The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department building. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) held an international webinar, titled ‘International Legislative Trends for Regulating Labour Relations in the Emirati and International Contexts’.

The webinar aimed to shed light on the recently enacted labour legislation and its role in creating an attractive environment for investment and skilled labour. It is in line with the directives of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, to adopt best judicial practices conducive to the achievement of sustainable development goals, in line with the UAE’s vision for the next 50 years.

In his opening speech, Counsellor Ali Al Shaer Al Dhaheri, Director of Judicial Inspection at ADJD, pointed out that the international webinar on the regulation of labour relations in UAE law and international experiences is of particular importance with the entry into force of the new UAE Labour Law, which follows the recent legislative developments and offers increased protection of the rights of both parties in the employment relationship, while providing an integrated view of training programmes in order to respond quickly to the changes taking place in the labour market, creating an appropriate environment for project developers, meeting their labour needs, and attracting and retaining the best skills and abilities.

Forward-looking legislative structure

Judge Abdulla Fares Al Nauaimi, President of Abu Dhabi Labour Court, said that this international webinar, which is being organised via videoconference by Abu Dhabi Judicial Academy (ADJA), with the participation of members of the judiciary and legal experts, highlights the achievements accomplished by the UAE in terms of a pioneering and forward-looking legislative and technological structure, in line with the vision of our wise leadership.

Judge Ali Hassan AlShatri, Vice-President of the Abu Dhabi Labour Court, discussed the legislative authority of the new UAE Labour Relations Law No 33 of 2021 and its role in enhancing legislative stability, supporting the capabilities and skills of private sector workers, and allowing the opportunity to build on their experience, by creating work patterns that offer a high degree of flexibility for employment, whether through part-time, temporary, flexible or remote work.

Employer’s commitment

Judge Othman Makram Tawfeeq, Judge at Abu Dhabi Cassation Court, discussed the social dimension in the UAE labour law with provisions aimed at ensuring the safety, protection and health care of workers, through the employer’s commitment to provide health insurance coverage for workers in accordance with the legislation in force in the country, to ensure appropriate means of protection against the dangers of occupational accidents and diseases, to bear the costs of treatment in the event of such an accident or disease, and to guarantee benefits in all cases.

Judge Clayton John Conlan from the Superior Court of Justice of Canada discussed global trends in the application of remote work systems, a practise that has become widespread since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic some two years ago, and the resulting shift in the mechanisms for conducting business and communicating with employees through modern communications media, as well as the problems associated with workers’ compensation when performing remote tasks.

US judge Joshua B. Decker, of the Abu Dhabi Labour Court, touched on the different models of work under the new law, which allows a natural person to provide his or her services for a specific period of time or to perform a specific task or service, whether to individuals or institutions, without in any way being a worker for the employing organisation.

Read more

Significant changes

At the end of the webinar, Herbert Wolfson, an American and international legal expert and arbitrator, highlighted the significant changes that the UAE has experienced over the recent period, particularly in the legislative field, which is keeping pace with the various economic, commercial and social developments, and the transition to a knowledge economy with the development of activities and fields in the country.