Dubai: Representatives of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) are visiting the UAE to evaluate the Wage Protection System (WPS) which was introduced last year by the Ministry of Labour.

Saqr Gobash Saeed Gobash, Minister of Labour, said the system promotes stable and positive labour relations by protecting the rights of all concerned.

Gobash told reporters at a meeting that the ILO representatives are here to evaluate and study the WPS.

"The issue of non-payment of salaries by some companies is not new, but the WPS is new. There will be of course loopholes in the system, but we will work on overcoming them," he said.

He said he is aware that some companies are still violating the labour law.

"We are doing our best to develop the WPS. I am sure that it will be better in the future," he said.

Stable labour market

"The ILO was interested in studying the system closely from the first time it was introduced, but I think now it is about time to introduce the WPS to them," he said. He said that the best achievement of this system is the creation of a stable labour market.

Carl Van Dam, an ILO expert in protection of wages who is here to evaluate the WPS, said he has met with company officials, workers, experts, the head of the Central Bank among others to find out how the system works.

"I cannot reveal any details about my report which will be submitted to the ILO. After that the ILO will send its report about the evaluation of the WPS to the Ministry of Labour here," he said.

"I have been briefed on how this system is working and if it will really protect labourers' rights. I am here to know if the system is efficient or not," Van Dam said.

The labour minister said in the meeting that some companies do not pay its employees on time so another option is to use banks to guarantee unpaid salaries.

"But such a process needs to go through specific [channels]," he said.

Gobash said the financial crisis has nothing to do with non-payment of salaries of the workers.

"If the labourers work and do a job they must be paid on time. If the company has money or not it is their issue, not ours," he said.

He also stressed the government's commitment to the wage protection principle.

Gobash said the federal order was implemented in January 2008 but some small companies have cited difficulties in finding banks which are willing to open accounts for low income workers as the reason for the delay.

He said all institutions registered under the labour ministry, a total of 11,917, must pay their workers' wages and salaries through the WPS.

There are 185,073 workers who must receive their salaries through WPS.