UAE reminds private sector companies of six-month Emiratisation deadline

April 26, 2023 at 4:33 PM

UAE authorities have reminded businesses that June 30 is the next deadline for private sector companies with 50 employees or more to hit their six-month Emiratisation target.

According to The National, last year, employers were directed to ensure 2 per cent of roles were taken up by Emiratis by the end of 2022 and then increase the proportion of Emiratis in the workforce by 1 per cent every six months.

Three per cent of skilled jobs must also be occupied by Emiratis by July 1 and four per cent by the end of the year, under the government’s Emiratisation drive.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation also reminded companies they faced half-yearly fines of Dh42,000 ($11,435) for every Emirati not hired.

It comes after the UAE Cabinet resolution last year that sought to boost Emiratisation rates in the private sector.

The Emirati employment rate is to increase to 6 per cent next year, 8 per cent in 2025 and 10 per cent by 2026.

Companies registered in free zones are exempt yet are still encouraged to hire UAE citizens.

Aisha Belharfia, acting undersecretary for Emiratisation Affairs and Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs, said it was important private sector companies hit their targets and urged them to use Nafis to hire Emirati talents in skilled jobs.

Nafis is a federal government programme that provides a monthly salary support of a maximum of Dh7,000 to Emiratis who earn up to Dh30,000 a month. It also covers child allowance and pension contributions.

“The private sector is an active partner in enhancing the attractiveness and competitiveness of the job market, in line with the vision to make the UAE a dynamic economic hub that is among the most sustainable and fastest growing in the world,” Ms Belharfia said.

“The success of Emiratisation efforts depends on the expansion of the vacancies open to Emiratis in the private sector and building a secure network that supports their career paths. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation supports exceptional companies that train and employ Emiratis in line with Nafis’ objectives.

“We also offer them the chance to join the Tawteen Partners Club, which boosts the ranking of the company to Category 1, providing them with a discount of up to 80 per cent on the Ministry’s fees.”

The ministry said fines of Dh42,000 would be applied for every Emirati not hired within targeted companies. The fines will increase by Dh1,000 every year until 2026.

The government has consistently sought to boost the number of UAE citizens in the private sector and while public sector hours and wages have typically been more attractive, this is changing.

Due to initiatives such as Nafis, the ministry announced on April 19 that the number of Emiratis working in the private sector had increased by 11 per cent in the first three months of the year over 2022.

The numbers were not disclosed but by the end of last year, more than 50,000 Emiratis were employed in private companies, the ministry reported.

Of these, 28,700 joined after the Nafis programme began last year, as employers were directed to have 2 per cent of roles taken up by Emiratis by the end of 2022.

“We look forward to the results of the new mechanism of achieving Emiratisation targets, which guarantees continuous employment of Emiratis year-round and maintains their retention in the private sector,” said Ms Belharfia. (NewsWire)