Dubai: Do you have an issue with your employer because of late payment of salary? Or are you facing difficult work conditions because your employer is not abiding by the agreement in your labour contract?
In the UAE, private sector employees, as well as employers, can reach out to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) if they wish to raise a complaint which requires the Ministry’s mediation. While workers can ask for the Ministry’s assistance if they are unhappy with their work conditions, employers, too, can reach out to the Ministry if a worker fails to fulfil the obligations stipulated in the work contract.
From an employee’s perspective, before reaching out to the Ministry with a labour complaint, it is important to note a few regulations within the UAE’s Labour Law and its executive regulations, which affect the labour complaint process.
1. File the case early
If you do have an issue with your employer, which you would like MOHRE to mediate, it is firstly important to note that you should file it as early as possible. This is because according to the UAE Labour Law – Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 – no claim for any rights due will be heard after one year from the date of violation.
2. You can work in another company while the case is being heard
When the case is in court, you can apply for a temporary work permit from MOHRE to be able to work with another employer until the case is resolved.
As reported by Gulf News earlier, Article 17 (4) of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 permits MOHRE to cancel employee’s work permit to allow the employee to work in another company. Additionally, Article 4 and 5 of Ministerial Resolution No. 47 of 2022 provide that upon certain conditions, MOHRE could cancel employee’s work permit or visa. Once this is done, the employee must apply once again for a visa and permit, to make sure he or she does not incur any fines and that his or her stay in the UAE is legal.
Subject to the provisions of Article No. 54 of the aforementioned Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021, the employer and the worker have the right to file a labour complaint within 30 days should either of them fail to fulfil his obligations stated in the employment contract or breach the provisions of the Decree-Law concerning the Regulation of Labour Relations and its executive regulations and decisions issued in implementation thereof.
The Ministry shall take all necessary action to settle individual labour complaints within a period not exceeding 14 days from the date of the submission of the complaint. If an amicable settlement is not reached, the dispute will be referred to the concerned Labour court.
a) 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;
b) Refrain from working for another employer without obtaining a temporary work permit from the Ministry;
c) Submit a request to cancel the original work permit within 14 days from the date of issuance of the final judgment in the labour lawsuit, in the event of termination of the work relationship between the two parties;
d) The worker may apply for a temporary work permit with a new employer during the process of the labour case; an exception to this is the worker who has been reported absent by his or her employer by filing an “unexpected work abandonment Report”.
3. No fees for filing complaint, up to a certain extent
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.
How to file a labour complaint in the UAE
1. Through the MOHRE call centre
If you are working in the UAE private sector, you can call MOHRE’s call centre on 04 665 9999 and provide details of the complaint to the MOHRE representiative.
2. Through the MOHRE whatsapp service
You can also raise the complaint through the verified Whatsapp account recently launched by MOHRE. You simply need to save the number 600590000 on your phone before starting your chat with a Ministry representative.
3. Through the MOHRE app
If you want to file the labour complaint through your phone, you can also download the app from MOHRE and complete the process by following these steps:
1. Download the smartphone application from MOHRE – ‘MOHRE UAE’ on the Apple App Store and ‘MOHRE’ on the Google Playstore.
2. Open the app and tap on ‘Menu’, which is on the bottom right of you screen.
3. Next, select the ‘Employee’ category and click on the ‘Complain’ service.
4. Then, tap on the ‘Apply for this service’ button.
5. Next, enter your full name and mobile number. Click on the ‘Send OTP’ button below. You will then receive a One-Time-Password (OTP) on your registered mobile number.
6. Enter the OTP and tap ‘Verify OTP’.
7. Next, select on the ‘employee’ icon in the application.
8. After that, you will be asked to enter one of the following details:
• Labour card number
• Passport number and nationality
• Full name, gender, nationality, date of birth
9. Next, click on the ‘Search’ button. Depending on the information you have entered, MOHRE will check if your employment record is in their database.
Once MOHRE has found your details, it will be listed on the screen. Scroll to the right and click on ‘Add Complaint’.
10. Next, you will be able to see your details such as labour card number and expiry, employer and employee status.
11. After that, enter the following details:
• Mobile number
• Email address
Next, select ‘yes’ or ‘no’ if your employment contract has ended.
Enter your employer email address and mobile number.
Next, you will be asked if your actual salary is the same as that mentioned on your contract. Select ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If it is not the same, then enter the amount.
Next select your complaint type, if it is related to late or unpaid wages, enter the claim amount or if it’s an administrative complaint, select the type of violation.
Once you have selected the complaint type, tap on the ‘add’ button below. Once the complaint has been added to your account, tap on the ‘register’ complaint button.
After you have filed the complaint, you will then get a confirmation from MOHRE with the transaction number to track the application’s status.