Labor laws or employment laws are a collection of laws, organizational rulings, and precedents which address the lawful rights of, and restrictions on, working people and their organizations. As such, it mediates many aspects of the relationship between trade unions, employers and employees (Chilumpha 2004). However, there are two broad categories of labor law the first being the collective labor laws relating to the three way relationship between the employee, the employer and the labor union.
Secondly are the individual labor laws concerning the employees’ rights at work and through the contract for work. These are therefore the various and distinct levels of labor laws that should exist in every economy or state; laws that govern the conduct of an individual and laws that govern the conduct of many at one go (Chilumpha 2004). But both the individual and the group are one and the same thing, therefore both laws govern the conduct of an employee and an employee falls into both categories, he is an individual within a group of workers.
This paper will establish the difference in the labor laws between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Federal Republic of Germany. To begin with the two states are located in different regions; Germany is among the founding members of the European Union its laws are therefore govern by a strict code of regulation, it should suite the region and not only the state (Eurofound 2009). UAE on the other hand is regulated in the Middle East; it is a huge financial centre in the Middle East and therefore has a lot of instances where foreigners come within its economy, same with Germany.
Religion is the other factor that has to be considered. The UAE is an Islamic state; Muslim way of life is therefore engrained in all aspects of the society including its system of Law; labor laws are no exception (Cotran 2006). Germany on the other hand is guided by social laws constructed to fit the needs of the society. Religious biases are therefore not considered within the Germany labor laws. On one hand we have the Federal Republic of Germany, with its Agenda 2010.
Germany has for sometime aimed at an inclusive reform of the German labor market with regard to labor laws, changes are being made notably concerning the protection against dismissal and limited-term employment contracts (see Part 1, II, 3 and 7c). For the first time, there is a standard legal claim to a severance payment but only under certain circumstances in the case of dismissals for redundancies. The new law entered into force as of 1 January 2004 onwards (Lorenz & Partners 2005).
The labor laws within Germany are therefore notably updated to suite the times and the market also because it is within the EU means that the labor laws are to be of a certain standard as required by the EU codes of governance (Jung 2001). The United Arab Emirates also has labor laws; Labor matters in the UAE are governed by Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regulating labor relations as amended by federal laws No. 24 of 1981, No. 15 of 1985 and No. 12 of 1986.
There are particular labor related regulations applicable in some of the free zones in the UAE, such as the Jewel Ali Free Zone. Therefore it is notable that though the UAE is a regional financial center, its labor laws are not entirely updated as seen above; there is bound to a lot of labor changes within the system that should have required an update on the labor laws between the 1980’s and 2010. But both the German and UAE regulations have been established to protect the workers rights (Al Tamil & Advocates).
According to Article 3 of the Law, the Law is applicable to all staff and employees working in the United Arab Emirates, whether they are nationals or expatriates. However, there are certain categories of individuals who are exempt from the laws as listed below: 1. Staff and workers employed by the national government, government departments of the member emirates, the municipalities, public bodies, federal and local public institutions and those staff and workers employed in federal and local governmental projects. 2. Members of the armed forces, police and security units.
3. Domestic servants/workers. 4. Agricultural workers and persons engaged in grazing of animals (this exemption does not include persons who are employed in corporations which process agricultural products and/or those who are permanently engaged in the operation or repair of machines required for agriculture). (Al Tamil & Advocates) The first clear distinction between the two labor laws is the omission of some of the UAE workers from the protection of the law; it will be assumed that they are covered using a different law and system.
Different because may be it provides them with better terms than the rest of the citizenry may be but this distinction shows a clear disharmony within the system. The labor laws should be able to apply to all employees regardless of the profession or gender. The German laws have no such distinction showing a clear harmony in all workers of the state including those in the army (Lorenz & Partners 2005. In UAE it shows that there are some workers who receive preferential preferences; such inequalities are therefore harmful to the system.
There are other distinctions that have been identified such as gender differences. While there are some distinctions according to gender and the amount of work one can do in general; such should not influence the type of career one is to pursue. In the UAE women can’t partake in certain careers; this is because of the religious aspect that is seen in most Islamic states (Labor Law UAE & Khasawneh and Associates 2008). There is therefore a clear distinction between the genders; while the German labor laws stipulate that the principle of equal treatment is laid down as a basic right of the German Constitution.
