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28 February 2024

Ministry gets tough on violating firms

The Ministry of Labour reiterated that it would not take any violations of labour rights lightly. (FILE)

By Mohammed Al Sadafy

The Ministry of Labour has rejected the application of an employer who violated the mid-day break rule and failed to observe the one-year ban on his company’s operations by employing workers who he forced to work during the hot afternoons when, as per law, he should have allowed them to take a break.
The plea made by the company owner, who sought relaxation of the ban, was outright rejected during the weekly meeting of the labour committee that found him having committed two counts of violations.
Besides these violations, the company owner did not pay the Dh600,000 fine imposed for recruiting six infiltrators who were made to work in violation of the mid-day break rule, said Essa Al Zarouni, Director of Inspection at the ministry’s department in Dubai.
As per the country’s labour law, companies recruiting infiltrators face a one-year ban besides a fine of Dh100,000 for each illegal immigrant thus recruited.
On an application filed by a pharmacist who was denied his basic rights by his employer, the committee issued him with a temporary work permit and allowed him to join another employer.
According to Zarouni, the ministerial decision No1188 of 2010 allows workers whose rights have been violated by their employers to seek employment elsewhere without risking any action.
In another case, the committee allowed a similar work permit to a worker who did not receive two months’ salaries from his employer.
A garment factory that is now facing questions over its operations will be investigated upon by the ministry’s inspections department.

In response to a plea by the garment factory’s representative, the committee said the facility was closed when its inspector visited it.

The company’s director however argued that she was unable to be present since a member of her family had died.

Imposing the Wage Protection System (WPS), that guarantees the workers’ rights to get paid on time, the ministry refused to accept the argument of an applicant that the workers were paid in cash.

Zarouni said the facility had 600 workers, but only paid 200 of them.