There are different labor laws in different countries. These are practices that govern the working environment by protecting the interests of the employers and their employees. On one hand, labor laws aims at improving the productivity of workers by ensuring that the employers are complying with the provisions for minimum wage and safe working conditions. The employers are also protected from malpractices from their employees. In the emphasis, they are not allowed to engage in practices that may breach the terms of the employment contract. Moreover, the law is different in different countries. For example, the employment laws linked to trade unions are different from those relating to specific individuals. This paper aims at exploring the comparison of labor law in the UK and UAE, the conflicts between the employees and their employers, the effects of labor law on the company and how both the employee and employers are protected.
The Practice of Labor Law in the United Arabs Emirates and the United Kingdom
Article 35 of UAE labor law requires that an employment contract shall be written prior to commencing the employment. It acts as a means of evidence because it contains particulars such as employment date, expiry date of the contract, and wages. Although there are different types of contract, the law requires that neither of the parties should terminate the contract without giving an advance notice to the other. In the UK, the case is the same in that the working relationship is founded on the terms and conditions as stipulated in the employment contract.
Leaves and Holidays
In Article 74, each worker in the UAE is entitled to leave with full pay on occasions such as Higra, Gregorian, Birthday of Prophet Mohammed, and National Day. In addition, in Article 75, all workers are entitled to 30-day annual leave that is fully payable. Before, an employee goes on annual leave the employer is required to pay him or her full wages. However, Article 88 prohibits any worker to work for another employee while on leave. If the employee breaches this provision, the employer may terminate his or her service without notice and deny him the leave allowances. On a similar note, employees in the UK are entitled to at least 5 weeks annual leave that is fully repayable. An employee is also allowed some time-off to deal with an emergency involving a dependant.
In the UAE, Article 25 has set a maximum of 6 working hours daily for children. The working hours should be intercepted with breaks to ensure that no child shall work for four successive hours. No child is allowed to remain at the workplace continuously for more than seven hours. And, children shall under no circumstance be required to work overtime or on a rest day. Article 23 states that no child shall work at night in an industrial enterprise, that is, the period from 8pm to 6am. In relation, the provisions in Article 24 prohibit any child to work in a hazardous environment as defined by the Ministry of Labor. Moreover, prior to employment Article 21 makes it compulsory for the employer to obtain a birth certificate, a certificate of medical fitness, and a written consent from the child’s guardian or the trustee. These documents are kept in the child’s personal file. In Article 20, the provisions make it illegal to employ children less than 15 years.
Under special restrictions in the UK, children between 13 to 18 years are allowed to work on certain jobs. However, no child shall be employed on work that he or she is not physically or mentally capable of performing. Moreover, it is prohibited to employ children to work on industrial processes such as manufacturing, construction and repairing works. The law prohibits children to working environment that are potentially harmful their health. These include the exposure to dangerous chemical and radiations. For all employees under the age of 15, no one allowed to work before 7am or after 7pm, work for four successive hours without a break, or more than 25hours in a week.
Labor Laws and Women Employees
Similar to Article 23, no women shall be required to work at night as provided by Article 27. This refers to the period between from 10pm to 7am. However, Article 28 provides the following exceptions in areas where the operations of the firm may be disrupted and for women working in managerial and technical staff. Women should also not be employed on any job that poses detrimental health effects. On the other hand, Article 30 entitles female workers to a fully paid maternity leave for 45 days if she has worked for more than one year with her employer. For those women, who have worked for a period of less than one year, are also entitled to maternity leave but will receive half the pay. Notably, Article 30 protects women against discrimination by stating that a female worker shall be paid equally to a man if she performs that same work.
The labor law in the UK has various provisions that relate to women employees. For instance, The Equal Pay Act of 1970 stipulates that women should be paid equally for doing the same job or ranked in the same position with a male employee. Secondly, the Working Time Directive, 1999 has guaranteed a maximum of 48 working hours in a week. Additionally, female employees are entitled to an ordinary maternity leave of 26 weeks. However, under certain conditions, women can take an additional maternity leave 26 more weeks.
