Delayed wages, requests for visa cancellation top labour complaints

Dubai Police’s rights department received 1,259 complaints from workers in 2015

Gulf News

Dubai: Requests for visa cancellation and payment of delayed wages were the most common labour complaints received by Temporary Employment Conditions Control Section of Dubai Police’s Human Rights Department.

In 2015, the section received 1,259 complaints — 192 group complaints and 1,067 individual complaints.

Of these, 461 were requests for visa cancellation, 323 were about late wages, 150 pertained to retrieving documents, 58 about arbitrary or abusive actions, 19 about bad treatment, another 19 about salary deductions, three about transfer of sponsorship, in addition to 226 other grievances.

Brigadier Mohammad Abdullah Al Murr, Director of the police’s Human Rights Department, said the UAE is keen on ensuring everyone’s human rights, without discrimination based on religion, nationality, race or social status.

The country is especially keen on the right of labourers, as they form a large section of the country’s residents, he said.

The department has resolved nearly 80 per cent of the valid complaints received annually, over the past three years.

The department carries out campaigns and awareness programmes, in multiple languages, among workers about their rights and how they can make nsure their employers do not exploit them.

Lt Colonel Saeed Rashid Al Helli, Head of Temporary Employment Conditions Control Section, said in 2015, the section was able to arrange payment of more than Dh58 million in delayed wages to labourers.

People can contact the department on its hotline 8005005, through email, by calling the operations room (999 for emergencies and 901 for non-emergencies), through the Dubai Police app and website or by visiting the department personally.

He said the 24/7 hotline had received 927 complaints.

The section carried out 1,400 labour camp inspections in 2015, to ensure that the living conditions in accommodation units are up to standards.

“Hundred per cent of companies in Dubai are adhering to the legal standards for labour accommodation now,” he said. However, seven companies were notified that they would be reinspected and five companies were reported to the Dubai Municipality.

The inspections are carried out between 1pm and 8pm when labourers are at their accommodation units usually, so that the officials could speak to them and elicit their concerns.

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