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Emiratisation and employers
Authorities are continuing their quest for Emiratisation. Can it be achieved? Is it even possible? And what will be the consequences? Kipp has no answers to any of those questions.
December 28, 2010 3:08 by Samuel Potter
Khaleej Times reports that, in a move “likely to drastically change the labour market scenario in the country,” the Ministry of Labour says all companies must boast a workforce that is 20 percent comprised of Emiratis.
Kipp is not against Emiratisation as such – after all, from the point of view of the government and nationals it is well intentioned – but there are flaws in the plans. Companies in the private sector have real trouble attracting and retaining Emirati employees, for various complicated reasons. Chief among them: unfavourable remuneration and work conditions/demands when compared to the public sector, and the apparently unrealistic promotion expectations of many Emirati candidates.
Whatever the reasons, the fact is Kipp knows many companies that have tried and failed in ambitious and earnest bids to recruit Emiratis. Under the new system no matter how hard they try, they will be held responsible and commercially punished if they fail (charges for government services, such as acquiring labour cards, will be much cheaper for companies that meet the Emirati quota). It is one way to force companies to embrace the policy, but it is not necessarily a good way. Efforts to integrate nationals into the workforce should be more constructive and practical than this, and private companies need to make that clear to the Ministry.
Desiring unreasonable control of a worker’s life is not a valid point for employers to argue, but wanting Emiratisation to be implemented in a sustainable, effective manner is.
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