UAE urges employees to report unpaid or delayed salaries in private sector, tough penalties for violators - GulfToday

UAE urges employees to report unpaid or delayed salaries in private sector, tough penalties for violators


The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Emadeddin Khalil, Staff Reporter

The UAE Digital Government has called on workers and employees to report unpaid or delayed salaries in the private sector by contacting the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation's digital channels or submitting a salary complaint to the Ministry in this regard.

It stressed that paying wages on the due date is the responsibility of every employer.

Private sector employers should ensure to pay their staff’s salaries through the Wages Protection System (WPS) to avoid penalties and fines.

DGOV also pointed out that employee's wages are due from the first day of the month following the expiry of the period for which the wages are specified in the employment contract. If the period is not specified in the employment contract, employee must be paid at least once a month.

It also added that employer is in default of paying the wage, if he/she does not pay it within the first 15 days after the due date, unless a shorter period has been agreed in the employment contract.

There is no minimum salary stipulated in the UAE Labour Law, however it broadly mentions that salaries must cover basic needs of the employees, DGOV added.

All employers registered with Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) must subscribe to (WPS)’ and pay the wages to their employees through it, as per the due dates.

Under this system, salaries of employees will be transferred to their accounts in banks or financial institutions, which are authorised by Central Bank of the UAE to provide the service.

MoHRE does not process any transactions or deal with the owners of the companies that are not registered with the WPS until they register in the system.

Payment can be in Emirati Dirham, the national currency of the UAE or in any other currency, if it is agreed upon between both parties in the employment contract.

The DGOV has identified penalties for companies failing to pay wages on the due dates to employees in the UAE. As all companies are monitored electronically to ensure their commitment to paying wages of their workers on the due date.

It explained that on the third day and on the tenth day after the due date defaulting establishment will receive reminders and notifications in regards to the payment of wages. By the seventeenth day after the due date issuance of new work permits for the defaulting establishment will be suspended with a notification explaining the reasons for suspension to be sent to the employer.

However, defaulting establishment employing more than 50 employees will be listed in the Electronic Monitoring and Inspection System, and inspections will be scheduled. An inspector will conduct inspections and issue warnings as necessary.

After 45 days from the due date, the public prosecutor will be notified in case of the establishment is employing more than 50 employees. Its details will be forwarded to the competent authorities at the federal and local levels in order to pursue legal action as appropriate.

The concerned department within the Ministry will follow up on these actions.  

In the event that establishment commits the violation again within six months (establishment with wage-related labour complaints referred to judiciary), an administrative fine will be imposed in accordance with the Cabinet Resolution No 21 of 2020. In addition, it will be reclassified to category 3 according to the Ministerial Resolution No.209 of 2022.

DGOV also noted that there are categories who are excluded from WPS compliance, including those who filed a lawsuit related to wages, those who have been reported absent as per a ‘work abandonment’ report, new employees during the first 30 days from the due date of the wage, and those who are on unpaid leave, provided that supporting documents are duly submitted to MoHRE.

There are also categories of employers who are excluded from the WPS compliance, such as UAE nationals owning fishing boats, UAE nationals owning public taxis, banks and houses of worship, the DGOV added.

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