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Chapter IX : Collective Labour Disputes - UAE Labor Law

May 3, 2016 / 667 / Category : Uae Labour Law

Article 154

A collective labour dispute refers to any dispute between an employer and his workers, which involves the common interest of all or a group of the workers in a certain firm, occupation, trade or professional sector.

Article 155

Where a dispute occurs between one or more employers and all or a certain group of their workers, which the parties fail to settle amicably, the following procedures shall be adhered to:

1.The workers shall submit their complaint or claim in writing to the employer, with a copy thereof to the labour department.

2.The employer shall reply in writing to the workers' complaint or claim within seven working days from date of receipt. He shall at the same time send a copy of his reply to the labour department.

3.If the employer fails to reply within the prescribed time limit or if his reply does not lead to a settlement of the dispute, the competent labour department shall, either at its own initiative or at the request of one of the parties to the dispute, mediate an amicable settlement.

4.Where the claimant is the employer, he shall submit his complaint directly to the labour department, which shall mediate between the parties to settle the dispute amicably.

Article 156

If the mediation of the competent labour department does not lead to a settlement of the dispute within ten days from the date of its taking cognizance of the issue in dispute, it shall refer the dispute to the competent conciliation committee for determination and shall accordingly inform both parties in writing.

Article 157

A committee, to be called the conciliation committee, shall be set up within each labour department by resolution of the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.

Article 158

Each party to a dispute shall pursue the dispute before the conciliation committee until a settlement is reached; the committee shall issue its decision by majority vote within two weeks from the date the dispute was referred to it.

Such decisions shall be binding on both parties if they have agreed in writing before the committee to be bound by its decisions. In the absence of such agreement, either party or both of them may appeal against the committee's decision to the Supreme Arbitration Board within 30 days of the date on which the decision was given; otherwise, the decision shall become final and enforceable.

Article 159

Neither the repudiation of employment contracts nor the dismissal of workers' representatives to the conciliation committee shall preclude such representatives from continuing to discharge their functions on the committee, unless the workers elect other representatives in their place.

Article 160

A board, to be called the Supreme Arbitration Board shall be set up within the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to settle collective labour disputes. The Board shall be composed as follows:

1.The Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, as chairman. In the event of his absence, the Under Secretary or the Director-General of the Ministry shall replace him.

2.A judge of the Federal Supreme Court, to be appointed by order of the Minister of Justice on the nomination of the plenum of the Court - as member.

3.A person of high integrity, knowledgeable and experienced in the relevant area, to be appointed as member by order of the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.

Two alternate members may be appointed from the same categories as the two principal members, to take their place in the event of their absence or inability to serve. Principal and alternate members shall be appointed by one and the same decree of appointment, for a renewable term of three years.

Article 161

The Supreme Arbitration Board shall be competent to finally and conclusively settle all collective labour disputes referred to it by the parties concerned. Its decisions shall be taken by majority vote and the grounds on which such decisions are based shall be stated.

Article 162

The Council of Ministers shall, based on a proposal to be submitted by the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs after consultation with the Minister of Justice, issue an order regulating litigation proceedings and any other rules necessary for ensuring efficient progress of work of the Conciliation Committee and the Supreme Arbitration Board for settlement of collective labour disputes.

For the purposes of carrying out their functions, these boards shall have the right to examine papers, documents, records and other evidence and to order the custodians thereof to submit the same to them, to enter premises for conducting the necessary investigation, and to take any measures they deem appropriate for the settlement of the dispute.

Article 163

None of the parties to a dispute on which a final decision has been rendered by any of the boards provided for in this Section shall raise it again except with the mutual agreement of the two parties concerned.

Article 164

The boards provided for in this Chapter shall apply the provisions of this Law, the laws currently in force, the provisions of Islamic Sharia law, and any rules of customary law and principles of equity, natural law and comparative law consistent therewith.

Article 165

The decisions of the Supreme Arbitration Board in settlement of collective labour disputes shall be applied in collaboration with the competent authority in each Emirate.

Article 166

Labour inspection shall be carried out by special inspectors affiliated to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, who shall have the powers and authority specified in this Law.

Labour inspectors shall carry identity cards to be issued to them by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

Article 167

Each labour inspector shall:

1.Ensure proper compliance with the provisions of this Law, particularly those related to employment terms, wage, and protection of workers during the performance of their work, and matters related to the health and safety of workers and the employment of juveniles and women.

