Ask the Law
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Question: As per UAE Labour Law, what is my right as an employee regarding my salary if I am hospitalised after a work-related accident? Do I get only get basic salary or full salary? And what about the medical expense?

Answer: Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regulating employment relations in the UAE makes it mandatory for employers to pay compensation to employee(s) due to an accident arising out of and in the course of their employment. The employer should provide the injured employee with all necessary assistance by bearing all his/her medical expenses for the accident. This is in accordance with Article 144 which states: “Where an employee sustains an employment accident or contracts an occupational disease or is disabled, the employer shall pay for the cost of his treatment in a local government or public medical center until he recovers. Treatment shall include costs of residence in a hospital or sanatorium, surgical operations, expenditure on X-rays and medical analysis, the purchase of medicines and rehabilitation equipment and the supply of artificial limbs and other prosthetic appliances for any person who is declared disabled. In addition, the employer shall pay the cost of any transport entailed during treatment provided for the employee.”

Further, the employee is entitled to a full salary for the period of six months calculated on the basis of the last remuneration, half of his salary for another six months or until the employee completely recovers. This is in accordance with Articles 145 and 146 of the Employment Law.

Article 145 states: “Where an injury prevents an employee from carrying out his work, the employer shall pay him a cash allowance equal to his full pay throughout the period of treatment or for a period of six months, whichever is shorter. Where the treatment lasts more than six months, the allowance shall be reduced by one-half for a further period of six months or until the employee has fully recovered or his disability is confirmed or he dies, whichever comes first.”

Article 146 clarifies that, “the cash allowance referred to in the preceding article shall be calculated on the basis of the last remuneration received in the case of the employee remunerated on a monthly, weekly, daily or hourly basis or, in the case of the employee remunerated at piece rates, on the basis of the average daily remuneration referred to in Article 57 hereof for the workers getting paid by piece.

The Supreme Court also emphasises on the same, stating that: “All these clauses collectively indicate that when it is proven that the worker sustained a work injury while performing his work and because of it, the employer is obliged to pay him financial aid calculated on the basis of the full wage he was receiving, throughout the course of his treatment until he is cured or prove his inability to work. If this period exceeds six months, the financial aid that the employer is obligated to, decreases to half of the wage owed to the worker and the employer also commits to the expenses of treatment until the employee’s recovery or proving his incapacity provided that the treatment includes the costs referred to in the foregoing text Article 144,which is permissible to prove according to a medical report from the attending physician.

Upon the end of the treatment, the treating physician shall set a report in two copies, one delivered to the worker and the other to the employer. Such a report shall include the type, cause, date of occurrence of the injury and the extent to which such injury is work-related and the duration of treatment there from, whether it resulted in permanent or other disability, the degree of disability, if any, whether it is total or partial, and the extent to which the disabled worker is capable of resuming work despite the disability.

In the event your employer does not pay the salary for the medical treatment period, he/she may approach the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation along with the medical reports and medical certificates and file a complaint against the employer.