In reference to New law will phase out 'objection certificates' (December 19), I consider this is the beginning of a new era when employer and employee will have equal rights to choose each other. However as an employer, the cost of hiring is still high (visa and training costs) and we will have to be selective to employ the right employee for the right position. Hence adopting an appropriate human resources policy will avoid unnecessary costs.
I think there is room for further improvement to match with the international market where security of the employee is very important. This is lacking in Gulf countries including the UAE. I think employers should not only make provision of terminal benefits (gratuity, leave salary and air ticket) in the account books but the same should be deposited in the banks on a monthly basis or be invested in government securities, which will also earn interest. It will benefit employees by securing their future, while the employer can avoid a catastrophic situation of payment of a huge amount at one point. Finally, the government can also generate huge long term funds in such a challenging time.
An employees' welfare fund organisation could be a statutory body established under the Ministry of Labour to administers a compulsory contributory employees terminal benefit fund and an insurance scheme for the UAE workforce.
If you look at the broader picture, with new rules in place, getting local talent will be easier and with more choices, employees will also have to upgrade their skills as new talent will be ready to grab opportunities. Retaining old employees will be a challenge for the employers, as they will have to pay them at par with the market or even more to retain human capital assets.
Divya Jitendra Gianchandani, Jitendra Consulting Group, Dubai
The right spirit for the season
Don't call me Scrooge, but Abu Dhabi merchants and retailers have gone completely overboard this year in a seriously crass characterisation of Christmas. It's one thing to show tolerance of another's religion. But the stores' overt messages feel more like an exploitation of Christian expatriates than the respectful recognition of a religious holy day.
This year the merchants seem to be just outright pandering to those who celebrate Christmas and have jumped on the bandwagon to make sales. There is really no sense of understanding of the Christmas spirit. Despite all the decorations and attempts to make it look like Christmas, the meaning behind it is nowhere in sight.
While some may feel that the retailers are being accommodating to the expatriate community, to me this display of tinsel window dressing is disingenuous and simply centres around sales and the revenue stream.
C Yanacek, Abu Dhabi
The article Emirates Palace says tree 'cost no money' (December 20) reported on the publicity garnered by the hotel's Dh42 million Christmas tree. A hotel employee said: "It's something we wanted to do to promote Emirates Palace and Abu Dhabi as a destination." The world knows the Emirates Palace and Abu Dhabi. Neither needs this type of marketing.
Christmas, like all other religious celebrations, is about a lot of things. Good things. Extravagance is certainly not one of them. Keep it simple and elegant.
Ziad Q, Abu Dhabi
Hatred spreads like an epidemic
In reference to Anti-Muslim groups descend on Paris (December 19), I guess it's become official now: Islamophobia. Shouldn't I rather say, Anti-Islamism? That's more correct. Not only is it real, but its increasingly raising its ugly head every now and then in the West. It's even spreading like an epidemic in Europe. More than anything else it's because the authorities are letting it happen in spite of knowing very well that no matter how well-disguised it is or whatever absurd reasons the observers come up with to justify their new laws, marches, burnings and protests, it all boils down to one naked truth: hatred and injustice towards a specific part of mankind. To those who practice Islam.
The one good thing which I believe will come out of all this is that it will make many non-Muslim spectators of this religious racism think and make efforts to learn more about Islam to know if it is really as bad as they all make it sound, and maybe in the process take up Islam for its wonderful teachings that can make the world a better place to live in. A more tolerant one too than the one we have right now.
F Baasleim, Dubai
Lessons in the loss of 300 jobs
I refer to Etisalat to cut at least 300 jobs to save money (December 17). This is consumers voting through choice. Etisalat has had so long to improve services but has preferred to remain entrenched in protecting their unreasonably high margins. I hope the new market reality will help Etisalabecome a more consumer-centric organisation.
Javed Anjum, Abu Dhabi