2.Extend to employers and workers such technical information and advice that would enable them to apply the provisions of the law in the best possible manner.

3.Alert the competent authorities to any shortcomings not adequately addressed by the existing provisions and make appropriate recommendations in this respect.

4.Record violations of this Law or its executive regulations and orders.

Article 168

Before assuming their duties, labour inspectors shall take oath before the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs that they will respect the law, perform their duties honestly and faithfully and, even after leaving the service, not reveal any industrial secret, patent right or other secrets that come to their knowledge in the course of their duties. They shall treat any complaints that they receive as absolutely confidential and shall give no intimation to the employer or his representatives of the source of such complaints.

Article 169

Employers and their representatives shall provide inspectors authorized to carry out labour inspection with the facilities and information necessary for the performance of their duties and shall respond to any summons by appearing personally or sending representatives, if requested to do so.

Article 170

A labour inspector shall have the following powers:

1.To enter any firm subject to the provisions of this Law without previous notice at any hour of the day or night, but within the working hours.

2.To carry out any examination or inquiry necessary to verify due compliance with the Law. More particularly, he may-

Interrogate the employer or the workers, either privately or in the presence of witnesses, about any matters related to compliance with the provisions of the law.

Examine, and obtain copies and extracts of, all documents required to be kept in accordance with this Law and its executive orders.

Take sample(s) of materials used in connection with industrial or other operations that are subject to inspection, where such materials are suspected to have a harmful effect on the health or safety of the workers, for the purpose of having them analysed in authorised laboratories and ascertaining the degree of danger. He shall then notify the employer or his representatives of the result, and take appropriate measures in this connection.

Ensure that notices and announcements are posted at the workplace as required by this Law.

Article 171

The Minister of Labour and Social Affairs shall issue the regulations necessary for organising the inspection operations stipulated in the preceding article.

Article 172

Without prejudice to the provisions of article 169, any person carrying out an inspection shall notify the employer or the employers representative of his arrival, unless he considers that the inspection mission requires otherwise.

Article 173

To ensure compliance with the provisions regarding health and safety of workers, a labour inspector may require employers or their representatives to make alterations to the installations or plant used in their facilities, within such time limits as he may define. In addition, he may, in the event of an imminent threat to the health or safety of the workers, require the adoption of such measures, as he deems necessary to avert such threat forthwith.

Article 174

Where, in the course of inspection, an inspector discovers any violation of this Law or its executive regulations or orders, he shall draw up a report documenting the violation and submit it to the competent labour department to enable it to take the necessary action against the offender.

Article 175

A labour inspector may, when necessary, request the competent administrative authorities and the police to provide any necessary assistance. Where an inspection is made in connection with health aspects of work, the inspector shall, subject to the consent of the head of the competent labour department, be accompanied by a specialised medical practitioner from the Ministry of Health or a medical practitioner appointed for the purpose.

Article 176

The chief labour inspector in the area shall prepare a monthly report on labour inspection activities, inspection aspects, facilities inspected, and number and types of violations committed. He shall also prepare an annual report on inspection in the locality, containing the results and effects of inspection and his comments and proposals. Copies of the monthly and annual reports shall be sent to the labour department.

Article 177

The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs shall draw up an annual report on inspection activities in the State, containing all matters related to the Ministry's supervision of the implementation of the labour law and, in particular, the following matters:

1.The provisions governing inspection;

2.The officials in charge of inspection;

3.Statistics of the firms that were subject to inspection, the number of workers employed therein, the number of inspection visits and tours made by the inspectors, the violations committed and penalties imposed, and the work- related injuries and occupational diseases.

Article 178

The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs shall design special forms for violation reports, inspection records, reminders and warnings. It shall define the necessary rules for the maintenance and use of such forms, and shall circulate them to the labour departments in various localities.

Article 179

Subject to Nationals priority right to employment and in addition to the general requirements in connection with the appointment of employees, labour inspectors shall-

1.Be fairly impartial.

2.Have no direct interest in the establishments they inspect.

3.Pass a special test of professional ethics after completing a period of training of at least three months.

Article 180

The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs shall organise special courses for training labour inspectors particularly in the following basics and principles:

1.Organizing inspection visits and making contacts with employers and workers.

2.Auditing of records and books.

3.Showing employers how to interpret legal texts and the advantages of applying such texts and assisting them in doing so.

4.industrial technology and means of protection against work-related injuries and occupational diseases.

5.production efficiency and its connection with the provision of favourable conditions for performance of work.


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