The Conflicts between Employees and their Employers
There are different causes of conflicts at the workplaces. First, when the employee becomes a frequent absentee or latecomer, he or she will eventually frustrate the employers. The employer may question the lack of commitment and poor attendance of this worker. As a result, absenteeism and lateness will turn towards a conflict between the employer and employee. Secondly, a change in leadership may cause confusions among the employees. They may feel that frequent shifts in policies and management practices are not fair. In this case, the employees may develop some resistance to these changes and transitions. To a further extent, the employees may experience sense of loss when their employees are effecting the changes, leading to a possible conflict. And, it may take some time to ease this kind of tension and confusion.
In addition, discrimination can affect both the employer and worker. When either of them behaves inappropriately based on the other person’s gender, race, or ethnicity, then a kind of pressure will mount. The effects of discrimination build mistrust and resentment that are ingredients for a heated conflict. Notably, most of the employee/employer relationships are caused internally. Fundamentally, the employer is usually looking for ways to lower the wages, lengthen the working hours, to layoff and discharge workers during a crisis. On the contrary, the employees are fighting for the best working conditions and wages. This means that both groups have contradictory interests that lead in conflicts that are demonstrated in strikes and lay-offs.
The Effects of Labor Law on the Companies
The labor law also works together with other federal laws, for instance, together with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is a criminal offence to treat workers differently on basis of gender, race, age, or disability. Secondly, labor laws enforce a legal compliance in aspects of labor and employment. For instance, in the UK the employers are required to meet the standard minimum wage. On the other hand, in the UAE, the foreigners are not allowed to work for other employers apart from their sponsors. Moreover, in both countries, all the employers are entitled to a full payment annual leave. In both the UAE and UK, there are numerous disputes that are arising when the terms of wages and working hours are violated. However, the labor law deals with such disputes by establishing the minimum wage and maximum working hours, and the employers must be compliant.
Protection of Employees and Employers
The law has reduced the powers of the employers in setting the minimum terms of employment. In the emphasis, before labor laws were enacted, the employees had little bargaining power in their working environments. For instance, there were cases of employers to deny opportunities to people with disabilities or paying employees in a discriminatory manner. Such unfair labor practices are outlawed by the labor law and employers with such practices can be prosecuted. On the other end, the law ensures that the company has met the safety standards that promote the safety of its employees. Those companies that violate this provision, the labor law can be used to impose penalties on their management. Furthermore, there are rules that are designed to improve the welfare of the employees. These include compensating the injured workers, maintaining the maximum daily working hours, and creating other standard working conditions.
The labor laws protect the employees from unfair labor practices. For instance, an employee should not be fired because of participating in strikes. Secondly, the employer should not refuse to negotiate with the striking workers or replace the striking workers. Instead all the employees should be reinstated once the strike is over. Secondly, the labor law provides that both the employer and employee can terminate the contract after the expiry of the agreed date. However, in the protection of both parties the court can ignore the willingness to terminate the contract. For instance, the employer may e forced to reinstate the worker if there is evidence that he or she was terminated on discriminatory grounds. The law also reduces the prevalence of the employer to act in bad faith such as firing a worker to avoid paying allowances. Similarly, on the protection of employers, the labor law protects them from false claims from their workers. On this note, an employee cannot claim for allowances that were not agreed upon in the written form of employment contract.
On a further note, there are increasing rates of sexual harassment within the working environment. Sexual harassment occurs in form of offensive language, unwanted physical contact, and sexual advances. The labor law requires that companies should formulate a written policy to deal with grievances associated with sexual offences. It should provide guidelines and procedures of bringing such claims into the attention of the management. Moreover, the employees have the right to protected when making claims of sexual harassment and particularly when the cases are involving an individual in senior positions. The employees should not be intimidated or forced to give in to sexual favors to climb up the corporate ladder.
Conclusively, although the labor laws are not the same in different countries, they are designed to protect the rights of the employees and their workers. The employers are protected from false claims and law suits while the employees are protected in the issues of wages, benefits, discrimination, and other terms of employment. It also ensures that companies maintain safety working conditions that do not threaten the health and safety of the employees. The practice of labor law involves imposing penalties to companies and employers who do not comply with its provisions. In both countries are protected from all forms of discrimination and there is the maximum working hours. However, the major difference is that the employees in the UK are allowed to join trade unions while in the UAE all activities of trade unions are considered illegal.