Over 1,000 cases of labour abuses referred to prosecutors in UAE last year

A report by the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Labour has revealed that on more than 1,000 occasions last year, employers that broke labour laws were referred to prosecutors. 

In 2013, The Ministry of Labour conducted as many as 138,801 general inspections, 11,807 visits to workers’ accommodation and 80,571 visits to construction sites to ensure that operatives were not working during the hours of greatest heat in the summer. Convicted employers received "substantial penalties", the ministry said.

In May, hundreds of workers at a site in Dubai went on strike to demand better pay and conditions. After the two-day strike, immigration officials issued at least 40 deportation orders– Human Rights Watch’s 2014 world report

The 1,015 prosecutions were carried out for inadequate accommodation for foreign workers and for forcing labourers to work during the hottest hours of the day, both of which are illegal.

The UAE recently received a mark of "five" in the International Trade Union Confederation’s report into how well workers’ rights were protected around the globe. The report stated that "countries with the rating of five are the worst countries in the world to work in". 

The Independent on Sunday recently reported that workers on the New York University campus in Abu Dhabi were arrested and beaten after going on strike to demand an increase in their £121-a-month salary.

The UAE this week issued a report detailing the steps it has taken to protect expatriate labourers.

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