RMJM has played down fears of turmoil at the practice following a spate of staff walkouts and claims employees at its Dubai office have been left unpaid
Responding to reports at the weekend in The Scotsman that as many as 80 staff and director Barry Shapiro have recently left the practice’s Hong Kong office, the practice said it was ‘no different from all other major global firms’.
According to the Scottish paper, workers at RMJM’s Dubai office have received their wages on-time fewer than three times in the past 14 months and the Middle East outpost has recently been visited by officials from the Ministry of Labour.
One employee is alleged to have said: ‘They [the officials] came to our offices about a week ago and demanded that staff be paid immediately. On 30 October, all September salaries were paid. They also made the claim that our October salaries would be paid on time.
‘We should have received this on 1 November but didn’t. It’s a very harsh environment out here in the Middle East. If people don’t get paid on time, cheques bounce and if a cheque bounces it’s a criminal offence.’
RMJM claimed its cash flow problems resulted from a ‘significant’ client being behind on payments. A spokesperson said: ‘That in turn has caused cash flow issues, putting us in a similar position to many of our competitors in the region.
‘The reduction in the number of principals in the US relates directly to the slowdown in work there and in Hong Kong, whilst some staff have left in recent months, we’ve also recruited there in the same period.’