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Abusive Language Used at the Workplace

There are various issues that coexist in the workplace. One such illegal issue that may exist in the workplace is the use of abusive and foul language. According to UAE law, it is a criminal offence to use abusive language against any individual. The employer has no rights and will be conducting a criminal offence if he/she uses foul language at the workplace.


Article 374 of the Federal Law No. 3 of 1987 in the issuance of the Penal Code of UAE, states:

Punishment by detention for a period not exceeding six months or by a fine not exceeding Dh5,000 shall apply if slander or abuse is transmitted by telephone, or face to face with the victim and in the presence of a third party.

In accordance with Article 10 (4) of the Federal Law No. 35 of 1992, a criminal complaint can be filed against the person who used foul language at you and your fellow employees.


The following procedure is governed by Article 155 of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980

  • If there is a dispute between an employer and an employee, the employee can submit a letter of complaint to the employer and a copy of the same to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE)
  • The employer should reply within 7 days, and a copy of the reply shall also be sent to the MoHRE
  • Failure of reply from the employer or if the reply does not result in an amicable settlement, MoHRE on the request of either parties can mediate between them and resolve the dispute. In this case, if the employer has used foul language at the employee, then the MoHRE will take the necessary steps as per the law of Article 10(4) mentioned above.
  • If the employer wants to file a letter of complaint to settle a dispute, they may do so directly with the MoHRE.
Also Read: Arbitrary Dismissal: Employee Contract Termination by Employer


The UAE government has introduced an online portal for the public. This portal offers various ways to voice any issue that the public faces. In situations such as safety and avoiding ill-mannered behaviour at the workplace, this portal can be very useful.

  1. The government has developed various laws and regulations for different services, fields, and sectors. There are many regulations formulated for health, safety, and disciple within the workplace that seek to protect the rights of both employers and employees.
  2. There are also specific laws formulated in favor of employees under the ‘Justice, safety and the law’. Some laws concentrate on the protection of worker’s rights. The MoHRE has implemented a set of policies and programmes adopted to make a positive change in the labour market. This is aimed at reducing inequalities and increasing transparency in the workplace. There are further rules and conventions developed to increase the protection of workers against abuse at the workplace.
  3. The MoHRE have launched awareness campaigns to educate workers about their rights and various laws against offences that exist in the workplace.
  4. Your Voice – This section is a personalized category, where you can voice your opinions and suggestions on how to improve workplace conditions.


  • For immediate help, if an employee needs to file a complaint against any offence at the workplace, he/she can contact the MoHRE on a 24-hour toll-free number, 80060.
  • The government has established offices in the courts that aim to provide legal support to the workers in dispute, and various labour care units are set up across the UAE to protect the workers’ rights.

These are a few steps that you can take to avoid any misbehaviour at the workplace. You can approach a lawyer, who can help file such complaints to the government and keep a check on the updates of the complaint. A lawyer in such circumstances can help secure monetary compensation from the employer with the help of the MoHRE.

At HHS lawyers we represent clients throughout the United Arab Emirates in all aspects of labor and employment. We have a team of experts dealing with employment laws. We always seek to make the legal process as clear and easy as possible. For further consultation regarding labour and employment cases contact us now.

Hassan Humaid Al Suwaidi., LL.B. is a Senior Partner in HHS Lawyers. He has 20 years of experience dealing with high-value and complex cases. Frequently featured in local and international legal directories and commended for his ability to attain favorable outcomes for clients, Hassan has been involved in some of the largest legal settlements. A major part of his work is providing expert legal advice on UAE legislation and acting for individuals and businesses during disputes and litigation.