recognizing unions & labour rights for all, including women & international staff

CUD recognizes and supports the human rights that employees and staff members of the University have, for this reason it has policies that protect its employees and provide the necessary resources so that they can perform optimally in the University facilities, as well as The University allows the workers' union made up of staff members who are spokespersons for the other employees to discuss labor issues with University directors. In this way, the University contributes to the human rights of workers.

Policy Aim

Under the UAE Code, protected grounds are race, color, descent, place of origin, indigenous identity, religion, marital status, familial status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, political beliefs, and unrelated criminal convictions. The Policy's function is to defend the human rights of all employees and staff members.

Policy Statement

It is the policy of Canadian University Dubai to develop, implement and distribute policies, procedures, guidelines, and work rules for staff at all levels; and monitor its application and compliance through models, communication and training by management in the following areas:

      • Workforce planning and employment

      • Training and professional development

      • Benefits and compensation administration

      • Labor and employee relations

      • Risk management

      • Effective use of information systems

      • The Department of Human Resources at CUD will establish, maintain and disseminate additional policies, procedures and/or guidelines to carry out this Policy

Workforce planning and employment

Job analysis

Is the process of gathering and analyzing information about the content and the human requirements of jobs, as well as, the context in which jobs are performed this process is used to determine placement of jobs Under CUD Values the decision-making in this area is shared by units and Human Resources specific internal approval processes will be determined by the unit's organizational leadership.

Training and Professional Development

Canadian University Dubai shall encourage employee participation in sponsored professional development activities and programs that address the unique needs of employees to achieve individual career and organizational goals.

Benefits and compensation administration

The University strives to provide base compensation for exempt and non-exempt staff that is externally competitive with the relevant market and internally aligned with market reference ranges of individuals who have similar responsibilities, demonstrated competencies and experience. The University will utilize variable compensation (incentive plans and recognition awards) as appropriate to further support the achievement of the University’s goals and core values while considering the competitive market for positions.

Labor and employee relations

Canadian University Dubai shall analyze, develop, implement, and evaluate the workplace relationships and working conditions that balance University and employee needs and rights in support of the University’s strategic goals, objectives, and values.

Canadian University Dubai shall provide employees with information pertaining to the University’s work rules, employment practices, performance and conduct expectations; benefits and compensation administration; and relevant administrative procedures.

Canadian University Dubai shall facilitate the negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreement.

Risk Management

Canadian University Dubai shall promote a respectful, safe, secure, and healthy workplace environment by deploying risk management strategies, sponsoring wellness activities, and complying with applicable federal, state, and local laws. Additionally, the University shall minimize risk and liability by implementing a record retention policy, business continuity, disaster recovery plans and other policies and practices to support this effort.

Information Systems

Canadian University Dubai shall determine and implement the strategic application of existing and available integrated technical tools, systems, and business machines to increase the efficiency of human resources management functions, automate processes, and produce and evaluate metrics and measurements for decision support.

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The policy's primary purpose is to establish a clear vision of gender equality and guide the advancement towards it at the University. The present document outlines the scope and application of the gender equality policy and its key policy areas. The policy is coherent with the University's regulations and policies. However, it highlights the goal of gender equality and equal opportunities.

Scope and application

The policy shall enter into force on May 2022. As such, a budget envelope is dedicated to its implementation as of this date. The Gender Equality Committee will analyze the policy every three years. Its review requires the approval and the validation of the Rector and the Board of Trustees.

Staff composition

Gender equality promotes the optimal use of talents allowing the Canadian University Dubai to remain innovative. We are committed to removing any discriminatory barrier in recruitment, retention, and career opportunities. Promoting gender equality involves gender-proofing recruitment, retention, and promotion procedures to improve the gender balance of our staff. Job application writing is de-biased and linguistically formulated in a gender-sensitive way; furthermore, quantifiable indicators of curricula consider parental and family-related leave periods. We address gender imbalances in decision-making processes.

