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August 25, 2021

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The Federal law no. 8 of 1980 regarding the ‘organization of labour relations’ and its amendments (the “UAE labour law”) includes in its scope a definitive provision towards occupational injuries and the rights and liabilities that accrue based on the same. In this article we would like to go through some of the major grounds that apply pursuant to the UAE labour law.

Steps required to be taken for any work-related or occupational injury: The Employer is required to report the matter immediately to the police and also to the labour department. A brief report is to be provided by the Employer detailing the worker’s name, age, occupation, address, nationality and a description of the accident and its circumstances, including the medical treatment provided. The police would then carry out further investigation and will compile the report along with witness statements. The purpose of such a police report is to indicate whether the accident was work-related; if so, was it due to any gross misconduct on the part of the employee or otherwise. On completion of the report, the police would send a report to the Employer as well as the labour department.

Liability on the part of the Employer:

If the employee sustains a work-related injury or contracts an occupational disease then, the Employer is liable to pay the cost of the treatment, including covering all the diagnostic checks required and also to cover the transportation of the employee in such process. The Employer is also required to provide the employee with wage allowance equal to his full salary for the entire period of duration of the treatment or for a duration of six months whichever is shorter.

When a worker is not entitled to compensation:

There are certain circumstances under which an employee may be denied compensation for injuries pursuant to the UAE labour law (Article 153). Such circumstances include:

  • The employee has willfully brought about his own injury with the intention of committing suicide or of obtaining compensation or sick leave, or for any other reason.
  • If the employee was under the influence of a narcotic drug or alcohol at the time of occurrence of the incident;
  • If the employee has intentionally violated the safety instructions posted at conspicuous positions in the workplace;
  • If the injury disability was the result of gross and deliberate misconduct on part of the employee;
  • If the employee has refused for no good reason to submit to medical examination or to undergo the treatment ordered by a medical board.

The UAE labour law thus has detailed provisions that guarantee the safety and well-being of the workforce. The said provisions ensure that the rights of the employees are always protected. Apart from the above-detailed provisions under the UAE labour law, damages may also be claimed pursuant to the UAE civil code for moral damages. Such action may be taken when there is a violation of the liberty, honor, dignity, reputation of a person.


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