Dubai: The employer of a person who suffers an injury at work must cover his treatment expenses under the UAE Federal Law. An employee’s work injuries, if they meet the required criteria, must necessarily be covered by the employer whether it involves surgery, tests or medications until the employee fully recovers, according to Judge Dr Ali Mohammed Al Hosni from Dubai Courts.
Speaking to Gulf News on the responsibilities of employers when it comes to work-place injuries of employees, he said when an employee develops an occupational disease or suffers from any injury listed under the UAE law, then he has the right to receive full payment towards recovery from his employer.
“The injuries include those that may occur while the employee is on his way to work or back from work to his home, provided the employee doesn’t veer away from his path to work, home or makes stops in between,” clarified Al Hosni.
Moreover, the UAE’s Labour Law has detailed provisions, guaranteeing the safety of employees during work and obligates the employers to ensure an appropriate work environment to ensure safety of workers.
Lawyer Hani Hammouda Hagag told Gulf News that UAE guarantees safety of people living in the country and their rights to medical treatment.
“Federal Law No.8 of 1980, UAE Labour Law, outlines employees’ rights to compensation and full treatment if they suffer injury at work. Under this law, employers are liable for workplace injuries sustained by employees,” Lawyer Hagag said.
Article 145 of the law says, “Where an injury prevents a worker from carrying out his work, the employer shall pay him a cash allowance equal to his full salary throughout the period of treatment or for a period of six months, whichever is shorter.
If the treatment lasts for more than six months, the allowance shall be reduced by 50 per cent for a further period of six months or until the worker fully recovers, is declared disabled, or dead, whichever occurs first.
“Article 146 of the same law adds that the cash allowance shall be calculated on the basis of the last wage received for monthly, weekly, daily or hourly paid workers, and on the basis of the average daily wage referred to in Article 57 for those paid on piecemeal basis,” added Hagag.
Workplace injuries are defined broadly to include any accident sustained by the employee during their work or as a result of performing their work.
“As per the law, employers in the private sector should cover the expenses of hospital accommodation, surgery, tests, medicine, radiology, prosthesis or prosthetic implants, besides travel expenses from and to the hospital,” said Hagag.
In addition to employees’ rights under the Federal Law, employees can also make claims against the negligence of the employer under Federal Law No. 5 of 1987 (UAE Civil Code). However, under the Civil Code, the employee must prove the fault or negligence on the part of the employer in order to make such claims successfully.
Employers are mandated by law to provide and have suitable health and safety guidelines in place, including policies and proper incident report protocol in order to promptly address and comply with the mandate of the Labour Law.
Meanwhile, the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has underlined an employer’s duties towards his employees.
“After the employee gets job in the UAE, there are number of conditions that the employer must abide by in order to enhance the transparency and balance in the relationship between the two parties to preserve their rights,” said the ministry.
One of the conditions is the compensation for occupational hazards and work injuries.
What the law says
If the injury prevents the employee from carrying out his duties, the employer must pay him a financial subsidy equal to full pay throughout the period of treatment or for a period of six months, whichever is shorter. If treatment lasts from more than six months, said subsidy shall be reduced to the half for another period of six months or until the employee recovers from illness or his disability becomes certain or he dies whichever occurs first.
Financial subsidy referred to in the preceding Article is calculated on the basis of last pay received by the employee in respect of employees who receive monthly, weekly, daily, hourly wages and on the basis of the daily average pay provided in Article (57) with respect to employees on piece work pay.