Law will make firms pay up
Fines for delaying salaries welcomed
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.