x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Emirati unemployment to be debated by FNC

A debate on the state of Emiratisation in the country will take place at the Federal National Council next week following a two-year study.

ABU DHABI // A much-anticipated debate on the state of Emiratisation is due to be held by the Federal National Council next week.

After two years of studying Emirati unemployment in the private and public sector, the council’s temporary Emiratisation committee is ready for a final debate with the Minister of Labour, Saqr Ghobash.

The meeting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday.

The entire report has yet to be made public but members of the committee said that despite finding thousands of job vacancies, 40,000 nationals were unemployed.

They planned to call for Emiratisation quotas to be imposed on private companies to ensure nationals were offered at least the same salaries as those in the public sector. They will also call for changes to be made to the UAE’s labour law.

The committee said that if companies could not meet salary demands, the Government should step in and subsidise salaries.

Hamad Al Rahoomi (Dubai), head of the committee, said asking Emiratis to work for half the salary they could get working for the Government would “not happen”.

He said the public sector was also suffering, but for other reasons yet to be revealed.

Also during the session, Mosabeh Al Kitbi (Sharjah) is expected to call for early retirement for women, and for specific retiree rights.

Emirati women outside Abu Dhabi can only retire after working for 20 years. Mr Al Kitbi said the time should be reduced to 15 years, to pull all the emirates in line.

The issue of early retirement was first put forward in April, but the council has since had trouble summoning Obaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs and deputy head of the pensions authority, to sessions.

Mr Al Kitbi will also ask Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, why there are undersecretary vacancies at some ministries.

Also expected to attend the session is Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, and head of the National Tourism Authority.

Ali Al Nuaimi (Ajman) will inquire about encouraging local tourism and ensuring Emiratis get the best deals abroad.

The public session will be held at the FNC headquarters in Abu Dhabi from 9am.

osalem@thenational.ae