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UAE law will help boost emiratisation

9 February 17

Khaleej Times

An existing law that gives priority to qualified Emirati job-seekers in private sector jobs would help meet Emiratisation targets.

Saqr bin Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said a mechanism had now been put in place to enforce Article 14 of the law governing labour relations. This provision, the minsiter said, will boost job opportunities for qualified Emirati job-seekers and also serve the interests of employers.

He made these remarks during a meeting in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. Ghobash stressed that 80 per cent of the ministry's priorities are on Emiratisation and following up on companies' progress in this regard.

The ministry, he said, has worked on enhancing the Emiratisation e-registration portal so that qualified Emirati job-seekers can register. The labour permit system will be connected to the ministry's database, which will help activate the provision of the law that grants qualified Emiratis priority. This will help the ministry ensure that a qualified Emirati is not overlooked before granting a work permit to a non-Emirati.

He, however, stressed that no work permit has been rejected on these grounds so far.

Ghobash underscored that the interests of all parties concerned will be taken into account. "We won't apply the law blindly without identifying the impacts of this on employers," he said.

He said companies that meet Emiratisation targets will be granted advantages such as discounts on fees.

The ministry is also mulling over launching an Emiratisation award across the country in order to encourage private sector companies to attract and recruit Emiratis, the minister added.

Visa ban is now rare

Labour bans are a thing of the past, a top official has said. Humaid bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, assistant under-secretary for labour affairs, stressed that the ministry does not impose a labour ban on employees.

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He said the ministry received around one million applications for imposing labour bans on workers last year. However, only 800 applications were heard by the labour court.
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