x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

New Emiratisation scheme targets 15% of private jobs

The minister of labour issues amended legal requirements for hiring Emiratis, saying at least 15 per cent of positions should be reserved for nationals across all private industry.

ABU DHABI // The minister of labour issued amended legal requirements for hiring Emiratis yesterday, saying at least 15 per cent of positions should be reserved for nationals across all private industry.

Saqr Ghobash issued several directives that would divide firms into three new categories, based on a company's compliance with labour legislation, standards and systems, timely salary payment, and approach to a diverse workforce.

Mr Ghobash said his ministry was keen to create a balanced working environment that stimulated the economy and increases productivity, according to WAM, the state news agency.

"Our ethical and legal mandate requires us to strive to explore and roll out mechanisms that embody the sincere commitment of the political leadership to put in place a safe and stable environment and to protect rights of all categories in the community," Mr Ghobash said.

The new system will replace a similar policy implemented in 2005. Previously, different sectors of industry were required to have different percentages of Emirati employees.

"While the old system revolved primarily on the cultural diversity mix in firms, the new one allows the firm to move higher on the classification scale, giving them a slew of rewards based on their commitment to certain standards like Emiratisation, wages and housing," the minister of labour said.

Companies that fail to follow the new Emiratisation policy or break other rules outlined by the ministry will be fined Dh15,000 to Dh20,000 per offence.

The new regulations also state that at least 20 per cent of the workforce overall should be skilled workers.

The minimum wage for the three different tiers of recognised skilled workers, which are separate from the categories of companies, is Dh5,000, Dh7,000 or Dh12,000 a month.