entitlement was increased on 6 May 2021 to USD 10,000 per month. Therefore, I find that the Claimant is entitled to the sum of USD 10,773.36 in relation to his salary from 18 May 2021 to 24 June 2021.
27. In light of the aforementioned, I find that the Defendant shall pay the Claimant the sum of USD 10,773.36.
28. The Defendant shall pay the Claimant the Court fee in the sum of USD 215.46.