Coronavirus Pandemic

New initiative kicks off in Abu Dhabi with seminar on Covid-19 impact on workers

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on July 29, 2020 | Last updated on July 29, 2020 at 04.46 pm
Coronavirus, new initiative, kicks off, Abu Dhabi, seminar, Covid-19 impact, workers

(KT file photo)

The new initiative aims to educate both workers and their employers about their rights, duties and the UAE labour law.

A teleconference on 'Coronavirus crisis and its impact on workers and employers in Abu Dhabi' was organised by the Abu Dhabi Labour Court, in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Businesswomen's Council, to mark the first session of the newly-launched 'Barzah (sitting) with a businessman' initiative, on Wednesday, July 29.

The new initiative - rolled out by the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) - aims to educate both workers and their employers about their rights, duties and the UAE labour law.

In his key note speech at the seminar, advisor Abdullah Fares, president of Abu Dhabi Labour Court, said the initiative aims to educate businessmen about the nature of the employer's relationship with the worker and their duties towards their employees. "This in addition to raising their awareness of the negative effects of collective labour lawsuits as well as to hear their opinions on ways to reduce the number of labour cases filed in labour courts," said Fares.

Presenting a working paper on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the labour market in Abu Dhabi, advisor Ali Hassan Al Hashemi, vice-president of the Abu Dhabi Labour Court shed light on the legal effects of the Covid-19 on contractual obligations, including the obligations of the employer under the employment contract.

Al Hashemi discussed the balance achieved by the legislator between the rights of the worker and the burdens of the employer during coronavirus crisis, including the possibility of reorganising the business with its non-citizen workers as well as the registration of the surplus staff of each establishment in the database, with some of its obligations maintained by employers. He also dwelt on the duties of the establishment in case it hires non-citizen workers and the procedures for obtaining various work permits, or reducing the wage of the worker who is not an Emirati, either temporarily or permanently.

Against the backdrop of Covid-19, Al Hashemi gave an explanation about the terms of employment termination and the need to avoid arbitrary dismissal, the issue of the workers' claims for leave allowance as well as the notice period allowance, in addition to the end-of-service gratuity benefits and the disbursement of commissions and dividends.

What is the new initiative about

The initiative - Barzah with a businessman - is in accordance with the government directives towards establishing legal knowledge as one of the most important foundations for strengthening the rule of law and achieving economic, social and security stability.

Yousef Saeed Al Abri, the ADJD undersecretary, said the initiative adopted by the Abu Dhabi Labour Court is aimed at employers in Abu Dhabi with a view to achieve one of the UAE legislators' most important priorities related to the laws governing the labour market, which is to achieve balance and justice between the interests of both workers and employers. It will also help achieve continuity of development and economic work in all areas, and enhance economic and security stability, he added.

"The judicial department has in the past few years adopted a campaign to educate workers about their rights under the slogan 'Their rights, our responsibility'," he said. 


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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