UAE’s New Labour Law promises quicker dispute resolution for workers

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has implemented a significant amendment to its Labour Law, introducing measures to expedite the resolution of labor disputes in the private sector. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) revealed the enactment of Federal Decree-Law No. 20 of 2023 on Monday, December 18th. This new law is set to replace Article 54 of the existing Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 and will be effective from January 1st, 2024.

According to the latest legislation, MOHRE will now have the authority to make final executive decisions on labor disputes involving claims of up to AED50,000 for both individual workers and companies in the private sector. The Ministry emphasizes that this amendment is strategically designed to streamline procedures, reduce the time and effort for claimants, and expedite the collection of legal entitlements.

The dispute resolution process for labor complaints will undergo notable changes in 2024. Previously, MOHRE encouraged amicable resolutions between employers and employees in disputes, with unresolved cases referred to a competent court. However, the new amendment empowers MOHRE to issue final judgments on disputes below the AED50,000 threshold. This applies to cases related to non-compliance with MOHRE’s previously resolved amicable settlement decisions, irrespective of the claim amount.

In situations where either party disagrees with MOHRE’s judgment, the new law permits them to appeal through the Court of Appeals, as outlined in Article 1 (3). The appeal must be filed within 15 working days of the Ministry’s decision. The Court of Appeals is mandated to schedule a hearing within three days and resolve the issue within 15 working days, marking a significant acceleration of the dispute resolution process.

The UAE’s proactive approach to enhancing labor dispute resolution demonstrates a commitment to fostering a more efficient and responsive legal framework, benefiting both employees and employers in the private sector. This initiative further solidifies the UAE’s dedication to ensuring fair and expeditious resolutions for all workers.

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