Ministry steers clear of plaints on visa trading

DUBAI - The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs will not intervene in the labour disputes resulting from cases of visa trafficking that took place in the expatriate employees' home countries, an official at the ministry said yesterday, following the decision to drop a complaint on a similar issue.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Tue 27 Jul 2004, 9:40 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:49 PM

The statement came in the wake of a complaint filed with the ministry by 20 Egyptian workers on Saturday demanding reimbursement from their legal sponsor, a Dubai-based decor company, the money they claimed they had paid to buy from the company's representative in Egypt employment visas for non-existent jobs in the UAE.

"We are not the party concerned for looking into such complaints since the incident took place in a foreign country and not within the UAE, " observed Jassim Al Bannai, Deputy Director of the ministry's Labour Relations Department, justifying the ministry's decision not to accept the complaint.

He called on establishments to appoint one of its employees to handle the complaints of workers advising them to solve the disputes internally rather than approaching the ministry.

Mr Al Bannai said that the ministry summoned the officials of the company sponsoring the workers and listened to both sides yesterday, before it decided that it was not the party authorised to look into such cases.

"We could not do anything for the workers with regard to the reimbursement of the visa purchase money, but we managed to reach an amicable solution with regard to all other dues they are entitled to in accordance with the Federal Labour Law No. 8 of 1980," Mr Al Bannai said. He added that the company's representative showed positive attitude and promised to give them their dues before they leave the country.

He explained that the ministry does in fact investigate the cases of visa trade, which occur in the UAE and take action against the employers involved in such a practice if proved. He, however, stressed that workers should not pay any money for obtaining job opportunities in the UAE.

He said that the ministry receives many complaints that can be easily redressed by the companies themselves without having the recourse to the ministry, but added that in case of the failure to solve such problems amicably, the employees are always welcome to lodge their complaints with the ministry.

"Upon investigating many labour disputes, we discover that employees had never discussed their problems with their employers, or even brought such problems to the managements' notice. They immediately approach the ministry.

"Therefore, we believe that if each company appoints an employee to listen to the colleagues' grievances and liase between them and the management, it would be much more convenient than burdening the ministry with minor, easy to solve disputes," Mr Al Bannai said.

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