Paid at last
Workers in Dubai have received AED15 million in unpaid wages extending as far back as February 2009. Will the measure help Dubai improve its reputation worldwide?
October 11, 2009 11:38 by Dana El Baltaji
“To return Dh15 million in unpaid salaries is in principle a good move and there is clearly a lot of effort done by the UAE authorities in terms of wage protection,” Bussi said.
“But to evaluate the real impact of this move on workers’ conditions we need to look at it in comparative terms.”
“We need to know the nature of these payments, if they are full payments or partial as well as the size and scope of the trend of unpaid salaries in the country.”
In July, the Labor Minister, Saqr Ghobash, issued a decree enforcing the Wages Protection System (WPS), requiring all companies registered with the ministry to pay workers’ salaries directly into their bank accounts by September 2009. The WPS was introduced in May of this year.
At the end of September, the ministry announced that 100,000 workers had received their salaries through the WPS during July and August, and 35 out of the 54 banks in the UAE had received licenses for the service. Given that there are 4.1 million expatriate workers registered with the Ministry of Labor, there’s a lot of work to be done.