How did it escape detection?

THE Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs' move to allow companies to rectify the legal status of labourers within a target date is undeniably a good move. We welcome such moves by the ministry, particularly in the wake of reports about a major construction company applying for rectification of the legal status of 182 employees on its payroll.

By The Monitor

Published: Mon 15 Aug 2005, 10:12 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:13 PM

These workers were recruited six years ago and were working without the mandatory labour card during the entire period. The company was more than willing to regularise their services by paying the dues for six years only after it realised that it would have to cough up penalties running into million of dirhams if caught after the target date.

The moot question here is how did the company, which had accumulated such huge arrears pertaining to 182 workers, manage to dodge labour inspectors from the ministry, when all the data regarding all companies are fed into computers besides coming across applications for issue of work permits? It is hard to digest the fact that the ministry was not aware of the violations of the company till it applied for the regularisation of it's 182 employees.

And this example pertains to just one company. God only knows how many more such companies are there which have been dodging the law, and their violations remain undetected.

We do believe that the ministry is putting in a lot of effort to set right the situation through various steps and measures. But matters like this where companies have been blatantly violating rules need to be looked into thoroughly, and ensure that such loopholes are plugged. It looks like it would take quite some time before the labour market is rid of all the irregularities that abound it at the moment.

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