labour law


March 11, 2018



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Can an employee injured at work claim compensation?

Question: My friend is a construction worker and was injured at work. Can he request compensation?

Answer: UAE law guarantees the safety of employees during work and obligates the employers to ensure an appropriate work environment that guarantees the safety of workers.

Additionally, the UAE labour law lays out the employee's right of compensation if they suffer an injury during the course of their work.

Articles between 142, 144 to 151 of the labour law No. 8 of 1980 covers the procedures and guarantees for employees who are injured as follows:

Article 142:

If a worker sustains any of the work-related injuries and occupational diseases listed in Schedules 1 and 2 attached to this Law, the employer or their representative shall report the matter immediately to police and to the labour department or its local office within whose jurisdiction the place of business is located.

The report shall include the worker's name, age, occupation, address, and nationality, and a brief account of the accident, its circumstances and the medical aid or treatment provided.

On receipt of the report, police shall carry out an investigation and compile a report containing statements from witnesses, the employer or their representative, and of the injured (if their condition so permits), and shall indicate whether the accident was work-related, deliberate, or the result of the worker's gross misconduct.

Article 144:

If a worker sustains a work-related injury or contracts an occupational disease, the employer shall pay for the cost of their treatment in a government or private local medical centre until they recover or is proven disabled. Treatment shall include costs of residence in a hospital or sanatorium, surgical operations, x-ray and medical diagnosis, the purchase of medicines and rehabilitation equipment, and the supply of artificial limbs and other prosthetic appliances for any person who is declared disabled. In addition, the employer shall pay the cost of any transport required in connection with the worker's treatment.

Question: I want to appoint a lawyer to over-see my labour dispute. I am getting conflicting advice on how to appoint a lawyer. Is a Power of Attorney compulsory?

Answer: The appointment of a lawyer is an important step in enabling the start of proceedings. The appointment of a lawyer must be done in accordance with the laws that regulate lawyers. There are two documents that must be signed with your lawyer prior to starting work:

Letter of Engagement / Fee Agreement

Power of Attorney

A Letter of Engagement is a document outlining the scope of the lawyer's work and the fees payable by the client retaining the lawyer. Other terms and conditions are also laid out for the purposes of clarity. This document shall be signed by both the client and attorney to avoid any doubts as to their roles and obligations.

A Power of Attorney is a document authorising the attorney to represent the client in court or otherwise. In most of the cases, the Power of Attorney must be signed in the notary Public and Notarised before it can be accepted as a valid document. The document can be in Arabic for Arabic speakers and Arabic and English for non-Arabic speakers.

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If a company appoints you in acting capacity, how long can you work in that acting capacity without being appointed the substantive? How does the UAE Labour law protects a worker in acting capacity, can you act indefinitely? We have seen workers appointed in acting capacity until retirement without enjoying the salary and benefits of that post.
A person may be given a Power of Attorney to conduct certain activities on behalf of the principal. We understand you are enquiring about an employee who is conducting routine business work in an acting capacity on behalf of the management. In order to be better placed to advise on the legal position of the person who has been delegated such duties, we will need to review the document by virtue of which the authority to act has been delegated. Furthermore, we will also need to sight his employment-related documents such as labor contract and any side agreement.

We request you to share your availability with us so that we can schedule a consultation meeting to discuss further about this matter.   Dr. Hassan Elhais

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