The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) has announced it will provide legal advice through WhatsApp, one of six initiatives intended to reduce the average length of labour disputes and settlements from 30 days to 10.

Use of the encrypted messaging service for legal consultations is part of MOHRE’s Government Accelerators project, in conjunction with the Dubai Courts, to speed up official procedures.

“It will help in explaining and clarifying the rights and duties of both the employer and employee before taking any legal action,” Mohammed Al Hammadi, director of labour relations at the ministry in Dubai, told The National.

One of the other six initiatives is called the ‘green room’, a garden-themed room with plants and greenery on the walls where citizens can go to settle legal disputes.

The room “allows both parties to negotiate and try to resolve the dispute in a calm and positive atmosphere without the intervention of the ministry’s legal researchers,” explained Al Hammadi.

There will also be a gold and black points system to reward organisations that contribute to the objectives of the Government Acceleration team, said Gulf News. Among the other new initiatives are a mobile labour court and an electronic referral system.

The UAE government’s endorsement of WhatsApp in this manner is in stark contrast to the attitude of some other governments to the mobile app. China has recently blocked photo, video and voice messages, although text messages are still allowed.

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