The youth of a nation is seen as the future of the nation and therefore it is essential to guide them in the right directions and protect them from exploitation while working. Work under the law1 is defined as human effort, whether intellectual, technical or physical, performed in exchange for a salary which may be of a permanent or temporary nature. Federal law no. 8 of 1980 concerning the regulation of labor relations (hereinafter referred to as "the law") makes special provisions for the youth of the nation. Articles 20 to 26 of the law relate to the regulation of the working conditions of a young person and this article assesses and discusses it.
First, it is important to understand who all fall into the definition of the term “youth”. The term is not defined in current law and, therefore, the general meaning of the term must be considered. In general terms, the term "youth" refers to the phase of life that is between childhood and adulthood. The age up to which a person is said to be in childhood is not mentioned but article 86 of Federal Law no. 5 of 1985 regarding the United Arab Emirates State Civil Transactions Law, a person enters at the age of 7 and article 85 of the same law provides that one person in UAE reaches the age of majority at 21 years old. age. Therefore, if we consider the age of under 7 as childhood and the age of 21 and over as adulthood, the age of adulthood. a young person must be between 7 years old and 21 years old.
This article deals with regulatory provisions relating to youth employment. Article 20 of the law provides a minimum age for a young person to be employed, it states that a young person of either sex must be at least 15 years old to be employed . Therefore, the youth employment regulations are applicable to young people aged 15 to 21. Employing a young person under the age of 15 in the state of the United Arab Emirates would be illegal. This is why section 21 of the law provides that measures must be taken by an employer to confirm the young person's age before employing him. The employer is expected to keep a personal file for the youngster and is obligated to keep documents attesting to the young person's age. The following documents must be kept in the young person's personal file:
1. A birth certificate or an official extract thereof, or an age estimate certificate issued by a competent doctor and authenticated by the competent health authorities. (for proof and verification that the young person is of working age)
2. A required health suitability certificate issued by a competent and authenticated physician.
3. Written consent from the youth's guardian or trustee.
In addition, the law provides for the keeping of a special register with essential information about young people in the workplace by the employer. This register should contain information regarding the name and age of the young person, the full name of the guardian or trustee of the young person, the place of residence, the date of employment and the work for which the young person is employed. The hire date serves to confirm that the young employee was of working age. The professional role of young people should be specified because young people are only allowed to perform work considered safe for them. Article 24 of the law provides that the employment of young people in dangerous or arduous conditions or in conditions prejudicial to their state of health is prohibited. The circumstances and the environment considered dangerous and harmful to the health of young people are determined by virtue of a decision made by the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs after consultation with the competent authorities on this matter. Here only the physical health of the adolescent is taken into consideration, but with the effect of an amendment, the safeguarding of mind and sanity provision should also be considered. be added in the current law, as the youth is an age where the mind imprints itself very quickly and easily and therefore it is essential to keep it away from activities contrary to the law. ethical, immoral and illegal.
In addition, the law provides for the length of time a young person is allowed to work in terms of schedules and number of hours. Article 23 states that a young person can only be employed during the day, but this provision is limited to employment in industrial enterprises. So there are no restrictions on the employment of young people overnight at workplaces other than industrial enterprises. It also gives the meaning of the word "night" as being a period of at least twelve consecutive hours including the period of 8%. mr. until 6 a.m. mr. Article 25 of the law limits the maximum working time to 6 hours per day for young people. These working hours would also include intervals for rest, meals or prayers. The intervals together should be at least one hour long and can be greater than but never less than that. In addition, the interval or intervals should be fixed in such a way that the young person does not work more than four consecutive hours and the young person is not kept at the workplace for more than seven consecutive hours. In addition, the law also enumerated provisions within it against making the young person pay overtime or retaining him in the workplace after working hours or having young people dedicate working days. rest which includes Fridays and holidays.
Sometimes, for development and rehabilitation purposes, it is necessary for the young person to be forced to work longer or to attend work on rest days. In such cases, the law makes a special provision for philanthropic and educational institutions, which can be exempted from the aforementioned provisions if the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs deems it appropriate. This is not a rule, but only a discretionary power of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs which will take into consideration all the necessary facts and circumstances before granting exemptions.
These provisions should be kept in mind by employers, their representatives, guardians and youth trustees. As section 34 of the law states that they are and will be partially responsible for the following of the above provisions of the law.
1 Federal law no. 8 of 1980 concerning the regulation of labor relations