Mental Harassment at Workplace: A Comprehensive Analysis of Bullying and Harassment under UAE Law
In today’s professional environment, the issue of bullying and harassment in the workplace has gained significant attention. Not only can such behaviors adversely affect an employee’s mental health, but they can also have severe consequences for an organization’s productivity and reputation. This article aims to delve into the topic of
mental harassment at the workplace, specifically in the context of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We will explore the legal framework established by the UAE to address bullying and harassment, prov
iding a comprehensive analysis of the measures taken to ensure a safe and respectful work environment for all employees.
- Understanding Bullying and Harassment at workplace
Workplace bullying and harassment refer to the persistent mistreatment, intimidation, or victimization of an individual within a professional setting. These behaviors can manifest in various forms, including verbal, physical, or psychological abuse. Mental harassment at the workplace, in particular, encompasses tactics aimed at undermining an employee’s psychological well-being, such as constant criticism, isolation, or humiliation. Such conduct can result in severe emotional distress, anxiety, and even depression, adversely impacting both an employee’s personal life and their professional performance.
- The Legal Framework in the UAE
Recognizing the detrimental effects of workplace bullying and harassment, the UAE has taken significant steps to address this issue. The UAE’s most recent labor legislation, which was implemented on February 2, 2022, upholds this entitlement in Article 14. While the law does not explicitly use the term “mental harassment,” it includes provisions that cover various forms of workplace mistreatment.
The UAE Labor Law establishes an employer’s duty to provide a safe and healthy work environment for employees. This provision encompasses protecting workers from any form of harassment or mistreatment that may negatively impact their mental well-being. Additionally, Employees are protected by the law against workplace discrimination, including on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, social origin, and disability. Such discrimination would hinder equal employment opportunities or impede an employee’s ability to obtain and retain employment. Although maternity and pregnancy are not explicitly identified as protected characteristics, employers cannot terminate or threaten to terminate an employee because of their pregnancy or maternity leave.
Furthermore, the law stipulates that men and women should receive equal pay for the same job.
Although no specific penalties are associated with discrimination or sexual harassment, an employer may face fines ranging from AED 5,000 to AED 1,000,000 for violating the law. The number of employees impacted by the violation may also result in a multiplier effect on the fines imposed.
- Reporting and Remedies:
For employees affected by mental harassment at work, the UAE legal system provides several reporting mechanisms and remedies. Victims of bullying and harassment in the workplace must know their rights and their options.
a. Internal Reporting and Grievance Procedures:
Employees facing workplace harassment are encouraged to report incidents to their immediate supervisor, HR department, or any designated authority within the organization. Employers are required to establish effective internal grievance procedures that ensure the confidentiality of the complaint and provide a fair and impartial investigation.
b. The Role of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MoHRE):
In the UAE, labor laws are overseen and enforced by the https://www.mohre.gov.ae/en/home.aspxMoHRE. A complaint can be submitted to the MoHRE if employees have exhausted internal reporting channels or feel their concerns have not been adequately addressed. Upon finding the employer in violation, the ministry will investigate and may impose penalties.
c. Legal Remedies and Compensation:
Employees who have suffered bullying and harassment in the workplace can seek legal recourse through the courts. The UAE Labor Law empowers the labor courts to award compensation to victims, taking into account the severity of the harassment and its impact on the employee’s well-being.
- Employer Responsibilities and Preventive Measures:
Employers have a crucial role in preventing and addressing workplace harassment in the workplace. It is their responsibility to foster a culture of respect and zero tolerance for bullying and harassment. Employers can take several proactive measures, such as:
- Developing clear anti-harassment policies that define unacceptable behaviors and provide a reporting mechanism.
- Conducting regular training programs to educate employees on recognizing and preventing workplace bullying and harassment.
- Promoting an inclusive and supportive work environment where open communication is encouraged.
- Promptly investigating any complaints of bullying or harassment and taking appropriate disciplinary action against the perpetrators.
- Offering counseling or support services to affected employees to assist in their recovery and well-being.
- Conducting periodic assessments of the workplace environment to identify and address any potential risks or issues related to mental harassment.
Bullying and harassment in the workplace is a serious concern that can have profound effects on individuals and organizations. Employees should be aware of their rights and the reporting mechanisms available to them. Employers must fulfill their responsibilities by fostering a safe and respectful work environment through preventive measures and prompt action against any instances of mental harassment. By working together, employees and employers can create a workplace culture that prioritizes mental well-being and ensures a positive and productive professional atmosphere.You can stay informed about the developing time and law situation in the UAE by signing up with our website.