Firm taken to court for failing to pay employees
A construction firm is to be prosecuted after a group of workers went to the labour ministry having gone months without being paid, writes Ismail Sebugwaawo.
Fifty labourers gathered in front of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation offices in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago in protest over unpaid wages. They told officials they were each owed thousands of dirhams. Officials and police spoke to the crowd at the scene and later investigated their employer. The ministry has now referred the firm to court. Mohsen Al Nasi, Director of the Inspection Department at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said: “The ministry is cooperating with the labour court to ensure a quick process in making the company pay all the workers’ unpaid wages and their end of service benefits as it cannot afford to employ them anymore.” “We want to ensure that workers’ rights are protected as per the law.” He added: “All firms must ensure they pay workers in time or else we shall take strict actions against the violating firms.” The ministry in October implemented a new wage protection scheme aimed at ensuring people receive their salaries on time. A delay of 10 days or more after payday triggers fines of Dhs5,000 for every employee not paid. After 16 days, firms will be prevented from hiring new employees; after one month authorities will be brought in and the company and any subsidiaries can be prevented from trading.
‘All firms must ensure that they pay workers on time or we shall take strict action’ – Inspection chief Mohsen Al Nasi