Employers of abusive nature can create a toxic work environment that creates a strain on the mental and physical health of employees. Studies suggest that 80% of employees who quit their jobs do so because of their bosses and their abusive nature. There are several legal actions to be taken in the UAE to remedy abuse in the workplace.
As per UAE Law No 3 of 1987, crimes against reputation (libel and abuse) of the Penal Code, clearly states:
- The punishment is detention for a period not exceeding six months; or
- A fine not exceeding AED 5,000 shall apply if slander or abuse is transmitted by telephone or face to face with the victim and in the presence of any other person.
Based on the provisions of the law related to criminal procedure, a criminal action may be lodged upon a written or verbal complaint of the victim or the legal representative with the police against the perpetrator of an offense related to insult and slander.
The complaint may be supported by the statements of colleagues as witnesses.
The employee may file a complaint with the employer and a copy of the said letter may be addressed to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE). If a dispute arises between an employer and an employee, and both parties fail to reach an amicable settlement, the following steps can be taken:
- The employee shall submit a complaint in writing to the employer and simultaneously dispatch a copy thereof to MOHRE;
- The employer shall reply in writing to the complaint or claims of the employee within seven (7) working days form the date of receipt of the complaint. Simultaneously, a copy thereof shall be submitted to the MOHRE;
- If the employer fails to submit a reply to the complaint within the fixed period or if the reply does not result in settlement of the dispute, the competent ministry, of its own motion or at a request, shall mediate to settle the dispute amicably;
- If the complaint is made by the employer, he must submit it directly to the MOHRE to mediate or arrive at an amicable settlement of a dispute.
In case the abuse is published in any newspaper or printed media, it shall be considered an aggravated case.
This case can be a bit grievous if libel or abuse is committed against a public official or one who is in charge of public service because of or on the occasion of performing the duty or public service, it affects the honor or injures the reputation of families.
Reporting Different Kinds of Abuses in the UAE
Abuse comes in many different forms, including charging of extraneous fees by a recruiter, inhuman treatment and exploitation by an employer, harassment from a government representative, illegal termination of contract, human trafficking, and verbal, physical or sexual abuse.
Technology and Defamation
With the expansion of social media and the substantial source of the internet, the opportunity for publishing defamatory statements has grown massively. There are cases where people post comments that will reach the public at large. For this reason, this law applies to online statements where it is visible to everyone.
Filing False Claims Against the Employer
- An employee could also be held liable for a criminal act if it appears that the employer is threatened to bring false claims or perform legal actions.
- A remedy can be made available to the wrongfully accused which is the prevention of person(s) intending to abuse the law to bring forth claims.
- The authorities are also encouraged to adopt strict measures against an individual who reports a false crime and abuse the use of the law in the workplace to avoid an employee from misusing the Law.
If any person or company facing allegations under the law should undertake an immediate and thorough internal investigation in line with HR policies, legal advice from a seasoned labor and employment lawyer should be sought at the outset of the allegations being made in order to assess the risks and manage the situation whilst considering all available options. For further information regarding labor and employment legislation in UAE, contact the team of experienced lawyers and legal consultants of HHS Lawyers today for a consultation.
What is the Procedure to File a Complaint with Labor?
You can file a complaint through expert labor lawyers in the UAE. They won’t just help you file a complaint but they will also go through all the procedures and provisions of the labor law that you may want clarification on.
What is UAE Labor Law?
Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 also known as the Labor Law as amended governs the labor rights of employees and employers in the private sector and public sector.