Are UAE employees entitled to compensation for occupational disease?
Dubai - The person may file a complaint against the employer.
Question: I am a civil engineer and was employed with Oil & Gas Company in Abu Dhabi on hire basis as a long-term specialist through labour supplier agency from August 2001 to December 2016. Thereafter, I was seconded to Abu Dhabi Municipality by the company till my retirement in July 2017. My employment was in the heavily sound polluted area which included continuous supervision of maintenance of civil works beside very noisy area of the live' oil and gas plants. The noise emitted from the running of turbines of Rolls Royce engines was so powerful that despite wearing ear protection, it has damaged my hearing. Now, I can't hear without hearing aid in both ears. I have all the medical reports and the Audio-Grams up to 2016. Can I claim compensation?
It is assumed that you were employed with a mainland company based in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. An employee suffering from permanent disability of hearing due to nature of the work is entitled for compensation and the disability is considered as occupational disease. This is in accordance with Article 150 of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regulating employment relations in the UAE (the 'Employment Law'), which states, "Where an employment accident sustained or an occupational disease contracted by an employee results in permanent partial disability, he shall be entitled to compensation at the rate specified in the two schedules attached to this law, multiplied by the amount of death compensation provided for in the first paragraph of the preceding article, as the case may be."
Further, Schedule 2 of the Employment Law regarding assessment of compensation for permanent disability states total and permanent loss of hearing is equal to 50 per cent of permanent disability.
Since you retired from your employment in July 2017, you may file a complaint against your employer with the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (the' Ministry') within one year from the date on which such entitlement is due. This is in accordance with Article 6 of the Employment Law, which states "...In all cases no claim of any entitlement due under the provisions of this law, shall be heard if brought to court after the lapse of one year from the date of which such entitlement became due, and no claim shall be admitted if the procedure stated in this Article are not adhered to."
It is recommended to submit your latest medical reports related to permanent disability of hearing with the Ministry while filing the compliant.
Know the law
If one suffers occupational disease and seeks compensation, the person may file a complaint against the employer with the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (the' Ministry') within one year from the date on which such entitlement is due
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United King. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai