Ensuring Employee Rights: Legal Recourse for Verbal Abuse in UAE Workplace

Employees who face verbal abuse or shouting from their boss can file a complaint with MoHRE

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Pavitra Shetty

Published on July 3, 2024, 14:05:57


Employees, Regulations, UAE, Employment Law,

In the UAE, employers are legally obligated to provide their employees with a safe and appropriate working environment. Article 13(13) of the Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations states: “The Employer shall provide a safe and appropriate working environment."

Article 14(2) of the Employment Law explicitly prohibits various forms of harassment, including sexual, verbal, physical and psychological harassment, regardless of whether these actions come from employers, superiors, colleagues, or anyone working with the affected employee.

The law states: “It shall be prohibited to exercise sexual harassment, bullying or any verbal, physical or mental violence against the employee by his employer, manager or colleagues.”

Additionally, if an employer uses demeaning language or shouts at an employee in front of others, they can face imprisonment for up to six months or a fine of up to Dh5,000, as outlined in Article 427 of the Federal Law No. 31 of 2021 on the Issuance of the Crimes and Penalties Law.

The article states: “A penalty of imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding Dh5,000 shall be imposed if the libel or slander is committed on the telephone or directly against the victim in the presence of others.”

Insults, rumours, and slander are never taken lightly in the UAE. Remember that you can take legal action if you find yourself at the receiving end of offensive tirades at work.

While disagreements and arguments may occur between officemates, when verbal attacks become personal, it may be necessary to escalate the issue beyond the workplace. Making insulting comments against anyone is illegal in the UAE, with the penal code stating that those found guilty of such offences could face imprisonment of up to two years and a fine of up to Dh20,000.

Employees who face verbal abuse or shouting from their boss can file a complaint with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). They may also consider resigning without serving notice within five days after registering the complaint, as per Article 45(2) of the Employment Law.

This article states: “The employee may quit work without notice and reserve all his entitlements at the end of the service if the employee is subject to assault, violence or harassment at the workplace by the employer, or his legal representative, provided that the employee reports such act to the concerned authorities and the Ministry within five working days from the date on which he can report.”

While many residents are aware of such provisions of the UAE law, the question remains: How can charges be filed?
In Dubai, slander can be reported to the police in just a few minutes -- and without even leaving home. The Dubai Police have made the service accessible 24/7 through their digital platforms, including their website and app.

Here's how to file a complaint and what key information you need to prepare and know:

* Emirates ID
* Details to help the police contact your officemate(s) (name, address, car plate number, phone number, and the place where he/she works)
* Details of the incident
* Which police station is nearest to your area

What to do:

* Log into the Dubai Police website (https://www.dubaipolice.gov.ae/)
* Click on the 'Reporting Services' option
* Choose 'File Criminal Complaint'
* Fill out the details (In the case type dropdown menu, choose 'Insulting case')

Some of the questions you will be required to answer:

* What were the words the defendant(s) used?
* When was the insulting remark made (date, time)?
* What could have been the motive?
* Were there any previous conflicts between you and the defendant(s)?
* Did you also use any negative words against him/her/them?

Upon submission of the form, the police are expected to get in touch with you. You may go back to the website to follow up on your complaint.

It's important for employees to know their rights and understand that they have legal protections against workplace harassment and abuse. Employers must maintain a respectful and professional environment, and any form of misconduct should be addressed promptly to ensure the well-being and safety of all employees.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004. Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.