Humaid Bin Deemas Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: All employers registered with the Ministry of Labour are obliged to pay workers through the Wages Protection System (WPS), a senior official at the Ministry of Labour has said.

The WPS protects the workers' rights in the UAE, said Humaid Bin Deemas, acting Director-General at the Labour Ministry.

He said all companies in the country, even those with 15 workers or less, must register with the system even if means an additional financial burden for small companies — firms pay for the banks in order to open accounts for their employees which is an additional expense for them.

"It does not matter for us because all companies must be part of the system. We will take tough action against all companies who do not pay the workers salaries," he said.

Bin Deemas added that according to WPS regulations, an employer must pay workers at least on a monthly basis through an institution registered with the UAE Central Bank which will send the WPS team a spread sheet setting out the worker's name, date of employment and the date wages were paid.

"Failure to apply the system will result in the employer being suspended from obtaining new sponsorships or renewing current sponsorship, either until the system is applied or in the case of multiple breaches of WPS for a specific period," he said.

Bin Deemas — during the open day held at the ministry premises yesterday — refused to exempt a company from around Dh150,000 worth of fines because of an employer's failure to renew labour cards of 59 workers on time.

The owner said the failure to renew labour cards was due to the delay in renewing the company's licence by the Sharjah Municipality.

Bin Deemas said the employer who violates the law is at fault. He also said that the workers must be provided with appropriate accommodation.

He added that the cabinet adopted a guide for general standards for workers accommodations.

Struggling to survive

A group of workers in Ajman have been without food and water and need immediate attention. The workers are employed by a private company and from the time they were recruited, they have been paid their wages in small amounts and not according to their contract terms.

The workers said that they have not received salaries for the past seven to eight months and have been rendered completely jobless for more than two months now.