The UAE Ministry of Labour settled about Dh42.3 million from bank guarantees of 43 companies to repay dues to 13,616 workers since 2010.
Maher Al Obed, Assistant Under-Secretary for Inspectional Affairs, said, "The ministry looked to the guarantees due to the lack of commitment by many companies in paying workers' wages for more than two months, after approaching the business owners who agreed to use the bank guarantees which they had handed the ministry before recruiting workers in implementation of the Cabinet decisions issued in 2010 regarding the facility classification system and bank guarantees."
The resolution stipulates that companies must hand bank guarantees of Dh3,000 for each worker, according to the classification registered in the Ministry of Labour.
"8,493 workers who benefitted from bank guarantees settlement during the past six years, preferred to return to their home countries after being given the financial dues, while 5,123 desired to move to other facilities after receiving their dues. The ministry issued them new work permits for this purpose," Al Obed said.
He noted, "Settling bank guarantees helped the ministry over the past six years to solve group complaints made by a number of workers who suffered delayed wages, as well as enabled the ministry to end work stoppage situations for the same reason."
"The Ministry of Labour is always aware of issues related to rights and receiving wages, the ministry will not tolerate any delays in payments and shall take necessary action, such as stopping the granting of new work permits until settlements are done."
The Cabinet’s decision authorises the Ministry to use bank guarantees or deduct some amounts from them in cases of paying airline ticket expenses or paying dues to workers after reaching an agreement with the business owner, or a court ruling.
The value of the bank guarantees that have been settled during the past year reached more than Dh7.671 million in favour of 1,714 workers working at nine facilities, while the value of the guarantees that have been settled during 2014 reached Dh13.684 million from three facilities benefitting about 6,067 workers.
Bank guarantee settlements in 2013 reached Dh4.519 million, benefiting about 1,053 workers belonging to three facilities, and during 2012, Dh918,000 in bank guarantees were settled for 169 workers belonging to five facilities.
999 workers received financial dues in 2011 after the Ministry of Labour settled bank guarantees of 13 facilities worth about Dh3.367 million while in 2010, Dh12.131 million dirhams were paid to 3,813 workers working for 11 facilities.