UAE to waive $776mn in labour card fines

Labour Ministry has granted a six-month grace period to allow all individual fines, no matter how large, to be reduced $272

NEWS, Business, Labour card, Labour Ministry

UAE’s Ministry of Labour is set to waive as $776mn in unpaid fines for labour card offences, under a new amnesty announced this week.

The Labour Ministry has granted a six-month grace period to allow all individual fines, no matter how large, to be reduced $272 (AED1,000).

“The grace period is for failure to issue or renew labour permits till the end of the current month. There are 100,000 such cases from 40,000 companies, which is 13% of the total number of companies registered with the ministry,” Humaid bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Undersecretary of Labour Affairs at the ministry told a press conference.

The federal government is owed $776m (AED2.85bn) by 40,000 companies, with some of the largest individual fines reaching $14,500 and some companies owing fines in the millions of dirhams.

By slashing the fine to just $272 per labour card, it reduces the amount that the ministry will collect in fines to $27.2mn (AED100mn).

“This affirms the government’s keenness to support employers and motivate them to settle fines, which is a tool used by the ministry to control and regulate the labour market and provide protection to the workers,” Al Suwaidi said.

“The decision effectively slashes that amount to AED1,000 making it easy for business owners to clear accumulated fines and to remove labour restrictions resulting from them,” he added.

The six month amnesty starts on 4 January and lasts until 30 June. When the grace period ends, an additional $136 (AED500) will be levied for each month of delay. 

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