Any discrimination on grounds of sex, race, nationality, handicap, religion, and political opinion and trade union activities is outlawed. In order to fulfill the obligations arising from EU directives, sections 611 A and 611 B of the German Civil Code were enacted in 1980 (Miller and Zumbans 2006). But there is a general agreement on the kinds of labor one can undertake; though not stipulated in the German codes, some careers are labor intensive and therefore many women are told not to engage in them for obvious reason.
There are several similarities with the two codes; to begin with as stipulated above both have been constructed with the worker in mind. There are several degrees of effectiveness due to the various issues within the two states but both do protect the workers. The first similarity is on issues of employment of minors, on both codes the minimum age of employment is 15 years. No minor under the age of 15 years is supposed to work. The German code goes further to clarify that even those who are older but attend school should not be allowed to work until they are of age to start working (FedEE 2010).
The UAE code stipulates the working conditions and working times to protect the minors from exploitation (Working in Germany 2010 & Khasawneh and Associates 2008). Secondly both codes have agreed on issues of work hours; the UAE codes states that the normal work hours per day is 8 with enough breaks in between to allow for recuperation, same with the German code. In both labor laws all the workers are subject to deductions such as tax to the state or as agreed within the organization. Such deductions are necessary to enable the state functions to continue for example the state protection of workers.
As stated above, the United Arabs Emirates is considered a religious state; within the state everything is governed through Islamic principles. The labor laws also fall within the principles of Islam; a practicing Muslim is supposed to pray several times a day, the labor laws therefore have catered for that by ensuring the one gets enough breaks to fulfill this obligations. In the context of the UAE labor laws and all the other laws, the basic and fundamental structure is religion. The laws have been modified around the basis of Islam.
There are some tendencies of negotiation through the established social system but all in all there is a lot of religious influence. On the other hand the German codes basic structure is the society through various processes such as collective agreement. The German republic is governed through social principles; social rules and procedures that protect all within the constitution equally. Such is the power of collective agreement. Some of the sources of German labor laws also include the European laws and collective agreements.
In conclusion, the two states do have labor laws that protect the workers both at the individual level and the collective level. Though both have distinct similarities and differences on several levels, both codes have the interest of the worker at heart though with varying intensity and effectiveness. References: Al Tamimi & Company. (Nd). Labor Laws in the UAE. Retrieved on 11th May 2010. http://www. zu. ac. ae/library/html/UAEInfo/documents/UAELabourLaw. pdf. Chilumpha Cassim. (2004). Labor law. Blantyre, Malawi: Commercial Law Centre Cotran et al. (2006). Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern law.
Vol. 10, 2003/2004. Boston: Brill Academic Publishers. Eurofound. (2009). Labor Law Germany. Retrieved on 11th May 2010. http://www. eurofound. europa. eu/emire/GERMANY/LABOURLAW-DE. htm. Federation of European Employers (FedEE). (2010). National Labor Laws. Germany. Retrieved on 11th May 2010. http://www. fedee. com/natlaw. html#germany Jung Liliane. (2001). National Labor Law Profile: Federal Republic of Germany. ILO. Retrieved on 11th May 2010. http://www. ilo. org/public/english/dialogue/ifpdial/info/national/ger. htm. Khasawneh K & Associates. (2008). UAE: Employment Law.
GMB Research. Retrieved on 11th May 2010. http://www. kslg. net/doc/UAE_Employment_Law_Khasawneh_Assoc_26Aug08. pdf. Labor Laws in the UAE. Company/Commercial Laws. Retrieved on 11th May 2010. http://www. angelfire. com/nv/sabu/UAE%20Labour%20Law. html. Lorenz & Partners. (2005). German Labor Law. News Letter No 24 (EN). Retrieved on 11th May 2010. http://www. lorenz. co. th/component/option,com_docman/task,doc_download/gid, 181/Itemid,6/lang,de/ Miller R. A. & Zumbansen P. (2006). Annual of German & European law. Volume II/III (2004/2005). New York; Oxford: Berghahn.