The UAE has referred over 3,000 companies to the Public Prosecution for not paying salaries through the Wages Protection System (WPS).
Last year, the government made rules that businesses must follow if they don’t pay their workers on time. They have to pay using the Wages Protection System, which is an electronic payment system that uses approved banks.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Mohre) keeps track of companies in its database by visiting them in person and using electronic inspections.
Last year, the ministry conducted over 612,000 inspections on private sector businesses. They found more than 12,000 violations, which resulted in administrative fines being issued.
The violations found during the inspections included not following employment requirements, occupational health and safety guidelines, WPS rules, and accommodation standards. There were also violations of the mid-day break policy in the summer. Additionally, some companies did not follow regulations for contracts and work permits, hired workers without a license or through a temporary agency, falsely claimed Emiratisation, and kept official documents belonging to domestic workers.
Khalil Al Khoori, the undersecretary for Human Resources Affairs, said that the ministry is now using online tools to make inspections more efficient, accurate, and transparent.
According to Ayesha Belharfia, who is the acting undersecretary for Emiratisation Affairs and assistant undersecretary for Labour Affairs, the ministry resolved about 81% of labor complaints amicably last year. The remaining 19% were referred to labor courts.
Ayesha Belharfia also emphasized that the ministry is dedicated to protecting the rights of both employers and employees and ensuring that they are treated fairly. She stated that this commitment helps to maintain the UAE’s reputation as a desirable place to live, invest, and work. The country’s competitive and flexible labor market is supported by a strong regulatory framework, which aligns with the UAE’s endorsement of international labor agreements.
Belharfia also mentioned that the ministry is dedicated to making it easy for people to submit and handle complaints. They have legal researchers who handle complaints transparently and impartially. These researchers also try to find solutions that satisfy both parties, which saves time and effort for both the complainants and the labor courts.