Minutes late: Dh10,000 fine

An Emirati healthcare practitioner from a hospital run by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) has alleged that his salary was deducted by Dh10,000 for being “a couple of minutes late to work”.

He admitted that he arrived approximately five minutes late on five occasions, but argued that he stayed back at work for two hours on those days.

“I was late by a few minutes and ended up having my salary deducted by Dh10,000.

“I even continued working after hours, sometimes for two hours on those days. It is just not fair to deduct such a high amount for being minutes late,” he said.

For a week, Seha has not responded to this reporter’s repeated requests for comments.

He pointed out that he is not the only one who has had a whopping salary cut. “A lot of other Emirati doctors and practitioners are complaining because of the bad management decisions.”

“Other co-workers also had their salaries deducted, and some were able to have the issues fixed, but unfortunately mine could not be sorted out.” He noted that a new automated system was implemented in September and when he approached the HR department, he was told nothing could be done to reverse the Dh10,000 cut.

“HR told me that nothing can be done, but this isn’t true because they had fixed it for other employees. It just looks like they can pick and choose.”

The healthcare practitioner’s charges come on the heels of a recent salary dispute between Seha and the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), where hundreds of junior Emirati doctors were left without pay.

Although the dispute over the contribution of salaries has been resolved, Seha halted the pay and contracts of nearly 200 young doctors.

Another Emirati doctor, also working at a hospital run by Seha, said that an unexpected email began to circulate from the hospital’s HR and Seha.

“Just prior to the orientation day, an email was sent indicating that residents and interns will not be recruited and were told to stay home until further notice. The reasons were not clear and even the programme directors were surprised and unaware of this.

“Everything became static. Not having residents heavily affects doctors and their performance, because we depend on new residents.

“This is not about economic tightening, because there is an open budget to train every Emirati physician. This is about the management. So what was really going on?” he asked.

The healthcare practitioner, on the other hand, said he was not surprised by the sudden move.

“New structures are often not negotiated with us and simply implemented in a top-down fashion, leading to unhappy hospital employees and under-treated patients.

“There seems to be no communication whatsoever about the needs of staff and patients in response to economic decisions – and in the healthcare industry, this simply just does not workout.”

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