Workplace injury to worker
Question: I own a contracting company. According to the new UAE Labour Law, in the event of an injury to one of the workers at the workplace, is the employer obligated to pay all medical expenses and is there a ceiling for these expenses? Is the worker also entitled to salaries during the treatment period? Please advise.
Answer: According to Article 37 of the Federal Decree Labour Law: ‘The employer shall, in case the worker suffers an injury while at work or contracts an occupational disease,:
A) Bear the expenses of the worker’s treatment until he or she recovers and is able to return to work or proves his or her disability, in accordance with the conditions, rules and procedures specified by the Implementing Regulation hereof.
B) If the work-related injury or occupational disease prevents the worker from performing his or her work, then the employer shall pay to the worker an amount equivalent of his or her full wage throughout the treatment period or for six months, whichever is less. If the treatment period exceeds six months, then the worker shall be entitled to half wage for another six months, or until the worker is cured or his or her disability or death is proven, whichever is earlier.’
Article 38, regarding the Cases of the Worker’s Non-entitlement of Work Injury
Compensation, states: ‘The worker shall not be entitled to work injury compensation if it is proven through investigations by the competent authorities that any of the following cases had taken place:
1. The worker deliberately caused injury to himself or herself for any reason.
2. The injury took place under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or other psychotropic substances.
3. The injury took place as a result of a deliberate violation of the declared preventive instructions at visible areas in the workplace, as defined by the Implementing Regulation hereof.
4. The injury took place as a result of wilful misconduct by the worker.
5. The worker refused, without a serious reason, to be examined or follow the treatment specified by the medical entity.
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Subject to the provisions of Articles (37) and (38) of the Decree-Law:
1. In the event that the worker suffers a work injury or an occupational disease, the employer shall pay the costs of treatment for the worker pursuant to the following conditions and rules:
A) The worker shall be treated at one of the government or private health-care facilities.
B) The cost of treatment shall continue to be paid until the worker recovers or his or her disability is established.
C) The treatment shall include hospital stay, surgical procedures, costs of X-rays and medical analyses as well as the purchase of medications and rehabilitation equipment and the provision of artificial and prosthetic limbs and devices for those whose disability is established.
D) The cost of treatment shall include the transportation costs incurred for the worker’s treatment.