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UAE embassy in Belgium involved in fraud against employees, report says

Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Belgium, avenue Franklin Roosevelt 84 in Brussels [Wikipedia]
Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Belgium, avenue Franklin Roosevelt 84 in Brussels [Wikipedia]

The embassy of the UAE was involved in fraud against scores of workers and employees, including secretaries, chefs, translators, drivers and housekeepers, Belgian newspaper DH revealed last week.

According to Rassd news network, the newspaper reported that the UAE embassy had been involved in this fraud for about 40 years as a former employee at the embassy revealed that no employment was officially announced between 1976 and 1994 or reported to the National Social Security Office.

The employee also said that after 1994, the UAE embassy paid some employees the minimum wage without social security or retirement payments.

The UAE embassy illegally hired these workers and employees, according to DH, and did not give them guarantees of social protection. It later fired between ten and 30 workers who protested against this action in 2019.

In 2020, the former employee said, the embassy outsourced its operations.

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"The embassy attempted to force the former workers to sign contracts through these external parties in order to continue doing the work, but many of them refused so that they were arbitrarily sacked," DH reported.

The Belgian government's inspector reported by the newspaper saying that he was aware of the situation and had contacted some of the sacked employees and asked them to file complaints against the embassy.

Criminal lawyer Antoine Chumi, who is defending four of the employees, said that he was shocked with the embassy's "negative reply" as it rejected the legal measures taken against its fraud.

"Unfortunately, the UAE embassy in Brussels uses its diplomatic immunity to violate workers' rights and fire them without paying any compensation or health and social insurances or even holidays guaranteed by law," Chumi was reported by DH saying.

Chumi added that the UAE embassy had been indicted on charges of violating workers' rights.

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