Abu Dhabi: More and more workers are heading to courts to claim their rights, thanks to extensive awareness among labourers in Abu Dhabi, officials said on Monday.
The cases of workers at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) have continued to rise each year.
The court attributed the significant rise to the awareness among workers about their rights and privileges.
As many as 20,543 workers’ cases were handled by the courts of Abu Dhabi this year until November 30, which included 8,462 minor cases, 932 major, 588 urgent matters, 3,670 appeal claims and 6,900 execution matters.
Whereas in 2017, it received 17,887 workers’ cases including 9,828 minor, 722 major and 6,500 group cases.
The department held a forum on Monday to highlight the rules and regulations pertaining workers’ rights and its settlements at the courts.
The overload of workers’ cases in the court and workload on judges also led to opening of a new individual Labour Court in the capital very soon.
Explaining the increase in cases, Chief Justice of Abu Dhabi Labour Court, Judge Abdullah Faris Ali Al Nuaimi said, “The evident increase in cases demonstrates that there is a growing awareness and confidence that the UAE workforce has in the labour court.”
But he asserted that most of these cases were the minor cases which were resolved in a day.
“We work in coordination with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and One Day court of Abu Dhabi to resolve the cases. Many cases are resolved by the mobile courts of the department, the chief justice said.
He said, it is considered that matters such as non — payment of wages should not be subject to a protracted litigation process and the viability of ‘judicial payment orders’ are being discussed to expedite the process and allow for MOHRE to liquidate the employer guarantee or claim on the newly introduced DIC insurance.
About the opening of the new dedicated labour court, Judge Al Nuaimi said, “The work on the dedicated Abu Dhabi Labour Court, which was announced on September, is under progress beside Mazyad Mall on the outskirts of the capital and will be opened soon.”
The establishment of the dedicated Abu Dhabi Labour Court is to ensure the rule of law, rights and peace in society and its vision is to provide world class judicial services based on a system of judicial excellence, efficiency and independence.
Speaking about the number of cases, Judge Benjimin Burgher, legal consultant, said, group cases may comprise of a large number of employees from a company for the non-payment of their wages.
“Most of cases were related to non-payment of wages or the consequences of the non-payment of wages,” Judge Burgher said.
“In fact, a worker needs to feed themselves and their families, so if they are not paid their wages, they complain and it’s a very positive sign of our awareness efforts among workers about their rights,” he said.
About the labour awareness, Fatima Abdul Rahim Obaid, Head of Human Rights Section, said, the lectures have been provided to over 50 per cent of the labour camps in Abu Dhabi since 2017. There have been over 50 awareness lectures provided and the lectures are attended by between 500 to 1,000 workers.