Embassy issues important alert for Indian expats in UAE
Dubai - The envoy said the embassy provides whatever assistance is possible including free tickets to send the workers home.
The Indian embassy in the UAE has urged its citizens in the UAE to approach the mission if their salaries are not paid.
"All Indian nationals are hereby informed to report to the Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi? Consulate General of India, Dubai of any instances of delay in payment of salary by the employer in the UAE," the embassy said in a tweet on Wednesday (May 8).
The tweet was put out in English and four other regional Indian languages including Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada.
"It is important that cases of non-payment of salaries be brought to embassy's attention promptly by the affected workers. We have seen a number of cases where the complaint was made after six or seven months. This makes it very hard for us as well as UAE authorities to secure the unpaid wages," Navdeep Singh Suri, Indian ambassador told Khaleej Times.
The envoy said the embassy provides whatever assistance is possible including free tickets to send the workers home.
"But they are understandably reluctant to go back empty handed and want to stay on until they can get the wages that are owed to them. Meanwhile, if the company has already closed down, there is nobody that can settle their dues and the crisis can drag on for weeks."
"We are working with UAE authorities to see if some suitable mechanism can be put in place to address such situations, because the workers are not the ones who should have to forego their hard-earned wages," said the ambassador.
One of such prominent cases of non-payment of salaries the embassy is currently dealing with is that of Al Wasita Emirates Catering Services in Mussafah. More than 400 workers were not paid for months and the issue was brought to the embassy's notice after the company was closed down.
"We are trying to send out the clear message to our people that they should not wait for months. Sooner the better we are noticed so that we can get involved and take up the matter with the local authorities," said an embassy official.
Amid growing cases of duping and visa frauds, the Embassy has also cautioned Indians jobseekers in the UAE not to come on visit visas. To avoid getting duped by unscrupulous agents, job seekers must come through the e-Migrate system that allows the embassy to verify their employment contracts.
The embassy has been spreading awareness through their social media platforms by posting stories of distressed job seekers who got a raw deal after coming to the UAE on visit visas.
According to information from the Embassy's Twitter handle, Vikram Kumar from Pali, Rajasthan, was duped by an illegal agent from Mumbai. He said that he had paid Rs55,000 (Dh2,800 approx) to the agent and travelled to the UAE from Mumbai on a visit visa. He was repatriated to India. Anjali Caru from Andhra Pradesh was also trapped by an illegal agent and came to UAE on a visit visa.
"Spreading awareness is important to deter people from accepting fake job offers and coming to the UAE on visit visas. Women are more vulnerable as they will be exploited by criminal elements," said the official.
Embassy said they are also taking steps to bring the illegal recruiters to books by involving law enforcement authorities in India.
"We have successful booked a few recruiters who illegally sent people to the UAE. That will deter others from breaking the law," said the official.