Authorities in UAE uncover 33,000 cases of salary non-payment by companies

In 2023, authorities in the UAE revealed a staggering 33,000 instances of companies failing to pay salaries to their employees, as detected through the Wage Protection System (WPS). The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) took action by imposing administrative penalties on these non-compliant entities.

While the ministry did not specify the exact nature of the penalties or the fines imposed, it emphasized the significance of adherence to the WPS, an electronic salary transfer system conducted through approved financial institutions. Under UAE law, all employers registered with the MoHRE are obligated to subscribe to the WPS and disburse employees’ salaries through this platform. Violations can lead to penalties such as work permit issuance suspension and monetary fines.

Moreover, the MoHRE disclosed that it referred 509 companies to the Public Prosecution for providing services without proper licensing, with an additional 55 cases involving companies recruiting workers without the necessary licenses. Furthermore, the ministry shut down five social media accounts for engaging in unauthorized recruitment activities.

The MoHRE also addressed over 1,200 cases of falsified documents or data submitted to obtain services, along with 76 instances of worker accommodations failing to meet stipulated standards.

In total, the ministry documented 75,000 violations during the course of 430,000 inspection visits conducted throughout the year. Notably, 1,077 companies were reported for violating Emiratisation decisions and policies, including instances of fraudulent Emiratisation practices.

Additionally, the ministry flagged 185 cases of non-compliance with the Midday Break regulation, which prohibits outdoor work during extreme heat from June 15 to September 15. Furthermore, there were 30 cases where companies failed to report work-related injuries, diseases, or fatalities to the authorities. In a few instances, companies were found unlawfully transferring recruitment expenses to workers, among other infractions.

MoHRE received approximately 1,500 complaints through official channels, underscoring the community’s engagement with labor-related issues. The ministry also conducted extensive awareness campaigns, reaching out to over 2 million workers and more than 9,000 employers.

In a statement, the ministry commended the majority of private-sector companies for their commitment to complying with labor market legislation, emphasizing the positive impact on stabilizing work relations and enhancing productivity.

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