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Sat 3 Jun 2017 03:12 PM

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More than 52,000 UAE firms fined over work permit violations

Over 141,000 fines have been issued for incomplete work permit registration or late renewals, says UAE ministry

More than 52,000 UAE firms fined over work permit violations
(MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

More than 141,000 fines have been issued for incomplete work permit registration or late renewals against 52,765 private sector companies in the UAE, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) announced on Saturday.

In a statement cited by state news agency WAM, the MOHRE said 15 percent of companies in its database were fined.

Saif Al-Suwaidi, Under-Secretary of Human Resources at the Ministry, said: "The number of fines cumulates to 15 percent of the total sum of companies recorded within the Ministry’s database, which confirms the majority's abidance to set laws and regulations.

"Nonetheless, those who failed to adhere are advised to approach the ministry and pay the reduced sums following the Cabinet’s recent decree to cut all fines to AED2,000 per worker," he added.

The Ministry said that additional work permits will not be issued if companies fail to settle their fines.

MOHRE has reduced all fines on work permits and labour contracts and put a ceiling of AED2,000 in accumulated fines.

The new administrative fines decree states that the failure to provide the ministry with the worker’s contract of employment within a period not exceeding 60 days from the date of entry or the residence status modification date is fined AED100 for each month of delay up to a maximum of AED2,000.

The previous fine was AED500 for each month of delay without specifying a maximum limit, WAM said.

Failure to renew work permits within a period not exceeding 60 days from the expiry date is charged at AED200 per month up to a maximum of AED2,000, while the previous fine was AED500 for each month of delay without setting a maximum limit for the fine.

If an employer fails to provide the ministry with a mission work permit labour contract within a period of 30 days from the worker’s date of entry, the fine is AED100 per day up to a maximum of AED2,000. Previously, the fine was AED100 per day but without a maximum limit.

Failure to renew the mission work permit labour contract within a period of seven days from the expiry date will see a fine of AED100 per day up to a maximum of AED2,000. The previous fine did not set a maximum limit.

john 2 years ago

The Gulf needs to consider a new work permit system where the individual incurs full responsibility of their own work permit that is issued by the State. The market will float in the beginning, but the benefits of moving away from the present system is that the costs are on the individual and off the company. The State benefits because they can control the amount of work permits by sector issued, and especially SMEs who are struggling presently, will no longer have to incur constant employee visa costs. Some sectors the State may want to leave on the present work permit system, but to modernise the system is imperative in a modern progressive society. Visa restructuring is part of balancing act, but with the present situation, which is fraught with issues as stated in this article, the State can control visas and work permits throughout the country in a more efficient manner.

george 2 years ago

it has its merits. One of the issues we faced (until I stopped hiring from overseas) is that many people who applied for the job had no intention of staying, they only wanted the visa until they could find another job. Or some people that thought they could come over for a paid 3 month vacation. These costs were crippling us and making other people suffer.

Ahmed 2 years ago

Hence, read John's comment below. With a work permit system controlled by the State. these costs your company would not incur. Those who can't afford their own visa fees will have to leave the UAE. Also, what is imperative is that currently with the present system the State can't control work permits according to sectors, and they would have more control with a new work permit system. Transferring visit visas to work visas needs to be addressed with the implementation of visa quotas. The population in Dubai is too imbalanced and this causes crime within society. How many people overstay their visas in Dubai and are working illegally in the country? I really sympathise with SMEs who are victims of exploitation by applicants as you stated in your comment.