How UAE Free Zone Employees Can Effectively Address Their Grievances and Seek Justice

Understanding the process and steps to file a labour complaint in UAE free zones

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Rakeshh Kumar SV

Published on June 26, 2024, 13:54:40


rights of free zone employees


In the UAE, free zones play a crucial role, offering unique benefits to companies and employees alike. However, understanding the legal landscape, especially when it comes to labour issues, can be challenging. For free zone employees facing workplace disputes, identifying the proper channels to file a complaint is essential.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how free zone employees can address their grievances effectively.

Understanding Free Zones

Free zones in the UAE are designated areas where businesses operate under distinct regulatory frameworks, separate from the UAE’s mainland laws. These zones offer advantages such as full ownership of businesses by foreign nationals, tax exemptions, and simplified procedures for starting a business.

Prominent free zones include Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

What Grievances Do Free Zone Employees Face in the UAE?

Free zone employees in the UAE often face a range of grievances, including delayed or unpaid salaries, unjust termination, workplace harassment and breaches of employment contracts. Additionally, issues such as inadequate working conditions, lack of proper health and safety measures, and unfair treatment or discrimination can also arise. These grievances can significantly impact the well-being and job satisfaction of employees, making it crucial for them to understand their rights and the proper channels to seek redress.

Required Documents for Filing a Labour Complaint

When filing a labour complaint, it is essential to have the following documents ready to support your case:

  • Employment Contract: A copy of the signed employment contract detailing your terms of employment, job role, salary, and other conditions.
  • Identification Documents: Copies of your passport, visa, and Emirates ID to establish your identity and employment status.
  • Salary Slips and Bank Statements: Records of salary slips and bank statements showing your salary payments, which can help substantiate claims of unpaid or delayed wages.
  • Correspondence: Any relevant email correspondence or written communication between you and your employer regarding the grievance. This includes emails, letters, or messages that demonstrate attempts to resolve the issue internally.
  • Additional Evidence: Any other relevant documents such as medical reports (in cases of workplace injuries or harassment), proof of expenses, or other supporting materials that strengthen your case.
  • Mediation Records: Documentation of any mediation attempts made through the free zone authority, including meeting notes, agreements, or correspondence.
  • Witness Statements: Statements from colleagues or witnesses who can corroborate your claims and provide additional evidence of the issues faced.

Steps to File a Labour Complaint

Internal Resolution: Attempt to resolve the issue internally by discussing it with your HR department or direct supervisor. This step is crucial as many disputes can be resolved through open communication. If the dispute is not settled or unsuccessful, the authority will issue a document to the aggrieved party called an NOC.
MoHRE Website: You can file an online complaint on the official website. It is important for the complaint to be reviewed by a legal expert to ensure nothing is overlooked and correct legal terms are used. You can also register the complaint by calling 600590000, which is the call centre number of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
Details to be Entered: Go to the services option and enter the details asked on the website, such as your name, number, and other essential details for registering a complaint. Then, click on ‘Register Complaint’.
SMS Confirmation: You will receive an SMS confirmation of your application. The MOHRE will go through all your personal details and the details of the case, and will follow up with you.

Important Considerations

  • Documentation: Keep meticulous records of all communications and documents related to the dispute. This will be crucial in supporting your case.
  • Timeliness: Act promptly when filing a complaint. Delays can weaken your case and prolong the resolution process.
  • Legal Advice: Consider consulting a lawyer who specialises in UAE labour law. They can provide valuable guidance and increase the likelihood of a favourable outcome.


Filing a labour complaint in a UAE free zone involves a structured process aimed at ensuring fair treatment for employees. By following the correct steps and seeking appropriate assistance, free zone employees can effectively address their grievances and seek justice.

Remember, understanding your rights and the proper procedures is the first step towards resolving any workplace dispute.

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