UAE law: 4 steps to follow after submitting labour complaint against employer

These guidelines apply to disputes that cannot be settled amicably and are referred to the judiciary


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Thu 5 Jan 2023, 8:27 AM

According to government authorities, UAE's laws guarantee the rights of both employers and employees, especially if there is a labour dispute between the two parties. Both are allowed to file a complaint with Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE).

Once a complaint has been filed, it will be examined and settled amicably. In the event that the dispute cannot be settled amicably, it will be referred to the judiciary.

According to Ministerial Resolution No. 47 of 2022 Regarding the Settlement of Labour Disputes and Complaints Procedures, every worker whose labour complaint has been referred to the Labour Court must do the following:

1. The worker must register the labour complaint with the competent court within a maximum period of 14 days from the date of approving the referral to the judiciary.

2. The employee must refrain from working for another employer without obtaining a temporary work permit from the ministry.

3. The employee must submit a request to cancel the original work permit within 14 days from the date of issuance of the final judgement in the labour lawsuit, in the event of termination of the work relationship between the two parties.

4. The employee must apply for a temporary work permit with a new employer during the process of the labour case, except when he/she has been reported absent by his/her employer.

In cases where the labour complaint leads to the worker's cessation of work, his/her work permit will be cancelled after 6 months from the date of referring the complaint to the labour court.

Provisions as per the UAE Labour Law Article 54 of the Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Labour Relations in the Private Sector, the ‘UAE Labour Law’, provides that:

Labour cases referred to the court must be accompanied with a memo giving a summary of the dispute, evidence of both parties and the comments of the labour department concerned.

The competent court will, within three days from the date of receiving the request, fix a hearing for the claim and notify the two parties.

According to Article 10, no claim for any rights due will be heard after one year from the date of violation.

Additionally, Article 55 of the UAE Labour Law exempts workers or their heirs from paying judicial fees at all stages of litigation and execution, for claims less than Dh100,000.


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