Hotline set up for UAE workers' to lodge complaints over unpaid salaries

29 April 2009 Publication: Gulf news

Abu Dhabi: Workers will be able to lodge their complaints over unpaid salaries online or through the labour ministry's portal from Friday, a senior official said Wednesday.

"Workers whose employers delay their payment for 15 days or more can file their complaints online at or through calling the hotline 800665," Humaid Bin Deemas said, acting general manager of the ministry.

He said the new initiative dubbed "My Salary" marks the International Workers Day and is a message of gratitude to the UAE's workers - the country's development stakeholders.

Workers, Bin Deemas said, can file their complaints through the hotline offering 12 languages including Arabic, English, French, Hindi, Farsi, Russian and Urdu, while the portal is only offer Arabic and English.

He assured workers that the ministry will keep their complaints strictly confidential and that nobody, especially the employer will know who filed the complaint.

"Once the ministry receives the complaint, a short message [SMS] will be sent to an inspector, who will call the worker and gather information. This way we can fast-track the handling of complaints and know the [of] employers who fail to pay their workers regularly and on time," Bin Deemas said.

The hotline works from 7 am to 11pm, six days a week, while the portal operates round-the-clock.

The initiative follows another service allowing workers to demand a copy of their job contract from the ministry to know their duties and obligations under it.

Bin Deemas stressed that for the UAE, respect for workers' rights is a moral, cultural and economic imperative.