The workshop, which was attended by directors of the 32 worker cities under the ZonesCorp umbrella, was designed to ensure that the standards enshrined in law by the Abu Dhabi government are understood by its partners and that labor laws regarding workers’ rights are being properly applied.
Saeed Eisa Mohammed Al Khyeli, director-general, ZonesCorp, said: “The labor law in the UAE requires that every employer takes appropriate measures to protect workers from the dangers of occupational injuries and illnesses that may occur during work. Safety is priority and everyone is equal in terms of rights.”
He said: “We maintain high ethical and legal standards at ZonesCorp. In line with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, we want to help build a sustainable and globally integrated industrial manufacturing sector and therefore, we need to ensure that all workers who are a key part of this are protected. It is crucial to make sure that employers understand their responsibilities towards their workers and the community they live in.”
He added: “We have implemented a number of initiatives to ensure that the highest international standards are met, such as the Wages Protection System and Safety in Heat which prohibits work during the middle of the day the summer months. We also have welfare administration units that are deployed in the worker cities to give advice on labur issues, hear workers’ complaints and find ways of resolving them. “
During the workshop First Lieutenant Ali Hassan Al Hammadi from the Law Respect Culture Bureau at the ministry gave a presentation that laid out the legal rights of workers, as well as common abuses of those rights and the resulting punishments under UAE law.
He stressed the need for workers to understand their legal rights and their contractual obligations towards their employers to ensure they are not exploited.
He said UAE law guarantees workers the freedom to practise any religion or faith, the right not to be subjected to physical harm or any act that reduces the dignity of workers or compromises their customs and traditions.
He also pointed out that workers have the right to complain and report abuses of the law as well as the right to legal counsel. He stressed that ignorance of the labor laws on the part of employers or employees was no excuse.