Resident Guide | Working Life

Settling labour issues in court

Expatriates have the right to file a case in the Court of First Instance if the Ministry of Labour does not solve their problems or complaints.

  • By Bassma Al Jandaly, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 14:08 November 2, 2007

Working life
  • Image Credit: Gulf News Archive
  • Workers must submit two copies of the petition filed at the labour ministry and must include all information about him.

The Court of First Instance is the first stage of litigation. The Court of Appeal is the second stage and the Court of Cassation is the final stage of litigation.

Workers and labourers need to submit two copies of the petition filed at the labour ministry and the information must include the full names, address, the facts and the claims.

If the documents are drawn up in a foreign language, they must be submitted with a legal Arabic translation.

A letter from the Ministry of Labour should also be attached stating that a friendly settlement is not possible.

Copy of judgement

The plaintiff or his representative, whether an attorney or a close relative, can attend the court proceedings.

You can appeal the judgment of the Court of First Instance within 30 days. But don't forget to attach a copy of the judgement and attach a copy of your identity card.

If the appeal is lodged by an attorney, a copy of the attorney's proxy should be attached.

A copy of the legal representation document should also be attached if the applicant is a legal representative, such as the sole owner of the establishment, the partner, the company's manager, the tutor or the guardian or the custodian of a child.

Registration of the appeal should be made at the office of the clerks of the court.

There is a fee of Dh500 and a deposit of Dh1,000. The deposit will be returned should the appeal is accepted. A court session reserved to adjudicate the appeal for cassation will then be determined.

The date and place of the court session will be notified to the litigants. On that day, a report drawn up by one of the commissioned judges, will be read.

The statements of the attorneys on behalf of the litigants or the statements of the litigants themselves will be heard during the session.

If the Court of Cassation if satisfied then the appeal is ready for adjudication. The court may quash the judgment in whole or in part, and in this instance the court can decide any of the following:

1) Refer the lawsuit to the court which rendered the judgment, and composed of same judges.

2) Refer the lawsuit to a Court of Appeal composed of other judges.

3) Refer the lawsuit to the competent court to adjudicate once again.

Court cannot be approached directly

  • Labourers who have a dispute with their employers cannot complain directly to the court.
  • All labour dispute cases should be transferred to the court.
  • The UAE Federal Law will be implemented to sort out the labourer's issues.
  • The labourer's case will not be accepted if they do not file a complaint within a year from the date of not getting their dues or rights.
  • There is no fees charged to the labourers who file complaints against their employer.
  • The labour disputes are given priority at the court.
  • If it was proved that the labourers who filed a case have no rights, they will have to pay all the fees for the case.
  • The labour law will not be applied on those working for governmental departments.
  • It will also not be applied to those who are working for police, military or security, or domestic helpers, gardeners or those working for small establishments which have less than five workers or those who are here for less than six months.