UAE workers report over 300 firms for unpaid wages

Six companies referred to the public prosecution as part of Ministry of Labour initative.
UAE workers report over 300 firms for unpaid wages
By Elsa Baxter
Sun 21 Jun 2009 07:32 AM

More than 300 companies in the UAE have been reported to the Ministry of Labour for failing to pay workers’ wages last month.Six firms have been referred to the public prosecution, a senior official said.

The move is part of a ministry scheme launched on May 1 that allows workers to report anonymously delayed or unpaid salaries, reported Gulf News.

"This new initiative is a break through in the ministry's efforts to protect workers rights and mainly their right for payment of salaries,” said Humaid Bin Deemas, acting director general at the ministry.

“Confidentiality of the complaints has been a main factor in the effectiveness of this project as workers no longer need to fear any repercussion for complaining about their companies."

The initiative, called ‘My Salary’, raised complaints about 331 companies for non-payment of wages for more than three months. According to the ministry 38 of the firms paid the delayed salaries, 26 had their transactions stopped and 66 already had complaints registered at the labour relations department. The rest are still under investigation.

Previously, if a worker wanted to complain they had to file an official complaint with the labour relations department, which would lead to their employer being notified.

"The majority of workers who took such steps were prepared to lose their jobs as a consequence. This meant that many workers did not report non-payment of salaries as they did not want to lose their jobs but with this new initiative the workers do not need to fear such consequences," said Bin Deemas.

Workers whose salaries have been delayed for more than 15 days, or have not received them can file a complaint on the ministry's website at www.mol.gov.ae or through calling the hotline 800665.

The hotline is in 12 different languages including Arabic, English, French, Hindi, Farsi, Russian and Urdu. The website is in Arabic and English only.

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