UAE decree to ensure workers paid on time

Employers who fail to pay within 10 days will face severe penalties

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has issued a new decree to ensure employees’ wages are fully paid within a period not exceeding 10 days from the due date registered in the WPS (wage protection system).

The decree shall commence October 2016.

Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, pointed out that companies employing over 100 workers must pay wages within a period not exceeding 10 days. If they fail, the ministry will stop granting them any additional work permits starting from the 16th day from the date of delay.

“Two main things should be considered in this matter, firstly, salary delays occur usually if the company fails to pay wages a month from the due date, the second, which refers to completely refraining wages, starts after entering into the second month, however, the decree shall refer to each case in a different matter,” he said.

The decree states that if a company delays wages a month from the due date, which means the company has entered into the refrainment phase, the ministry shall inform the judicial authorities and other related parties to take all necessary punitive measures against it, causing a complete strike against the other companies owned by the same employer, plus prohibiting the employer the ability of registering any new companies.

Furthermore, if a company continues to refrain paying wages, the ministry shall take necessary measures to use the bank guarantee, in addition to downgrading the company into the third category and enable the workers to move to another company.

“If the company fails to pay wages for 60 days from the due date, then administrative fines shall follow, not forgetting the punishments that had been already slapped for failing to pay wages a month from the due date,” Ghobash added.

Administrative fines hit Dh5,000 per worker’s delayed wage, reaching a maximum of Dh50,000 in cases that include multiple workers complaining about delayed wages for over 60 days.

On the bright side, the ministry shall lift the ban from violating companies, granting them the ability to apply for new work permits, only if they immediately pay delayed wages during the first delay month, while the ban lasts for 60 days for companies that failed to pay wages for more than two months and then pay.

The decree reiterates that if the company often refrains from paying salaries, the ban duration doubles after paying the wages.

Additionally, if the ministry came across any sorts of salary delays or refrains by companies that employ less than 100 workers, the current regulations shall apply, from work permits bans to fines and then public trial referral if the company fails to pay the money within 60 days, however, if the company notes such violations more than once in one year, then, in this case, the ministry shall apply penalties stated for companies that employ over 100 workers.

The decree clearly states the ministry shall not proceed with any transactions with companies that did not register in the WPS, or deal with the owners of these companies until they register with the system, so as to ensure workers’ rights have been met.

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