x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Job hunters hit by illegal fees

Ministry of Labour officials pledge to investigate recruitment agencies illegally charging fees to job seekers, following an investigation by The National.

ABU DHABI // Ministry of Labour officials pledged last night to investigate recruitment agencies who were illegally charging fees to job seekers, following an investigation by The National. Recruitment agencies cannot charge candidates for any services offered to help them secure a job, but can seek payment from firms that hire them.

Companies flouting the law face fines and possible further penalties, said Humaid bin Deemas, the acting director general of the ministry. "The law specifies that such companies should pay a law violation fine of Dh1,000 (US$272) as well as transferral of its case to the Public Prosecutor on the grounds that is committed a criminal offence," Mr bin Deemas said. The National found several companies in Dubai and Sharjah charging fees - in one case demanding up to Dh1,500 - from hundreds of job hunters.

"It makes the whole reputation of the industry look very unprofessional," said Jason Armes, the managing director of the Dubai-based recruiter Qismet Consulting, which does not charge fees to job hunters. The Dubai Department for Economic Development, which licenses all businesses in the emirate, also said it would look into any complaints and carry out inspections. *The National