14 October 2023

Shuchi Goel

In a significant move to streamline labor dispute resolution in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the government has introduced important amendments to Federal Decree-Law No. (33) of 2021 on the Regulation of Labor Relations. 

Dubai: These changes, as outlined in Federal Decree-Law No. (20) of 2023, bring about a more efficient and accessible mechanism for addressing disputes between employers and workers. This article delves into the key modifications and their implications for the labor landscape in the UAE.


The cornerstone of these amendments is the transformation of Article 54, which governs the resolution of disputes between employers and workers. The revisions aim to expedite the resolution process while ensuring fairness and transparency.

  • Filing Disputes: Under the new provisions, in the event of a dispute, the concerned party must file an application with the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratization (MOHRE). The MOHRE is tasked with assessing the application and taking the necessary steps to facilitate an amicable settlement.

  • Threshold for MOHRE Resolution: Notably, the MOHRE now has the authority to issue a final decision on disputes when the claimed amount is less than AED 50,000. This development marks a crucial shift, allowing for swift resolution of smaller disputes without the need for prolonged legal proceedings.

  • Executive Deed: In cases where the MOHRE has the jurisdiction to resolve the dispute, its decision is given the status of an executive deed. This provides the decision with legal weight and ensures that it can be enforced promptly. Any party not satisfied with the MOHRE's decision can seek recourse through the legal system within fifteen working days.

  • Referral to Competent Court: For disputes exceeding AED 50,000 or involving non-compliance with previous MOHRE decisions, the MOHRE will refer the matter to the competent court. This referral is accompanied by a memorandum detailing the dispute, arguments of the involved parties, and MOHRE's recommendations.

  • Payment of Wages: To safeguard workers' interests, the MOHRE may require employers to continue paying workers' wages for a maximum of two months during the dispute. This measure helps prevent financial hardship for employees.

  • Preventive Measures: The amendments also grant the MOHRE the authority to impose administrative procedures or measures on employers to avert the escalation of individual disputes into collective labor disputes, which could harm the public interest.


The UAE's amendments to Federal Decree-Law No. (33) of 2021 signal a significant leap forward in labor dispute resolution. By introducing a threshold for MOHRE resolution, promoting swift amicable settlements, and enforcing timely legal action for larger disputes, the government aims to enhance the overall efficiency and fairness of the labor relations framework. 

These changes, effective from January 1, 2024, underline the UAE's commitment to maintaining a robust and equitable labor market for both employers and workers.


Our team frequently extends its legal expertise and advice on labor related matter to both employees and employers. In the event you have any queries or want to receive further information, let us know and we are sure to support you. 

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