Workplace Climate

CUD have a strong commitment to zero tolerance of harassment, mobbing, or any form of discrimination in any of our activities. The University fosters a professional environment defined by equal opportunity and fair treatment for all staff members. CUD provide the needed infrastructure, procedures, and network of conciliators to solve any episode of conflict. All aspects of the code of conduct apply.

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The university respects the rights of employees, members of the university staff, in this sense, staff members make up the union of university employees which are the voice of all CUD employees, speak with the board and presidents of the university seeking to improve more and more and in turn the union represents the other employees. The president is in charge of going as a representative to the meetings, in case he is absent for some reason, the vice president replaces him.

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To develop the CUD Human Rights Policy for Faculty and Staff and Staff Gender Equality Policy, the university relied on the labor laws of the UAE. CUD supports government laws and promotes them at the university to improve the working lives of its employees.

The advancement and protection of the rights of workers is a national priority. The UAE is considered a major recipient of foreign labor due to the country's open policies and tolerant and cosmopolitan community. According to the World Bank, foreign workers in the UAE sent back home more than USD 29 billion in 2014 – almost all of which went to developing countries – making the UAE the third-largest source of remittances in the world. This income then benefits workers' families and home country economies.

In furtherance of its commitment to upholding labor rights, the UAE has ratified nine major International Labour Organization conventions related to the rights of workers and has adopted numerous laws to protect workers' rights, including in the areas of recruitment, pay, housing, and health. The UAE has also signed numerous Memoranda of Understanding with workers' home countries, designed to promote cooperation in protecting the rights of workers in the UAE.

Domestically, the UAE is continuously working to strengthen worker protections. In 2017, the UAE implemented broad measures in support of overseas domestic workers (Federal Law No. 10 of 2017), guaranteeing individuals the right to retain personal documents and passports, change employers with greater ease, and receive mandated paid leave, insurance, and accommodation. The reforms focus on improving the transparency of job terms and employment contracts and spell out how contracts can be terminated.

Under these policies, prospective workers are asked to sign a standard employment offer in their home country that will in turn be filed with the Ministry of Labor before a work permit is issued. That agreement is then registered as a legal contract once the worker arrives in the country, and no changes will be allowed unless they extend additional benefits to which the worker agrees. Either side can terminate the contract, after which the worker will be free to change employers.

Furthermore, charging recruitment fees to prospective employees is illegal in the UAE, and steps have been taken to protect workers from unscrupulous recruiters. The confiscation of workers' passports is prohibited, and workers do not need their employer's permission to leave the country. All workers must be provided with comprehensive health insurance at the cost of the employer, and strict rules govern the provision of proper accommodation. More than 3.2 million workers are paid through the Wage Protection System, an electronic transfer system that guarantees the timely and full payment of agreed-upon wages.

Should any worker have a conflict with their employer, the law also provides free-of-charge, formal adjudication by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization. A 24-hour toll-free hotline allows workers to file complaints. The UAE has established offices in courts to provide legal support to workers in labor disputes, and labor care units have been established across the UAE to provide protection for workers and raise awareness of their rights.

Enforcement of protections for workers has intensified, and substantial penalties have been imposed for violations relating to working conditions and workers' rights.

Safeguarding domestic workers

In service of domestic workers, Federal Law No. 10 of 2017 also ensures that workers are aware of the contract terms prior to departure from their home country and includes key entitlements and provisions, such as weekly rest and 30 days of paid annual leave. In addition, the law strictly regulates the work of recruitment agencies in order to avoid any form of abuse such as payment of commission in exchange for employment. Moreover, the law sets out essential prohibitions, such as the ban of employment of minors, and includes anti-discrimination clauses.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has also licensed 37 centers under the name “Tawjeeh." The centers inform workers of their rights and responsibilities and provide education on the UAE's culture and customs.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has also established 39 service centers across the country. These centers, called “Tadbeer,” offer trainings designed to raise domestic workers’ awareness of their rights and responsibilities and provide them with copies of their employment contracts.

