Law will make firms pay up

Fines for de­lay­ing salaries welcomed

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - By Is­mail Se­bug­waawo @is­mailsebu is­

A new law set­ting out fines for com­pa­nies who fail to pay staff on time will help stamp out one of the most com­mon labour com­plaints in the coun­try, a diplo­mat and a lawyer have said.

The Min­istry of Hu­man Re­sources and Emi­rati­sa­tion on Tues­day announced that firms that breach the rules could even be banned from hir­ing more staff.

Author­i­ties said a de­lay of 10 days or more will trig­ger fines of Dhs5,000 for ev­ery em­ployee un­der a new de­cree that is part of the min­istry’s work­ers’ wage pro­tec­tion scheme. Penal­ties rise to a max­i­mum of Dhs50,000 in cases that run for more than 60 days.

Plus, if there is no pay­ment by the 16th day, com­pa­nies will be given a re­cruit­ment ban.

The am­bas­sador of In­dia to the UAE, TP Seetharam, said: “I be­lieve the rules will help pro­tect work­ers’ rights and make em­ploy­ers pay their salaries on time since it has a spe­cific time frame for the pay.”

He added: “We have been re­ceiv­ing so many cases of work­ers not paid by em­ploy­ers for many months. The em­bassy has been sup­port­ing th­ese peo­ple fi­nan­cially in ad­di­tion to help­ing them file com­plaints with the con­cerned author­i­ties.”

And lawyer Bar­ney Al­mazar, Di­rec­tor of Gulf Law, who helps work­ers at the Philip­pines Em­bassy, said the new reg­u­la­tions are much clearer than ex­ist­ing rules.

“The new law clearly spec­i­fies the time frame em­ploy­ers have to pay salaries to work­ers, failure of which would at­tract fines and other ac­tions,” he said. “The pre­vi­ous law was a bit con­fus­ing to work­ers and em­ploy­ers could some­times play around on those com­plain­ing of de­layed salaries, say­ing the law gives them a month or more time to set­tle their ar­rears. This was frus­trat­ing.”

The new rules come into force in Oc­to­ber, but will only ap­ply to firms with 100 staff or more.

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