Image Credit: Megan Hirons/Gulf News

According to a report compiled by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the UAE's Wage Protection System (WPS) is "a model" that could be emulated by other countries.

Described by the ILO as an "innovative system", WPS was introduced by the Ministry of Labour two years ago to guarantee that labourers receive their full wages on time.

This initiative, among other measures, is part of a progressive labour policy that aims at improving the working conditions of workers in the UAE, which is home to a large expatriate population.

Among the other measures is the summer midday break, the regular inspection of workers' accommodation and the hefty fines imposed by the ministry on companies that delay the wages of their employees.

For years, the UAE was unfairly the target of media campaigns in the West with regard to the conditions under which low-skilled labourers work. It is refreshing to see the country receive credit for its efforts to protect the rights of these labourers.

Seiji Machida, Director of the Programme on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment at ILO, who evaluated the UAE's federal standards for occupational safety and health in the construction sector, says the cooperation between the ministry and the ILO on these issues match international standards.

As UAE officials have often maintained, what is being done is not something we have had to do, but it is in line with the county's social and humanitarian values.