By Andy Sambidge
Ministry of Labour liquidates bank guarantees worth AED4m after employer flees country
The UAE's Ministry of Labour has said it has liquidated bank guarantees worth more than AED4m to pay the salaries of 1,200 workers after their employer fled the country.
The employer, an Asian investor who has not been named, fled, leaving them unpaid for three months, a senior official said in comments published by news agency WAM.
Humaid Rashid bin Demas, Acting Undersecretary at the Ministry of Labour, told WAM: "Under the directives of the Minister of Labour, Saqr Ghobash, the said establishment's case was referred to Dubai Public Prosecution to take the necessary legal action against it, while the Ministry today liquidated the bank guarantees valued at over AED4m to pay delayed salaries of three months."
He said that the ministry would guarantee the right of any worker who wished to file a case against the fugitive employer.
He added that officials contacted at Dubai Courts have shown their readiness to form a special juridical committee to look into cases and speed up the verdict.
The undersecretary also confirmed that the ministry will work with Dubai police and the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs to facilitate travel procedures for workers who would like to travel home or provide approvals should they wish to transfer to other companies.
"The Asian investor was called after the workers stopped their activities and filed a complaint against him regarding delay in their payments," he was quoted as saying by WAM.
"After an inspection conducted by the ministry, the investor has presented a written pledge to deliver the payments according to a schedule which was signed by the worker, but he has fled the country right before the payment was due."
The ministry has stopped issuing work permits for workers coming from the investor's establishments, he added.
"The ministry will not be lenient with any establishment that delays salaries of workers," he said.
Its NOT the UAE that paid the wages - it was the Bank guarantee of the absconding investor that paid for it.
This is exactly the reason why in Qatar you need an exit permit to leave the country.
Kudos to the UAE government which has taken the right initiative to ensure that the labour gets it's dues. But the investor also owes huge amount of money to the Vendors who have supplied him material over the years. The investor who seem to have fled to USA should be got extradited and tried in the UAE court of law and punished to prevent such recurrence in future and avoid giving UAE market a bad name.
Yes, Its the Labour department, that has encahsed the Bank Guarantee deposited by the investor ,its not the UAE govt as such, yes, but the decision to disburse the BG is wise decision, hats off to the MOL .
Mr. Qatari. Your comment demonstrates the backward mindedness of your country unfortunately. The exit permit system is a joke and if Qatar really wants to attract foreign investment and compete with the likes of Dubai then you need to wake up and modernise your dated way of doing things. The UAE has proven, in this case, that having the RIGHT system in place protects the interests of all those concerned. Bravo to the UAE government for acting on behalf of the 'employee'.
Yes yes yes Qatari, We all know that everything in Qatar is brilliant, wonderful and without reproach.
The exit permit system is deeply flawed. I imagine a guy in the investor's position would have had a multi-exit permit, which wouldn't have stopped him 'fleeing'.
The exit permit system's only real purpose is to give employers total control over their workers. Not exactly an enlightened outlook.
Pop your head outside the UAE, and you will realize that the UAE market already has a bad name thanks to the prevalence of the PDC (Post Dated Cheque) culture...and greed.
It is said that ''The ministry will not be lenient with any establishment that delays salaries of workers.''
We know there are companies/establishment up to 6 months salary delay of the employees.
It is a must for the Ministry of Labour to inspect the establishments directly and inquire the staff. The establishments prepare the payroll and comply all the documentations but the salaries are not actually paid. Why don't they start to inspect in Sharjah Free Zones companies and all other free zones areas?
Lest we forget somewhere hiding behind the scenes is the UAE national sponsor. No doubt he / she will be exonerated beyond all doubt?
Lets talk about facts and keep opinions away, otherwise I can say that the USA is a "backward mindedness country" for letting their citizens become homeless, 500,000 homeless Americans. That is not the topic here. To answer what you said I would suggest you ACTUALLY READ the article above, its a good example of what expats like to do when they mess up in my country. The exit permit stops them from doing it and it is a way for us to decide if they can leave or not.