Section 2(d) – Freedom of association


Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

  • freedom of association

  • Similar provisions

Similar provisions may be found in the following Canadian laws and international instruments binding on Canada: section 1(e) of the Canadian Bill of Rights; article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; Article 8 of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights; articles 1-11 of the International Labour Organization Convention No. 87 – Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize; article 22 of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man; and Article 45(c) of the Charter of the Organization of American States.

See also the following international, regional and comparative law instruments that are not legally binding on Canada but include similar provisions: article 11 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; and article 16 of the American Convention on Human Rights. While freedom of association is not explicitly set out in the Constitution of the United States of America, it has long been held to be implicit in the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of speech, assembly and petition. With respect to collective bargaining, see International Labour Organization Convention No. 98 concerning the application of the principles of the right to organize and to bargain collectively.


Freedom of association is intended to recognize the profoundly social nature of human endeavours and to protect the individual from state-enforced isolation in the pursuit of their ends (Mounted Police Association of Ontario v. Canada, 2015 SCC 1 (“MPAO”) at paragraph 54). It protects the collective action of individuals in pursuit of their common goals (Lavigne v. Ontario Public Service Employees Union, [1991] 2 S.C.R. 211 at 253). It functions to protect individuals against more powerful entities, thus empowering vulnerable groups and helping them work to right imbalances in society (MPAO, supra, at paragraph 58). It allows the achievement of individual potential through interpersonal relationships and collective action (Dunmore v. Ontario (Attorney General), [2001] 3 S.C.R. 1016 at paragraph 17).


Scope of freedom of association


The Supreme Court of Canada’s approach to freedom of association has undergone significant revision, starting with Dunmore v. Ontario, [2001] 3 S.C.R. 1016 and Health Services and Support-Facilities Subsector Bargaining Assn. v. British Columbia, [2007] 2 S.C.R. 391 (“Health Services”). Caution should therefore be exercised in relying on case law which predates this jurisprudence.

This applies particularly to pre-2001 decisions in the labour relations context on the “freedom to associate” (as opposed to the freedom from compelled association) – most of which have been overturned (e.g., the so-called “Labour Trilogy” (Reference Re Public Service Employee Relations Act (Alta.), [1987] 1 S.C.R. 313; P.S.A.C. v. Canada, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 424; R.W.D.S.U. v. Saskatchewan, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 460) as well as Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada v. Northwest Territories, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 367 and Delisle v. Canada, [1999] 2 S.C.R. 989). However, it also applies to decisions outside the labour relations context, such as Canadian Egg Marketing Agency v. Richardson, [1998] 3 S.C.R. 157 (“C.E.M.A.”), at paragraphs 105, 111, where the Court had held that only the “associational aspect” of an activity and not the activity itself are protected under section 2(d). In MPAO, supra, at paragraph 41, the Court described C.E.M.A. as applying a “narrow” view of freedom of association.

Freedom of association protects three classes of activities: (1) the “constitutive” right to join with others and form associations; (2) the “derivative” right to join with others in the pursuit of other constitutional rights; and (3) the “purposive” right to join with others to meet on more equal terms the power and strength of other groups or entities. Under the constitutive right, the state is prohibited from interfering with individuals meeting or forming associations, but is permitted to interfere with the activities pursued by an association. The derivative right protects associations’ activities that specifically relate to other constitutional freedoms, but does not protect other activities of the association. The purposive right protects associations’ activities, including collective bargaining and striking, that enable individuals who are vulnerable and ineffective to meet on more equal terms the power and strength of those with whom their interests interact or conflict (MPAO, supra, paragraphs 52-54, 66).

Freedom of association is not merely a bundle of individual rights but collective rights which inhere in associations (MPAO, paragraph 62). Section 2(d) does not just protect activities which are capable of performance by individuals, as there are certain collective activities (e.g., singing in harmony) which are inconceivable at the individual level (Dunmore, supra at paragraphs 16-17; Health Services, supra at paragraphs 27-28).

Section 2(d) does not protect an association’s activities that are aimed at enhancing social imbalances. Associational activity that constitutes violence is also not protected by section 2(d) (MPAO, supra, at paragraph 59).

