Wage protection systems and programmes in the GCC

This paper is an assessment of the limitations of the electronic Wage Protection System (WPS) introduced in four of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. The widespread practice of withholding wages has led to the GCC states introducing a wage protection system where employers are required to make the payments to employees into their bank accounts to ensure an official record of payments that can be monitored. Relevant government authorities, with the cooperation of WPS banks, can monitor and take action against non-compliant employers in relation to wage payments. An overview of each country’s wage protection system includes data, where available, on WPS coverage by employing firms, workforce coverage, and penalties for transgressions. In some cases, there is information on the number of violations and the penalties meted out. It is concluded that while WPS programmes are necessary and have provided for greater stability in wage payments, there are still serious limitations because of which a number of fraudulent practices by unscrupulous employers can go undetected. On the other hand, there are problems for employers who may be unfairly penalized. Until improved technological monitoring mechanisms are introduced covering more detailed elements of wage entitlements and access identity, the WPS programmes will only reveal late payment of wages and will be unable to discern whether the payments made are correct, or who is withdrawing the wages from automatic teller machines.

  • Date: 11/10/2017
  • Sector: Any
  • Topics: Digital technology, Sustainable enterprises, Workers' rights
  • Regions: Arab States
  • Resource type: Publications
  • Institutions: Gulf Research Center