Lebanon: Increased Fines for Companies Employing Migrant Workers without Proper Permits
Labor Ministry raises fine for sacking Lebanese wrongfully
Lebanon’s Labor Ministry announced on Monday a steeper penalty for companies and institutions that fire Lebanese employees in favor of foreigners working under false titles. The ministry said in a statement that violating companies will be fined up to LL2,500,000 ($1,660), up from the previous LL250,000 penalty [which they were previously allowed to pay as settlement]. They must pay the fine within 15 days or face additional charges.
“The decision comes after the ministry found that institutions ... prefer to pay the previous settlement penalty over hiring Lebanese [workers],” the statement said. Labor Minister Sejaan Azzi told The Daily Star Monday that the stricter fines were only aimed at companies that change the job description of foreign workers to give them lower salaries and replace Lebanese employees…
Azzi said earlier this month that 10,000 Lebanese nationals were forced from their jobs and were replaced with “foreigners” over the past year. He was primarily referring to Syrian refugees. Refugees and many foreign workers tend to accept significantly lower wages than Lebanese citizens.