6-months grace for settling UAE labour card offences: Dh1,000 fine

Amnesty started January 4 and lasts until June 30. (FILE)

A senior official from the Ministry of Labour (MoL) has urged employers to benefit from the six-month grace period given by the Cabinet to enable them to settle their labour card offences and pay only Dh1,000 for each offence.

Humaid bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs at the Ministry of Labour, said that the amnesty, which started January 4 and lasts until June 30, allows all unpaid individual fines, no matter how large, to be reduced to Dh1,000, is a "golden opportunity" for employers, and warned that starting on March 5, the ministry will impose new administrative fines including a Dh500 fine for not applying for or renewing an electronic labour permit for the employees within a 60-day period from their arrival in the country.

This fine, he noted, will increase by Dh500 for each month of delay, as approved by the Cabinet recently.  

As from the first of July, the ministry will order employers to pay AED4000 in cumulative fines for each violating electronic labour permit.

The official noted that by the beginning of 2016, the total value of each one of these cumulative fines will go up to Dh10,000 for each violation.

Bin Deemas also praised business owners for responding to the Cabinet's grace period and settling offences up to December 31, 2014.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Labour said that 6,000 employees from 3,800 firms benefited from the fine settlement grace period after settling their labour card fines during the first 15 days from the implementation of the Cabinet’s grace period decision.

The positive response enabled the employers to make financial savings worth Dh64 million, as firms paid only Dh6 million instead of the overdue amount of Dh70 million.

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