x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Staff yet to get salaries 2 weeks after UAE firm transfers funds

Staff at a contracting company are still waiting for an exchange bureau to hand over their wages more than two weeks after their employer transferred the money to the bureau.

Fortuna Engineering in Sharjah paid out Dh30,800 to its 28 employees after the Eid holiday, despite having already deposited the funds with Asia Exchange on August 12.
Fortuna Engineering in Sharjah paid out Dh30,800 to its 28 employees after the Eid holiday, despite having already deposited the funds with Asia Exchange on August 12.

DUBAI // Staff at a contracting company are still waiting for an exchange bureau to hand over their wages more than two weeks after their employer transferred the money to the bureau.

And an engineering company has had to pay its workers in cash after an identical problem with the same bureau.

Fortuna Engineering in Sharjah paid out Dh30,800 to its 28 employees after the Eid holiday, despite having already deposited the funds with Asia Exchange on August 12.

"This is extremely frustrating because for a small company like ours that is a lot of money," said Mark Denis D'Souza, the company's managing director.

"We tried to contact Asia Exchange's head office in Dubai before and after Eid and heard nothing. Either the phones are switched off or they are not picking up."

Mr D'Souza added: "We paid our employees' salaries again because we didn't want them to be without money. If a payment is missed they will be in big difficulties."

His company has complained to the police and the Central Bank, but "we have been passed from pillar to post on this".

"We complained to the Ministry of Labour and they said go to the Central Bank. But when we went there they advised us to make a police complaint, but they then told us it was a matter for the courts.

"This should not be our responsibility to pay even more for the case to go to court when we have done nothing wrong. The authorities should be investigating this."

As The National reported last week, staff at Chirag Contracting in Dubai were due to be paid before Eid, but are still waiting more than two weeks after the deposits were made.

Manuj Kumar, a manager at the company, said Dh339,000 deposited through Asia Exchange for more than 300 workers on August 11 had still not been paid.

"We were promised by the exchange on Sunday that the salaries will be paid by the end of the week," he said.

"Employees are understandably very upset about this and want the matter resolved as soon as possible.

"We have made complaints to the Dubai Central Bank and they have said they will refer the matter to the Central Bank in Abu Dhabi.

"We are just one of a number of companies in a similar situation and I know many have also complained to the police."

No one answered phone calls yesterday to Asia Exchange's head office in Dubai, and no one at the Central Bank was available for comment.

Employee salaries can be paid through an exchange bureau as part of the Ministry of Labour's Wage Protection System, which allows the ministry to ensure that companies do not default on salaries, and that workers are paid on time without any unlawful deductions.

nhanif@thenational.ae