We use cookies and similar technologies that are necessary to operate the website. Additional cookies are used to perform analysis of website usage. By continuing to use our website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please read our Cookies Policy.

Closing this modal default settings will be saved.

Facing a Labour Dispute in the UAE? Here's Your Essential Action Plan!

Owner's Profile

Staff Writer, TLR

Published on March 18, 2024, 08:51:50


uae, labour disputes, mohre, labour court, employees

In the UAE, where economic activity thrives, labour-related disputes can sometimes arise. However, navigating these disputes and seeking justice is facilitated by a well-defined process overseen by competent authorities.

Understanding the procedures and provisions in labour cases is crucial for anyone seeking to file a labour complaint in the UAE

Rights Upheld by UAE Laws

In accordance with government authorities, the laws of the UAE uphold the rights of both employers and employees, particularly in cases of labour disputes between the two parties.

Both employers and employees are entitled to file a complaint with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) should a dispute arise. Upon filing a complaint, it undergoes examination and aims to be resolved amicably.

However, if a resolution cannot be reached through amicable means, the matter is then referred to the judiciary.

Competent Authorities

Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE): The primary authority responsible for overseeing labour affairs in the UAE. It offers mediation and conciliation services to resolve disputes amicably.

Labour Courts: Provide a judicial forum for adjudicating disputes when mediation efforts fail. They ensure that labour laws are upheld and justice is served.

Procedures for Filing a Labour Case

Grievance Procedure: Attempt to resolve the dispute informally with the employer before initiating legal action.

Lodging a Complaint: File a formal complaint with MoHRE, detailing the nature of the dispute, relevant evidence, and desired outcome.

Mediation and Conciliation: MoHRE facilitates sessions to reach a mutually acceptable resolution.

Referral to Labour Courts: If mediation fails, the case may be referred to labor courts for adjudication. Parties may engage legal representation and present their case before a judge.

Understanding the Time Limit

According to the UAE Labour Law – Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021, claims for any rights due will not be heard after one year from the date of violation. Hence, it is essential to file complaints as early as possible.

Work Permits and Employment during Legal Proceedings

Article 17 (4) of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 authorizes the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) to revoke an employee's work permit, enabling them to seek employment in another company.

Additionally, under Article 4 and 5 of Ministerial Resolution No. 47 of 2022, MoHRE has the discretion to cancel an employee's work permit or visa based on specific conditions.

Following such cancellations, the employee must reapply for a visa and permit to ensure compliance with UAE regulations, avoiding potential fines and ensuring legal residency in the UAE.

Fees and Complaint Types

Article 55 of the UAE Labour Law exempts workers or their heirs from paying judicial fees for claims less than Dh100,000.

Different types of salary complaints include delayed salaries, non-receipt of overtime compensation, and illegal salary deductions.

How to File a Labour Complaint in the UAE

Through the MoHRE Call Centre: Contact MoHRE's call centre on 04 665 9999 and provide details of the complaint to a representative.

Through the MoHRE WhatsApp Service: Utilise MOHRE's verified WhatsApp account by saving the number 600590000 on your phone and initiating a chat with a ministry representative.

Through the MoHRE App: Follow these steps to file a labour complaint through the MoHRE app:

  • Download the "MOHRE UAE" app from the Apple App Store or "MOHRE" from the Google Play Store.
  • Tap on 'Menu', select the 'Employee' category, and click on the 'Complain' service.
  • Enter personal details and employment information, add the complaint details, and register the complaint.
  • Receive a confirmation with a transaction number to track the application's status.

Additional Provisions and Requirements

Ministerial Resolution No. 47 of 2022 outlines specific requirements for workers whose labour complaints are referred to the Labour Court.

Workers must register their labour complaint with the competent court within a maximum period of 14 days from the date of approval for referral to the judiciary.

Employees must refrain from seeking employment with another employer without obtaining a temporary work permit from the ministry.

Upon issuance of the final judgment in the labour lawsuit, in the event of termination of the work relationship between the two parties, employees must submit a request to cancel the original work permit within 14 days from the date of issuance.

Employees must apply for a temporary work permit with a new employer during the labour case process, except when reported absent by their employer.

In cases where a labour complaint results in the cessation of work for the worker, their work permit will be cancelled six months from the date of referral of the complaint to the labour court.


Thorough understanding of the competent authorities, procedures, and provisions governing labour disputes in the UAE empowers individuals to navigate the process of filing labour cases with confidence.

By arming themselves with knowledge, they can effectively assert their rights, seek resolution for grievances, and ensure that justice prevails in the dynamic landscape of the UAE's labour market.

This comprehensive approach not only safeguards the interests of both employers and employees but also contributes to fostering a fair and equitable working environment for all stakeholders involved.

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