Freedom from compelled association

Section 2(d) encompasses what has been called a “negative aspect”, a “freedom not to associate” or a “freedom from compelled (or ‘forced’) association”. However, section 2(d) is not a constitutional right to isolation. It does not protect against all forms of involuntary association, and was not intended to protect against association with others that is a necessary and inevitable part of membership in a modern democratic community (Bernard v. Canada, [2014] 1 S.C.R. 227 at paragraph 38). Some forms of association are an unavoidable aspect of life (e.g., family, work, association with the government and its programs and policies). Compelled association in the form of legal obligations arising from these unavoidable types of associations does not in and of itself offend section 2(d) (Lavigne, supra at 320-21; R. v. Advance Cutting & Coring Ltd., [2001] 3 S.C.R. 209 (“Advance Cutting”), at paragraphs 19, 194, 223, 232).

The Court has thus determined that there is a threshold issue in determining whether there is an infringement of the freedom from compelled association. Courts must consider whether it is appropriate for the legislature to require persons with similar interests in a particular area to become part of a single group to foster those interests (for example, to require employees in a particular workplace to pay dues to a union). In other words, one must first be satisfied that the compelled combining of efforts towards a common end is required to further the collective social welfare.

Where such a combining of efforts is required, and where the government is acting with respect to individuals whose association is already “compelled by the facts of life”, the individual’s freedom of association will not be limited unless there is a danger to a specific liberty interest (described below). This approach only applies, however, so long as the association is acting in furtherance of the cause which justified its creation (Lavigne, supra at 328-29; Advance Cutting, supra at paragraphs 196, 285).

Forced association threatens an identified liberty interest when there is: imposition of a form of ideological conformity on the claimant; (Advance Cutting, supra at paragraphs 19, 195, 196, 220; Lavigne, supra at pages 328-29); government establishment of, or support for, particular political causes; impairment of individual freedom to join or associate with causes of his or her choosing; and personal identification of an individual with causes which he or she does not support (Lavigne, supra at pages 328-29).

Underinclusive government action / positive government obligation

As the Charter applies only to governmental actors and actions (section 32), legislatures are normally not required to legislate in respect of private interference with freedom of association. However, in exceptional circumstances, legislation designed to foster freedom of association may exclude categories of individuals — for example, as in Dunmore, the exclusion of agricultural workers from a labour relations statute. Such “underinclusive” legislation may thus affirmatively permit private actors (e.g., agricultural employers) to interfere with associational activity and thereby substantially orchestrate, encourage or sustain this private violation of freedom of association.

In considering whether under inclusion limits freedom of association, the Court in Dunmore set out three considerations:

    1. the claim of under inclusion should be grounded in fundamental Charter freedoms rather than in access to a particular statutory regime;

    2. claimants must establish, based on a proper evidentiary foundation, that exclusion from a statutory regime permits a substantial interference with the exercise of protected associational activity (the claimant must be seeking more than a particular channel for exercising his or her fundamental freedoms); and

    3. there must be a minimum degree of state action (in other words, it must be shown that the state can truly be held accountable for any inability to exercise a fundamental freedom) (Dunmore, supra at paragraphs 22-26).

This does not mean that there is a constitutional right to protective legislation per se. On their own, the above principles do not oblige the state to act where it has not already legislated in respect of a certain area. (Dunmore, supra at paragraphs 22-26, 29; Health Services, supra at paragraph 34).

It is unclear whether the three-part Dunmore test remains good law. It has not been applied by the Court since Baier v. Alberta, [2007] 2 S.C.R. 673 (a freedom of expression case). The Court explicitly declined to apply it in Ontario v. Criminal Lawyers' Association, [2010] 1 SCR 815 at paragraph 31, another freedom of expression case. Despite the apparently exceptional nature of section 2(d) being used to impose positive obligations on government, the Supreme Court in Ontario v. Fraser, [2011] 2 SCR 3, found that workers who are “incapable of exercising their right to collective bargaining” have a “right against the state” when it fails “to impose statutory obligations on employers” (paragraph 73). The Court does not even mention the Dunmore test.

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