Abu Dhabi to provide financial assistance to unpaid workers involved in labour disputes

Author: Shireena Al Nowaism, The National (UAE), Published on: 10 January 2019

"Abu Dhabi court to provide basic services to unpaid workers caught in legal disputes", 10 Decemebr 2018

Low-income workers who have not received their wages on time will be given a card that will pay for food, transport and other costs until problems with their companies are resolved. The move... is intended to provide labourers with financial support and legal counsel while their wages are being withheld. Officials said they have had desperate workers approach them unable to afford basic needs such as food, shelter and transport costs because of extreme debt. The “happiness card” will be available to such workers in the next few months, legal consultant Judge Benjimin Burgher said... Mr Burgher said many of the labourers caught up in such cases earn less than Dh3,000 a month and had not received their wages for months. “They can’t afford to get to court,” the Briton said... The card will be awarded by a judge to eligible workers for use until the case is resolved. “... If you have an employer that has run away or a company that has collapsed, then the employees need support.” Last year, prosecutors dealt with almost 10,000 labour disputes, not including 6,000 group cases. The number represents a 40 per cent decrease from the year before when 16,897 cases were brought before Abu Dhabi courts.

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