Call cops if boss uses your ATM cards


Call cops if boss uses your ATM cards

'Employer transfers wages through WPS, but uses staff's bank cards to withdraw it.'

By Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 8 May 2016, 7:14 PM

Last updated: Mon 9 May 2016, 8:38 AM

A friend of mine has not received salary for three months, although the salary is transferred via the Wage Protection System (WPS). The employer has not given the employees their ATM cards. Last month, the company transferred its employees' salaries through WPS and then withdrew the cash using their ATM cards without their permission. What should my friend do?
Pursuant to your question, it may be noted that your friend shall be within his/her rights to terminate his/her current employment without any notice, as his/her employer has failed to fulfil its obligations towards him/her. This is owing to the reason that the employer had failed to pay any salary to its employees for the last three months. Therefore, your friend may consider to terminate his/her employment forthwith, in accordance with the provisions of Article 121, which states:
"A worker may leave his work without notice in either of the following case:
(a) If the employer fails to comply with his obligation towards him, as provided for in the contract or in this Law;
(b) If he is assaulted by the employer or the employer's legal representative."
Prior to leaving the employment, your friend must forthwith report about the same to the Ministry of Labour and file a complaint against his/her employer for non-fulfilment of its obligations.
Also, it may be noted that the acts perpetuated by your friend's employer may actually amount to unauthorised use of ATM cards which is a punishable offense in the UAE. Owing to this, your friend may also consider to approach the police and file a complaint against his/her employer and the police may obtain the CCTV images of the bank to ascertain who used your ATM card to withdraw money. However, in any case, it is advisable for your friend to simultaneously file a complaint against his/her employer at the Ministry of Labour as well.
Working overtime without pay? Call labour ministry
I have been working in a company based in Abu Dhabi for a year now. I have been asked to work overtime last month, for which I am yet to receive remuneration.
My salary comes at the end of the month and I am not sure if I will be paid for the overtime I did. In the past, I have worked overtime, but without any payment because the company is understaffed.
The company keeps promising that I would be paid for the overtime, but I am yet to receive any payment despite continuous follow-up from my end.
When should I file a complaint to the labour ministry regarding this? Should remuneration for overtime be paid in the same month or in the month after that?
I am also planning to accept a job in a Dubai free-zone. However, I am on a limited period contract, according to which I have to compensate the company for the training it provided in case I fail to complete two years. This amount is almost three times my salary.
Do I have to pay this amount, considering the fact that the job I will be accepting is in a free-zone?
It is presumed that your employment is subject to the provisions of Federal Law No 8 of 1980 on the Regulation of Labour Relations (the "Labour Law").
Pursuant to your questions, it may be noted that the maximum normal hours of work have been prescribed as eight hours in a day or 48 hours in a week.
The daily working hours may subsequently be increased to nine hours in a day depending on the place or nature of work. This is in accordance with the provisions of Article 65 of the Labour Law, which states:
"The maximum normal working hours for adult workers shall be eight hours in the day, 48 hours in the week. They may be increased to nine hours a day in commercial establishments, hotels, cafeterias, security services and such other businesses as may be added by resolution of the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.
"The daily working hours may be reduced by resolution of the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, in the case of arduous or health-hazardous work.
"During the month of Ramadan (companies) shall reduce the normal working hours. The periods spent by a worker in traveling between his home and place of work shall not be included in his working hours."
Further to the aforementioned provision, it may also be noted that where an employee works for more than the prescribed normal hours of work owing to the circumstances of work, the employee shall be entitled to receive an overtime payment which shall be equal to a minimum of 25 per cent of the employee's wage for the day. This is in accordance with Article 67 of the Labour Law:
"Where the work circumstances require a worker to work more than the normal number of hours, any period worked in excess shall be treated as overtime, for which the worker shall receive the wage stipulated for his normal working hours, plus a supplement of at least 25 per cent of that wage."
Now, pursuant to your question, it may be noted that the monthly remuneration must be paid to an employee on a monthly basis and on a working day in the currency of the UAE.
This is in accordance with the definition of 'Remuneration' provided under Article 1 of the Labour Law, which states:
"All payments made to the worker on a yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, piece of work, or production or commission basis, in return for the work he performs under the contract of employment, whether such payments are made in cash or in kind.
"Remuneration shall include the cost of living allowance. It shall also include any grant given to the worker as a reward for his honesty or efficiency if such amounts are provided for in the contract of employment or in the internal regulations of the establishment or have been granted by custom or common practice to such an extent that the workers of the establishment regard them as part of their remuneration and not as donations."
If there is a delay in payment of salaries on a recurring basis, you may always consider to approach the office of the Ministry of Labour and file a complaint against your employer.
It may be noted that there is no specific waiting period prescribed in the provisions of Labour Law for filing a complaint in this regard.
Subsequently, it may be noted that there are no specific provisions in the Labour Law, which prescribe time for payment of overtime wages to the employee. Overtime wages are not included as part of remuneration of an employee, which implies that overtime wages may necessarily not be paid as a part of the monthly remuneration.
Therefore, it may be noted that the payment of overtime wages shall depend on the employer's own policies or in accordance with the terms of any contract with the employee to that effect.
Further, it is noted that you are contemplating to take up employment from an entity based at a free-zone in Dubai. However, in accordance with the provisions of your employment contract (which is of limited duration) you are liable to pay to your employer the training costs, should you seek to terminate your employment before the completion of the term of your employment contract which is of two years.
In this regard, it may be noted that in accordance with the prevailing laws of the UAE, it is the duty of the employer to pay for the recruitment and training expenses of all its employees.
A provision in the employment contract which is contrary to the Labour Law shall not be enforceable. Based on this argument, you may try to prevail upon your employer for a waiver on payment of the costs of training.
You may also consider approaching the Ministry of Labour for further clarification with respect to your queries.

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