Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dh12,000 annual fine for labour card violations

Employers violating labour card rules will now be fined Dh12,000 per year. Earlier, companies were fined Dh5,000 for each year of delay in renewing labour cards, according to a top official of the Labour Ministry.

Humaid bin Dimas, Assisstant Undersecretary, Ministry of Labour, while addressing the weekly meeting said there were about 60,000 expired labour cards of the total four million cards as per 2010 statistics. This means about 5.1 per cent employees do not have a valid labour card, 'Al Khaleej' newspaper quoted Bin Dimas as saying.

Labour Ministry will not accept requests of fine exemptions for non-renewal of labour cards, he stressed. After the installtion of the new electronic system in order to reduce the time taken to issue a card to a mere 10minutes, the ministry had given companies 60 days to clear the backlog, the official explained.

The imposition of fines is to improve employer-employee relationship, he added.

Bin Dimas said: "While earlier the fines imposed on violations was about Dh5,000 for each year of delay, the same has been increased to Dh1,000 for each month of delay, which means Dh12,000 per year."

It would be difficult to handle absconders if they do not have a valid labour card. Bin Dimas urged companies to adopt the WPS system and renew labour cards on time.

There are about 120,000 small companies from a total of 160,000 firms registered with the ministry system.