Thursday, January 26, 2006

Action - More inspectors to monitor workers' rights :: Gulf News

The UAE is moving in the right direction, and asking the right questions:
A labour inspector will now check on the rights of every 21,062 workers, after 50 inspectors formally began work at the Labour Ministry yesterday. On January 21, Gulf News reported that the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs had only 80 labour inspectors to check on the rights of about 2,738,000 expatriates, working for about 246,420 UAE-registered companies employing one worker or more. That meant there was one labour inspector for every 34,225 workers in the UAE.

The situation is likely to improve somewhat after the ministry absorbed some administrative staff as labour inspectors after a six-month training course.
. . .
Some inspectors complained to Gulf News that they were paid between Dh5,000 and Dh11,000 a month. Salary problem still has not been solved, admitted Dr Ali Bin Abdullah Al Kaabi, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.

That's still a low inspector to worker ratio, but it is a move in the right direction. If more nationals are to be attracted to these posts, the salary will need to improve.

Internal reorganization is usually not easy or pleasant. It is a healthy sign that the MoL has redeployed some administrative staff as labor inspectors.

UPDATE, 28 January: The Khaleej Times has more. "An independent authority for labour inspection, to operate under the umbrella of the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry on the country’s level, will be set up during this year to enable better control on the private sector, revealed Dr Ali bin Abdullah Al Kaabi, the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs. . . . The authority, in cooperation with a specialised company, will prepare statistical studies and integrated maps about the labour force and companies operating in the country, which are estimated at 250,000."


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