Labourers gathered to protest a delay in wage pay
12 November 2018| Last updated on 13 November 2018
Companies can get penalized for not paying their employees on time
Hundreds of labourers gathered on Reem Island in Abu Dhabi on Sunday to protest against their employment company causing Abu Dhabi Police to intervene and stop the strike.
The labourers were protesting against the company’s failure to pay their salaries for the past couple of months – some going without a salary for up to 5 months.
The protest started at 10:30 am in the morning on Sunday and lasted for a few hours until Abu Dhabi Police had to step in around 1:50 pm and return the labourers to their accommodation site.
Allegedly, the contracting company hasn’t paid the labourers in three months, with some labourers going almost five months without pay.
Shockingly a 55-year-old Pakistani labourer, who has gone five months without pay, states that the construction company owes him close to AED12,500 – for an average of AED2,500 per month.
According to the UAE law
Companies and entities in the UAE must pay their employees on time and if a company fails to do so, the work permit can be seized until payment is made.
The UAE cabinet passed this policy, called the Wage Protection System, in 2016 and aims to help employees’ rights in the country.
Companies are penalized for each backlogged day in wage pay, going through the following steps:
- After 10 days of no pay – the company is alerted that it is breaching labour rules
- After 16 days of no pay – the company’s permits can get cancel and operations can seize
- After 60 days of no pay – the company can get fined AED5,000 per unpaid employee