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Dubai: What does the UAE Labour Law state about workplace injuries and occupational diseases? The new labour law – Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on the regulation of labour relations – has updated the regulations for the private sector in the UAE. One of the many aspects covered in the new law includes the compensation for work injuries and occupational diseases.

The new law replaces Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 and its amendments, and will come into effect on February 2, 2022.

While Article 37 of the new labour law discusses the compensation for work injuries, Article 38 looks at situations when a worker is not entitled to such a compensation from his or her employer.

As per Article 37, the conditions and procedures that need to be followed in such situations will be determined in future executive regulations. However, Clause 3 of the article specifies a range of Dh18,000 to Dh200,000 as compensation that needs to be paid to a worker’s family, in case a worker dies due to a work injury or occupational disease. The exact amount, as per the clause, would be equal to 24 months of the worker’s last drawn basic wage, as long as it falls within the range mentioned above.

Article 38 of the law highlights cases where a worker shall not be entitled to a compensation from his or her employer and covers a range of actions like deliberate self-injury or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Here is a detailed look at what the law says regarding workplace injuries and occupational diseases:

Article (37) – Compensation for work injuries and occupational diseases

1. There shall be determined, by decision of the Cabinet, upon proposal of the Minister and in coordination with the concerned entities, the Work Injuries and occupational diseases, the conditions and procedures to be followed in the event of occurrence of any of the foregoing, the obligations of the Employer in this respect and the amount of compensation due to the Worker in the event of permanent total disability or permanent partial disability, and compensation due to his Family in the event of his death and the rules of distribution of compensation and amount thereof.

2. If a worker suffers a work injury or occupational disease, the employer shall:

a. Bear the worker's treatment costs until he recovers and reports to duty or proves his disability, in accordance with the conditions, controls and procedures set by the Executive Regulations of this Decree-Law.

b. If the work injury or the occupational disease prevents the worker from performing his work, the employer shall pay the worker his full wage for the period of treatment or for a term of six months, whichever is lesser. If the treatment period exceeds six months, the worker shall be paid the half wage for the subsequent six months or until he recovers, proves his disability or dies, whichever is earlier.

3. If the worker dies as a result of work injury or occupational disease, his family shall be entitled to compensation equal to the basic wage of the worker for 24 months, provided that the compensation amount is not less than Dh18,000 and not in excess of Dh200,000. Compensation amount shall be calculated on the basis of the basic wage received by the worker before his death and shall be distributed to his successors as specified by the Executive Regulations of this Decree-Law. The family shall reserve the rights to severance pay, and any other financial entitlements due to the worker.

ARTICLE (38) – Cases of non-entitlement of worker to work injury compensation:

A worker shall not be entitled to compensation for work injury, if the investigations of the competent authorities reveal that any of the following events occurred:

1. In case of deliberate self-injury.

2. If injury occurs under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other psychotropic substances.

3. If the injury is the direct result of a deliberate violation of precautionary instructions posted in visible places at the workplace, as specified by the Executive Regulations of this Decree-Law.

4. If the injury is the direct result of the worker's deliberate misconduct.

5. If the worker refuses, without serious cause, to undergo a check-up or follow the treatment prescribed by the medical institution.