Stiff fines for hiring illegals

UAE minister of labour Ali Abdullah Al Kaabi has warned that any company that hires illegal workers will face heavy fines, while their owners will be punished.

Punishment: UAE Minister of Labour Ali Abdullah Al Kaabi has sent out a stark warning to employers about the hiring of illegal workers.
Punishment: UAE Minister of Labour Ali Abdullah Al Kaabi has sent out a stark warning to employers about the hiring of illegal workers.

UAE minister of labour Ali Abdullah Al Kaabi has warned that any company that hires illegal workers will face heavy fines, while their owners will be punished.

Speaking to Construction Week, Al Kaabi said: "Any company that is caught employing illegal workers will face a US $13,615 (AED50,000) fine per worker on the first offence, and a $27,230 fine per worker on the second offence.

"And if the owner of the company is an expatriate, he will be deported and banned from entering the country for life while if the owner is a national, he will be jailed for a minimum of six months."

The UAE conducted an amnesty earlier this year encouraging illegal workers to return to their countries without facing any consequences or bans.

A salary review for construction workers is also underway, prompted by a series of strikes over pay.

Al Kaabi said that the National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia) was currently assessing the possible introduction of a minimum wage.

"We have not decided anything on the minimum wage as yet, as the study is still ongoing," he said.

"We wouldn't want to rush into things as we need to come up with a definite plan that will work well for all."

On the recent strikes in Dubai, Al Kaabi said that the Ministry of Labour encourages workers to report any problems they have to ministry officials and labour welfare committees that have been set up, but not to resort to violence or destruction.

"We will deport every single worker that is found guilty of violence in any form as we will not tolerate destruction to public property or any violent behaviour that could endanger the residents of the country."

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