Time-limit for withdrawing absconding workers report

DUBAI Private companies which notify the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs about their absconding workers, may withdraw the notification withing three months and request the ministry to stop its search for the absconders, according to Dr Khalid Al Khazraji, the ministrys Under-secretary for Labour Affairs.

By Sanaa Maadad

Published: Sun 6 Apr 2003, 12:21 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 9:56 PM

Specifying a period of three months for receiving the applications from employers requesting a halt to the search for their absconding employees came in the wake of an understanding reached between the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Interior at a meeting in February, said Dr Khazraji.

In an administrative circular he issued yesterday, the under-secretary said that employers would have a period of three months to change their mind about such notifications and to withdraw them.

An application filed by a company after the passage of three months from the date of filing a report about an absconding worker would not be accepted by the ministry which, after the three- month period, will proceed with legal measures against the absconder and will cancel his employment visa with a ban for one year on work in the UAE.

According to the circular, applications for withdrawing the absconding notifications will be handled and studied by the directors of labour relations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and the directors of labour offices in the other emirates.

A source at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs told Khaleej Times that the reason behind the move was to curb the practices of some companies which were misusing various facilities offered by the ministry.

The source said that many companies, particularly those who sold visas to expatriates, brought workers to the country with no intention of employing them in their establishments. Both employers and employees agree to set the latter free and allow them to seek employment elsewhere although it is illegal. In the meanwhile, the employers file complaints with the ministry reporting that the workers have absconded to be on the safe side and avoid being held legally responsible for the workers behaviour, the source said, adding that many employers tended to approach the ministry after one year to withdraw their notifications and ask the authorities to stop its search for the runaway worker.

The source said that the fact that employers waited for one year had its legal reasons.

According to the Labour Law No 8 of 1980, a worker has no right to claim his dues or rights with his employers if one year lapses during which he did not claim his rights.

Article 15 of the Labour Law No. 8 of 1980 provides for cancelling a work permit granted to an expatriate worker if he continues to stay in the country unemployed for more than three consecutive months and/or if he fails to fulfil one or more of the conditions on which basis the permit was granted, he said.

He added that if the labour inspectors arrest the absconding worker who was reported after the three months period, the ministry will automatically cancel his work permit and deport him at the expense of the employer.

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