Abu Dhabi: The number of complaints and labour cases decreased by 42 per cent so far this year in Abu Dhabi emirate, officials said on Tuesday.

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) said the decrease followed awareness campaigns about workers’ rights and duties.

Compared to the same period last year, the number of cases dropped from 16,897 cases in 2017 to 9,979 cases in 2018, ADJD said.

Meanwhile, the number of workers who participated in the awareness campaign of ADJD increased by 35 per cent beyond the target set for the year 2018. The number of participants rose from 100,000 to 135,000 workers, spread over 19 labour villages in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafrah regions.

Yousuf Saeed Al Abri, ADJD Undersecretary, said ADJD workers’ awareness campaign, launched this year, has achieved its objectives, which are to promote legal culture among workers and brief them about their rights and duties guaranteed by UAE law. This comes based on the directives of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Chairman of the Judicial Department, to achieve the strategic priority of contributing to maintaining security through sustainable participation with all components of the community.

Ahmad Al Marzouqi, head of the ADJD Labour Awareness Committee, unveiled a plan to expand the geographical scope of the committee’s work during the coming period to include all the workers’ villages in Abu Dhabi emirate. Also expanded will be visits to employers to raise their awareness about the rights and duties of the employer and the worker.

He also said the awareness campaigns focus on organising activities in labour villages to ensure access to a large segment of the target group, with lectures in five languages, including Arabic, English, Urdu, Pashto and Bengali. It follows answering workers’ questions and inquiries, which amounted to about 1,000 questions and requests for legal advice, centred mainly on how to calculate end of service gratuity and leave balance, and the complaints submission mechanism.

Al Marzouqi said there were 24 lectures to explain the UAE labour law, the rights and duties of the worker and the mechanism to open a case as well as the prohibitions that must be avoided so as not to fall under legal liability and the procedures of safety and security in labour camps.