Hundreds of employees across the UAE are stranded without their salaries ahead of Eid Al Fitr tomorrow after a money exchange that handles their payments suffered technical problems and is unable to process the payments.
The workers get paid through the exchange under the government’s Wage Protection Solution system.
Workers have been visiting the exchange’s offices in several of the emirates, only to be greeted with downed shutters.
The workers affected belong to several companies that process their payments through the exchange.
Speaking to Emirates 24|7, workers said that their salaries have been transferred to the money exchange for disbursement before Eid, but the exchange’s branches are closed.
Says one employer who pays his workers through the WPS system and this exchange: “For the last five days, I am reading this board – ‘Closed Due to System Problems’.
“We have deposited the workers’ salary for the month of August on August 3, 2012, and normally it takes two or three days to dispense the salary. Even after fifteen days, salaries are not paid,” said Manohar, an Indian manager of an automobile trading firm in Sharjah.
Says another employer: “We deposited the money last Monday to give the salary in advance of Eid. We feared a delay and therefore, paid half the salary by hand,” she added.
According to eye-witnesses, a team from Dubai Police had reached the money exchange’s head office located in Deira, Dubai, this morning.
“I came here because I did not get a normal email alert that the payment has been cleared. All their branches in Sharjah remain closed.
"The company’s junior staff are available in the office, but they are unable to handle the problem. They say the system is down and they cannot do anything,” says another customer.
Despite several attempts by this website to get a comment from the money exchange company's offices, there was no response.
Wages Protection System
In line with the UAE government efforts and its development and modernisation plans which aim at improving government performance and providing better and faster services to the public, the Ministry of Labour implemented a Wages Protection System.
This system is an important step towards ensuring and protecting the rights of workers, and towards establishing trust between establishments and their employees.
Companies are now obliged to transfer the salaries of their employees through the new system within a period not exceeding nine months. Companies that fail to abide by the decision will be subject to punishments and fines, and will not be able to obtain work permits.