UAE legal Q&As: What to do if a company does not pay your wages on time

Can wasta help someone out of a crime?
Q: What should a worker do if they do not receive their wages on time, bearing in mind that they could be fearful of filing a complaint?

A: Should an employer fail to pay an employee his monthly wages, the worker has the option of stopping work. This could result in the company dismissing the employee but a court of law would look at the company unfavourably in this case. An employee can also file a complaint at the Ministry of Labour and request a temporary work permit to work for another company until the matter is resolved. Should an employee repeatedly receive monthly wages late, they can file a complaint at the ministry, safe in the knowledge that the UAE has taken measures to protect employees through laws that compel companies to pay wages through banks. Pay-through-bank payments are being rolled out in several phases, with the end result that all organisations and companies will be included.

Following the implementation of this system, should a company continue to delay payment of wages, appropriate legal action will be taken against the company, whereas the establishment card of the company will be cancelled.

Q: Could wasta help me out of a crime?

A: In the UAE, laws and justice prevail, wasta or other forms of support will not help an individual evade punishment for criminal activity. There have been several examples where senior officials and even ministers were referred to court on criminal charges and wasta did not help them get out of the charges. Only innocence will help an individual to avoid punishment.

Q: How can I find a reputable lawyer?

A: Lawyers are not allowed to market their profession in any way so someone seeking their services needs to approach the court's information desk or look at Dubai Courts' website or contact the Ministry of Justice for a list of registered lawyers. Alternatively, people can search for law firms online. Word of mouth is the best way to find out about reputable lawyers. Recently, Dubai Courts launched a service whereby lawyers volunteer to offer free-of-charge consultations, which could also work as a way of finding the right lawyer.

*If you have a question for our lawyer, please email it to newsdesk@thenational.ae with the subject line "Know the law".

Published: December 13, 2014 04:00 AM

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