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August 25, 2021

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Federal law no. 33 of 2021 regarding the ‘regulation of labour relations’ and its amendments (the “UAE labour law”) includes in its scope a definitive provision towards work or 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 according to the UAE labour law.

Steps required to be taken for any work-related or occupational injury: in case the worker suffers a work injury, the employer is required to bear the expenses of the treatment till he recovers and can return, as per Article 37(2).

If the employee sustains a work-related injury or contracts an occupational disease, and such injury or disease prevents the worker from working, then the Employer is liable to provide the employee with a wage allowance equal to his full salary for the entire period of duration of the treatment or six months whichever is shorter.

If the work injury or occupational disease leads to the death of the worker, then the employer shall pay the family of the worker compensation amounting to the basic salary of the worker, for 24 months. The amount should not be less than 18,000 AED and should not be more than 200,000 AED. This will not prevent the family of the deceased worker from obtaining gratuity or other financial benefits to which they may be entitled.

When a Worker is Not Entitled to Compensation:

There are certain circumstances under which an employee may be denied compensation for injuries according to the UAE labour law (Article 38). Such circumstances include:

  • If the Worker wilfully injured himself for any reason whatsoever;

  • The injury occurred under the effect of alcoholic drinks, drugs or other psychotropic substances;

  • The injury occurred as a result of wilful misconduct by the worker;

  • The worker's refusal without serious reason to be examined, or to follow the treatment decided by the medical authorities;

  • The injury occurred as a result of an intentional violation of the preventive instructions announced in visible places in the workplace. 

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 according to the UAE civil code for moral damages. Such action may be taken when there is a violation of the liberty, honour, dignity, or reputation of a person.


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