9. Collective Labour Disputes

Article 154

Collective labour disputes means any dispute between the employer and his employees, concerning common interests for all or part of the employees in an establishment or vocation or a certain profession or in any specific vocational sector.


Article 155

If a dispute arises between an employer(s) and all or part of his/their employees and both parties fail to reach an amicable settlement, the following steps shall be taken:

  1. The employees shall submit their complaint in writing to the employer and simultaneously dispatch a copy thereof to the Labour Department.
  2. The employer shall reply in writing to the complaint or claims of the employees within seven working days from date of receipt of the complaint. A simultaneous copy thereof shall be submitted to the Labour Department at the same time.
  3. If the employer fails to submit his reply to the complaint within the fixed period or if his reply does not result in settlement of the dispute, the competent Labour Department of its own motion or at request of either party shall mediate to settle the dispute amicably.
  4. If the complaint is made by the employer, he must submit the complaint directly to the Labour Department to mediate for an amicable settlement of the dispute.


Article 156

If mediation efforts by the competent Labour Department have failed to reach a settlement on the dispute within 10 days from date of the Department’s knowledge thereof the Department must refer the dispute to the competent conciliation board for settlement and notify both parties of its decision in writing.


Article 157

In each Labour Dept. a board is to be set up and called the Conciliation Board, and for this purpose a decision shall be taken by the Minister of Labour and Social Affair.


Article 158

Each party to the dispute shall follow-up the matter before the Conciliation Board until a decision is awarded and the Board shall issue its decision by majority within two weeks from date on which the dispute was referred to it. The decision shall be binding on both parties only if they have agreed in writing before the Board to accept it decision. If such agreement is not made, either party or both parties may challenge the Board’s decision before the Supreme Arbitration Committee within thirty days from date on which decision was made, otherwise, the decision shall be deemed to be final and enforceable.


Article 159

Rescission of employment contract or dismissal of the employees’ representatives who are members of the Conciliation Board shall not prevent performance of their duties on the Board unless the employees elect other representatives.


Article 160

A Committee called the Supreme Arbitration Committee is to be formed for Settlement of collective Labour Dispute, at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, composed as follows:

  1. The Minister of Labour as Chairman, and in his absence the Under Secretary or the Director – General of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs shall replace him.
  2. A judge of the Supreme Federal Court is nominated by the General Assembly of this Court as a member and appointed by order of the Minister of Justice.
  3. A person with experience and knowledge in labour matters and known for his impartiality is appointed as member by order of the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs. Two alternate members may be selected from the two categories of the two regular members to act for them in their absence. Appointment of regular and alternate members shall be valid for three renewable years, and renewal shall take place in the same manner as the appointment.


Article 161

The Supreme Arbitration Committee for settlement of collective labour disputes shall have the powers to issue final and conclusive judgements on all disputes referred to it by the concerned parties. Decisions of said Committee shall be taken by majority the grounds shall be stated.


Article 162

In accordance with a proposal from the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, and in consultation with the Minister of Justice, a decision shall be taken by the Council of Ministers regulating litigation proceedings and other rules necessary for the good progress of the work before the Conciliation Boards and the Supreme Arbitration Committee for solving Collective Labour disputes. For the purpose of performing their functions these Boards and Committees may inspect papers and documents, records and other evidences and compel persons in possession of the same to submit these materials. They may also enter the establishment to conduct necessary investigation and to take whatever measures that are deemed to be necessary for settlement of the dispute.


Article 163*

Neither party to the dispute my again raise the conflict regarding which a final judgement has been given by any of the Boards referred to herein, unless with the mutual agreement of both parties to the dispute.

* Amended by Federal Law No. 12 of 1986


Article 164

The Boards referred to herein, shall apply the provisions of this Law, the laws in force and the rules of Islamic Sharia as well as any other customary rules, principles of justice, natural and comparative laws which are consistent therewith.


Article 165

The decisions rendered by the Supreme Committee of Arbitration in settlement of collective labour disputes shall be enforced with the cooperation of the competent authorities in each Emirate.