By Diaa Hadid, Gulf News Reporter
Dubai: The Labour Minister in a new Ministerial decision listed 14 exemptions to the Cabinet decision on fines regarding labour permits.
The decision, signed on April 26 and distributed on Monday to the media, forgives workers and companies in 14 different circumstances from paying fines for expired labour permits and for delay in issuing them.
The categories include workers who have left the country before their labour permit expired and have spent at least six months outside the UAE or their residency visa has also expired.
Companies who reported workers as absconding before 2002, who were not issued a labour permit or who have an expired labour permit will also not pay fines.
Another category includes workers who have a complaint at the labour courts, referred there from the Ministry, who were not issued a labour permit or whose permits expired after the complaint was referred to court.
Fines for delaying the issuing and renewal of labour permits shot up last year.
Cabinet decision 19 for 2005 fines companies that delay issuing or renewing labour permits for more than 60 days between Dh1,000 and Dh3,000, depending on the company’s category.
If a company allows labour permits to expire for more than 60 days, but less than six months, or delays issuing a permit for that length of time, they can be fined between Dh3,000 and Dh5,000.
Companies that do not renew permits or issue them in a year must pay Dh5,000 for every year and part of year that passes.
The new fines led many companies last year to accumulate fines of thousands of dirhams, which they were unable to pay off.
A grace period was introduced for about a month in February, allowing firms to pay Dh5,000 per expired labour card, instead of paying the accumulated fines.
14 categories that do not pay fines
1. Workers who have left the country before their labour per it expired, and have spent at least six months outside the UAE, or their residency visa has also expired.
2. Workers who left the country before July 23, 2005, and spend more than six months outside the country, and were not issued a labour permit or the permit expired before he left the country, and whose name was not removed from the company’s list of workers.
3. Workers who left the country after July 23, 2005, and spend more than six months outside the UAE, and were not issued a labour permit, or their labour permit expired, and were not removed from the company’s list of workers, will pay a fine from the date of their entry into the UAE, or from the time their permit expired, until they leave the country.
4. Workers whose names appear repeatedly in Ministry documents.
5. Workers outside the country were not issued a labour permit or it expired, and who do not have any records in the Immigration department, or whose records are not complete in regards to when they entered or exited the country.
6. Workers whose companies reported them as absconding before 2002, who were not issued a labour permit or who have an expired labour permit will also not pay fines.
7. Workers who were not issued a labour permit, or have an expired permit, who were deported administratively or judicially before this decision was issued. As for workers who are deported after this decision, hey will be fined from the date they entered the country or from the day their permit expired, until the day they leave.
8. Workers who have died or have a contagious illness, and who were not issued a labour permit, or it expired before they died or before they were affected by illness.
9. Workers who have a complaint at the labour courts, referred there from the Ministry, who were not issued a labour permit or whose permits expired after the complaint was referred to court.
10. Workers who were not issued a labour permit or it expired after a government or court decision closing or cancelling the company they work for. However, an administrative decision from the Labour Ministry or economic department to cancel the license or its expiry or the company is not active, will not be considered to forgive the fines.
11. Workers not issued a labour permit or it expired during his timein jail, or three months after he is released if the company is adjusting his status
12. A labour perit expired in the name of a partner or investor or company manager on the condition that his name is recorded in the licence and proof
13. Worker without a labour permit or an expired permit who was issued a UAE passport
14. workers who were reported as being ouside of the contry for jore han six months and who paid the fine (or the company paid he fine) and then it is later discovered he is inside the country