UAE labour law: Got a complaint against your employer? New decree issued to regulate disputes

Employers and employees can submit a complaint within 30 days of the violation


Sherouk Zakaria

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File photo
File photo

Published: Fri 11 Mar 2022, 1:06 PM

Last updated: Fri 11 Mar 2022, 8:55 PM

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization has issued a new decree to regulate the procedures of labour disputes and complaints.

Under the decree, employers and employees can submit a complaint within 30 days of the violation.

The ministry shall take necessary action to settle the individual labour complaints within 14 days from the date of the complaint. If an amicable settlement is not reached, the dispute will be referred to the labour court.

In a statement, the ministry said the new decree aims to ease the procedure of filing complaints and preserve the rights of both parties in a contractual agreement. Specialized teams from the ministry shall monitor employer compliance with the decree through inspections and review of complaints received from the public.

Under the decree, employees whose complaint against employers has been referred to court must abide by the following rules:

  • Register the labour complaint with the court within 14 days from the date of approving the referral to the judiciary.
  • Refrain from working for another employer during the labour case without obtaining a temporary work permit from the ministry.
  • Submit a request to cancel the original work permit within 14 days from the final verdict if the work relationship between both parties was terminated.
  • Workers may apply for a temporary work permit with a new employer during the labour case except those who have been reported absent for no justified reason by their employers.
  • Employee's work permit can be cancelled after six months of court hearings, provided that the complaint has led to the suspension of work.
  • An employer can file a complaint of unjustified work absence if the employee does not show up for work for seven consecutive days, provided that the employer has no knowledge of the employee’s whereabouts and no way of reaching the employee.

The ‘unjustified work absence’ complaint can be cancelled upon the request of either the worker or employer under the following conditions:

  • Submission of proof that seven days have not passed since the absence or from the end date of the employee’s annual leave.
  • Proof of the employee’s presence at work.
  • Proof that the employee was on leave whether the employer was informed or not at the time of the complaint.
  • Agreement of the employer to resume work relations after the settlement of fines - if any - for not issuing or renewing the work permit.
  • The absence was upon an agreement between the worker and employer to terminate the labour contract.
  • The employer approved the worker’s absence or the search for another opportunity.
  • Proof of a lawful reason behind the absence or that the complaint is invalid.


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