As an overseas worker in the UAE, knowing your rights and obligations in the workplace is an absolute must. If these rights get violated — for example, your salary is delayed or your passport is withheld — you can file a labour complaint.
The implementation of labourers’ rights and settlement of labour disputes is overseen by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE), which was previously called the Ministry of Labour. In this article, we present the steps in which you can file and track a labour complaint through this Ministry.
- Guide to Filing and Tracking a Labour Complaint
- Grounds for Filing a Labour Complaint
- How to File a Labour Complaint
- How to Track Labour Complaint
- Video: How to Register Labour Complaints Online
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Contact Information
Guide to Filing and Tracking a Labour Complaint
Just like in any other country, workers and employers in the UAE have rights and obligations. When a right gets violated, this could be a basis for filing a labour complaint through MOHRE. The Ministry examines each complaint, aiming to settle things amicably, or, if necessary — referring a case to the judiciary.
Grounds for Filing a Labour Complaint
If you are a worker or labourer in the UAE, you should always be aware of your rights, as indicated in Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 (UAE Labour Law). Now, what are some possible grounds for filing a labour complaint? Here are some examples:
- Your salary is delayed.
- Your salary is not paid.
- You are not provided annual leaves.
- Your working environment is not safe.
- Your extended working hours are not paid.
- Your employer is withholding your passport.
- Your end-of-service benefits are not provided.
- You are asked to repay employment visa costs.
- You are not given maternity leave (for pregnant women).
- You are forced to work for more than 8 or 9 hours per day.
- You are not allowed to take a leave during public holidays.
How to File a Labour Complaint
If you believe that your right (or rights) as a worker has been violated, you can file a labour complaint through MOHRE. There are several ways to do this: through a service centre, MOHRE call centre, website, or mobile app.
A. Via Service Centre
If you prefer to file a complaint in person, you can do so going to a service centre. Simply follow these steps:
- Go to the nearest TASHEEL service centre, which are located across the UAE. Be sure to bring important documents such as your passport, Emirates ID, job contract, etc.
- At the service centre, provide your name and contact details, along with those of your employer or company. Provide other information as needed.
- Pay the transaction fee.
- You will receive an application number through email or SMS.
- Within 2 to 3 working days, as soon as your application has been processed, you will receive a call from a legal advisor regarding your complaint.
NOTE: TASHEEL is an online system that processes labour-related applications, payments, transactions, and other concerns.
B. Via MOHRE Call Centre
To file a complaint over the phone, you can contact the MOHRE call centre through these numbers:
- 600-590-000 (for complaints by UAE citizens working in the private sector)
- 04-665-9999 (for complaints by non-nationals working in the private sector)
Upon calling these numbers, a customer care representative will respond and address your complaint. If your concern cannot be addressed immediately, it will be forwarded to the Department of Complaints and Advice. If the department is able to resolve your complaint, good. If not, you will be guided in filing an official complaint, which may lead to a court case.
C. Via MOHRE Website
For those who prefer to file a complaint online, you can do so by visiting the official website of MOHRE. Here are the steps:
- Go to the MOHRE official website.
- Choose the type of complaint (e.g. “labour complaint” or “salary complaint”).
- Enter your personal information, including contact details.
- Add details about your complaint, then click “submit.”
- Within 3 working days, as soon as your application has been processed, you will receive a call from a legal advisor regarding your complaint.
D. Via MOHRE Mobile App
Another online method of filing a complaint is through the MOHRE mobile app. Just follow the steps below.
- Download the MOHRE mobile app from App Store or Google Play.
- Under “Service” overview, click the “Employee” category. Note that other options such as “Employer,” “Domestic Worker,” etc. are also on the list.
- Click “Complaint” on the drop down menu.
- Click “Apply for this service” at the end of the page.
- You will be taken to a user verification page. Enter your name and mobile number.
- Click “Send OTP.” Check your phone for the OTP and enter it for verification.
- On the following page, enter your personal information, labour card details, or passport details. Then, click “Search.”
- Add details about your complaint, then click “submit.”
How to Track Labour Complaint
Just as there are different ways of filing a labour complaint, there are several ways of tracking its status, as well: (a) contacting MOHRE call centre; (b) visiting its official website, or (c) using the MOHRE mobile app.
For complaints made by UAE citizens working in the private sector, you can contact MOHRE call centre by dialing 600-590-000. Meanwhile, for complaints by non-nationals in the private sector, you can contact the centre by calling 04-665-9999.
At the MOHRE website, there’s a section titled MOHRE Enquiry Services. Here, you can track your complaint by logging in and entering your reference number. Likewise, using the MOHRE mobile app, you can log in, go to “service inquiry,” and enter your transaction number to see your complaint status.
Video: How to Register Labour Complaints Online
To understand the process better, MOHRE has released a video through its YouTube channel. Check out this video to learn more about how to register a labour complaint online:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In the meantime, here are some frequently asked questions and answers about filing and tracking a labour complaint in the UAE.
1. What are the grounds for filing a labour complaint?
There are various grounds for filing a labour complaint. For workers, the most common reasons are unpaid/delayed salaries, withholding of passports (by employers), unpaid overtime, and non-payment of end-of-service benefits.
2. How can I file a labour complaint?
Workers can file a labour complaint by going to a service centre, contacting MOHRE call centre, visiting the Ministry’s website, or using its mobile app.
3. How can I track my labour complaint?
Similarly, you can track a labour complaint by contacting MOHRE call centre, logging into the Ministry’s website, or using its mobile app.
4. Is there a service fee?
Typically, filing a complaint is free of charge. However, depending on the case, there may be service or processing charges involved (i.e. at a TASHEEL service centre, for example). Also, if the employer or company involved faces a claim above AED 100,000 — 5 percent of this amount will be charged as a court fee.
5. How can I learn more about filing complaints?
You can learn more about filing labour complaints by getting in touch with MOHRE, either through its Dubai or Abu Dhabi office.
Below are the contact details and maps for MOHRE offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi:
A. MOHRE Dubai
Address: Baghdad Street, Al Qusais, Al Qusais 1, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
B. MOHRE Abu Dhabi
Address: Mubadala Tower, Sultan Bin Zayed The First St., Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
In case you or anyone you know is facing a labour issue, such as delayed salaries, unpaid overtime, non-payment of end-of-service benefits, withholding of passports by employer, and other concerns — take note that you can file a complaint through MOHRE. By making an official complaint, you are taking the first step to making sure that your rights as a worker is honoured, and your problem is addressed accordingly.
DISCLAIMER: We hope that the above guide has been helpful. Please note that this guide is presented for general, information-sharing services only. To learn more about how to file a labour complaint and check its status, please visit the official websites of MOHRE and the UAE Government Portal.