On 18 October 2018, the Dubai Court and the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MOHRE) launched a “remote litigation service” for labour disputes under AED 20,000 in value.
Under this initiative, the requirement of personally attending hearings for labour disputes under AED 20,000 is dispensed with, and parties and their representatives are permitted to ‘attend’ the hearing before the judge electronically. The cases will be heard by a single judge, who is required to render judgment within 24 hours. This initiative has been introduced in order to dispose of low value labour cases in Dubai quickly and efficiently.
Labour complaints can be filed physically, electronically, or by calling the MOHRE hotline (80060). Once the case is registered, the parties to the case (i.e. the employer and the employee) are required to attend in person before a Tawafuq Centre to attempt settlement of the dispute. If the dispute is not resolved, and the value of the dispute is under AED 20,000, it will be referred to the labour court to be considered under the remote litigation service. The parties will be provided with an electronic link which will enable them to upload written submissions and evidence, and attend a hearing remotely if required. The service will also allow the parties to access the judgment electronically.
The service is not yet operational, and is expected to start functioning in November 2018. ■