The Labour Relations Authority has announced that it has discovered a number of employers who have failed to pay the Ramadan allowance in accordance with the law.
According to the authority, the matter is mostly found in companies doing construction work, hotel managers, and retail businesses.
The authority further confirmed that it is in the process of taking due action against businesses that fail to comply with the law.
According to the law, every Muslim employee must be paid one third of their salary as Ramadan allowance. If the amount is below MVR2000, employers must pay a minimum of MVR 2000. The amount cannot, however, exceed MVR10,000.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports has voiced concerns that their investigations show some companies do not pay the mandatory Ramadan allowance to members of its staff.
They further stated that even among those companies that do pay the allowance, some fail to follow the guidelines defined in the Employment Act.
According to the act, every Muslim employee must be paid one third of their salary as Ramadan allowance. If the amount is below MVR 2000, employers must pay a minimum of MVR2000. If the amount exceeds MVR10,000, then employers must pay only up to MVR10,000.
The ministry called on all private companies to follow the law and pay the allowance as defined in the regulations.
Tourism Employees Association of Maldives (TEAM) has urged employers to pay Ramadan Allowances prior to the beginning of the month as stated in the Employment Act.
‘’We call on all employers to pay the Ramadan Allowance they are obliged to pay in the Employment Act, to be paid before the beginning of the month of Ramadan,’’ TEAM said in a press release .‘’Article 51[a] of the Employment Act states that each year, prior to the beginning of the month of Ramadan, one third of the employee shall be paid as Ramadan Allowance.’’
TEAM expressed concern that some of the employees working in the tourism sector have not received last year’s Ramadan Allowance.
‘’We also call on all employees to work to have the Ramadan Allowance paid,’’ TEAM added.
Vice President of TEAM Mauroof Zakir told Minivan News that TEAM’s press release was not only targeted at employers in the tourism industry but to all employers.
‘’It is a right of all the Muslim employees and it is also mentioned in the Employment Act,’’ Mauroof said.
Mauroof expressed concern that although the Ramadan Allowance was introduced in 2008, there have been some employees that were not receiving the allowance.
‘’We have received information that 12 tourist resorts in the Maldives have not paid Ramadan Allowance to their employees last year,’’ he said. ‘’Following an amendment presented by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ahmed Easa, now all employees earning less than Rf2000 are supposed to be paid Rf2000 as Ramadan Allowance according to the Act, and we urge all employees working in all the sectors not only tourism sector, to work to have it.’’
Mauroof said he did not wish to reveal the names of the resorts that have not paid last year’s Ramadan Allowance.
”It would be better not to mention their names, just not yet,” he added.