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It surely pays to complain

More than 300 companies across the country have been reported for non-payment of salaries in May through the Ministry of Labour's new initiative.

Gulf News

Dubai: More than 300 companies across the country have been reported for non-payment of salaries in May through the Ministry of Labour's new initiative which allows workers to report unpaid salaries anonymously. Six companies have been referred to the public prosecution, said a senior official.

The initiative, 'My Salary', was launched by the ministry on May 1. It allows workers to complain about unpaid or delayed salaries online or through the ministry's hotline.

The first month of the initiative brought in complaints against 331 companies, six were referred by the ministry to the public prosecution for failing to pay salaries for more than three months, 38 adjusted their situations and paid delayed salaries, 26 had their transactions stopped at the ministry and 66 of them already have complaints registered at the labour relations department. The rest of them are still under investigation, according to the ministry's statistics.

Humaid Bin Deemas, acting director general at the ministry, said: "This new initiative is a break through in the ministry's efforts to protect workers rights and mainly their right for payment of salaries. Confidentiality of the complaints has been a main factor in the effectiveness of this project as workers no longer need to fear any repercussion for complaining about their companies."

Earlier, if a worker wanted to complain about salaries, he or she had to file a complaint at the labour relations department and the employer was called in for a session with the employee.

"The majority of workers who took such steps were prepared to lose their jobs as a consequence. This meant that many workers did not report non-payment of salaries as they did not want to lose their jobs but with this new initiative the workers do not need to fear such consequences," said Bin Deemas.

As per the new initiative when the ministry receives a complaint, an inspector is assigned to look into it and the employer is made to believe that it's part of a routine inspection.

"So even if a company has two or three employees he cannot figure out who complained as he is not aware that there is even a complaint lodged," said Bin Deemas.

Maria (name changed to protect identity), a Filipino nurse, with a Dh2,000 salary, said she has not been paid for more than three months but dare not complain out of fear for losing her job. "I cannot afford to lose my job. I was hoping that the promise of paying the salary made to me on a weekly basis would be delivered one day," she said.

Hotline: How to complain

Workers who have salaries delayed for more than 15 days or have not been paid can file a complaint on the ministry's website at or through calling the hotline 800665.

The hotline is in 12 different languages including Arabic, English, French, Hindi, Farsi, Russian and Urdu, while the portal only offers Arabic and English languages.

Has your salary been delayed? How did it affect your everyday chores? Did you raise the problem through the new initiative?

Your comments

Great steps taken by the Ministry. It will solve the paying issues of so many workers across UAE.
Posted: June 21, 2009, 17:47

Every thing is fine but Dubai Police should give some discount in traffic fines.
Posted: June 21, 2009, 17:24

That is great. Ministry of labour have to also check the accommodation of poor workers.
Posted: June 21, 2009, 16:54

I have not been paid for some time and now I face legal action from my bank, which may result in imprisonment. I feel there is very little I can do to avoid that happening. What can I do?
Xabi Al
Posted: June 21, 2009, 16:20

Jess Banno
Posted: June 21, 2009, 16:16

One of the good thing I've observed in UAE, that authorities are taking care of labourers' and employees' rights.MY SALARY is great step to protect employees' rights.There are some others problems related to employees also and I believe the Ministry of Labour will soon address those in near future.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: June 21, 2009, 16:15

I personally appreciate this step from the Ministry of Labour that will surely help hundreds of poor labourers getting their salaries on time.I am proud to say that our company makes it a point to distribute salaries on time.Rgds, GS
George Samuel (Saji)
Ras Al Khaimah,UAE
Posted: June 21, 2009, 14:26

Our salary has been delayed again and it is affecting us greatly. Daily chores and living are becoming impossible because of it.After numerous polite requests to HR/Finance (who still refuse to pay), we have been left with no choice but to raise the problem through the new initiative. Hopefully it works in our favour as this is blatant exploitation!
Posted: June 21, 2009, 13:49

I havent received my salary since April. I think i have to make a report for the delay in salary not only for me but for the entire employees of our company. Other co employees have not received salary since February. Its unfair for me and other co employees as there are employees who were paid on time. Thank you for this move of the Labour Ministry it will help a lot.
Posted: June 21, 2009, 12:29

This is very good news, now can the same be done for those who overwork their employees for very long hours.
George Adongo
Posted: June 21, 2009, 12:02

I have to say this is something worth appreciating. I thank the Ministry of Labour for this cause you have initiated this tool will definetly help bring justice to crooked employers.
Posted: June 21, 2009, 11:37

Very good move from the Ministry of Labour. Surely it will control the many consequences among the poor labourers.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: June 21, 2009, 11:36

Excellent initiative and action. It would certainly catapult the position of Dubai as a safe place for career seekers. Let this spirit continue.
Shivaji Jammalmadugu
Posted: June 21, 2009, 11:29

A long awaited initiative finally comes true, thanks to the Mininsry of Labour.
Posted: June 21, 2009, 11:13

This is a great initiative launched by the authorities for the labourer. This will really help the labourers to get their salary on time.
Posted: June 21, 2009, 09:55

I really appreciate this step. This is a good vision of the UAE. God bless UAE.
Posted: June 21, 2009, 09:54

Thankfully, our company pays us exactly on the 25th of every month (much before the month ends). My company is going through a huge loss at the moment but have never stopped or delayed our payments or any incentives.
Renuka George
Posted: June 21, 2009, 09:17

I have never experienced a single delay in my salary. The company is always on-time in paying our salary. This is why they are continously blessed. May their kindness continue to help less fortunate people in the world.
Posted: June 21, 2009, 09:04

its a very much awaited and really appreciable step , and we hope for a fall in exploitative practices.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: June 21, 2009, 09:03

A wonderful, truly praise-worthy initiative on the part of the Ministry of Labour. I pray that this is only the beginning of many such steps taken by the visionary
A Sadeesh
Posted: June 21, 2009, 07:29