JOB Insecurity

Proposal moots job security for Emiratis

Dubai: A proposal to ban companies in the private sector from sacking Emiratis other than for labour law violations is under consideration.

The National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia) has submitted a draft proposal to the Ministry of Labour under which cases pertaining to the termination of Emiratis working in the private sector are to be evaluated.

Feddah Lootah, the acting director-general at Tanmia, said the proposal aims to safeguard jobs of Emiratis in the private sector. “The main task of the authority is to preserve the jobs of Emiratis,” he said.

The ministry is looking into the proposal but no time-frame has been given as to when a decision could be made.

The proposal suggests that the termination of Emiratis in private sector companies is to be considered arbitrary unless the employee has violated the labour law.

The violations which could lead to a worker’s peremptory dismissal are outlined in Article 120 in the Labour Law.

Article 120 clearly mentions ten cases in which the employer is entitled to terminate a worker’s contract. Non-performance of basic duties as set out under the contract and repeated violations despite warnings, professional mistakes which result in a substantial material loss to the employer, and clear disregard for safety instructions at the workplace are some of the clauses that can be brought against erring employees.

Last week, Gulf News reported that a group of Emiratis had filed a complaint against Al Futtaim Group for what they said was arbitrary termination. The case is still under review at the ministry after the sacked employees had sought immediate reinstatement.

The Tanmia proposal also stipulates that any company in the private sector forced to terminate Emiratis as part of restructuring policies aimed at increasing competitiveness, review of production costs in tough times, or in cases involving mergers between companies should duly inform the ministry of labour about such a move before any decision.

Also, as per the proposal, no company will be allowed to sack an Emirati before it has exhausted all avenues to find a suitable solution.

The proposal outlines a number of steps that a company should mandatorily satisfy before terminating Emiratis such as implementing a part-time system, repackaging salaries on the condition that they don’t go below the minimum wage for Emiratis (which is between Dh3,000-Dh5,000 – depending on the qualifications), relocating them within the company or training them to handle other positions in the company.

Additionally, an employer in the private sector will also not be allowed to terminate an Emirati on the pretext that he/she does not have the required qualifications and skills, if the employee has completed her/his probation period.

New clause

The National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia) is in talks with the General Pensions and Social Security Authority to add an article in the social security to protect Emiratis that are made redundant.

Feddah Lootah, Acting Director-General at Tanmia, said that they are in talks with the Pensions authority to include a clause in the social insurance law, which stipulates unemployment insurance in the law.


The National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia) is in talks with the General Pensions and Social Security Authority to add an Article in the social security scheme to support Emiratis who are made redundant.

Feddah Lootah, acting director-general at Tanmia, said the authority was in talks with the Pensions Authority to include a clause in the social insurance law, which stipulates unemployment insurance.

2 Comments so far

  1. gregg on February 20th, 2009 @ 7:15 pm

    The financial crisis has impacted every local economy of the world in a different way. I think it is great that the Emirates in this case are being protected with employment opportunities and I understand the reasons supporting this measure.

    With such rapid growth in the worldwide economy over the past 15 years and a rush toward globalization, I think that employers and employees need to become flexible and mobile in order to achieve their own career objectives.

    In this regard one can gain access to Permanent Resident Status in the U.S. through an Investment Program that offers foreigners the opportunity to receive a U.S. Resident Green Card through a direct investment in New York, New York which in turn creates local jobs. The benefits of the U.S. Resident Green Card are enjoyed by both you and your spouse as well all children (great for higher education and/or career training opportunities).

    If interested and I can help email at: and I will forward additional information.

  2. sahmed on February 21st, 2009 @ 1:11 am

    The reason why emiratisation has happened is the following reasons -:

    1) The emaratis unemployment scenario has been there since a long time, but now it is at such a alarming rate, that it cannot be ignored, hence the emiritisation program has been implemented by the government.

    2) Most of the fresh emarati graduates, with no experience or training want a lucrative upper managment job as soon as they graduate, which no company in the world will do. You have to work from the bottom and then move up.

    3) Emiritisation program has been implemented by the government because they know that there workforce and education level in the UAE is not at all at par with international standards, which basically means that no other country will higher them. So they have to take care of their own people.

    The Emiritisation program is being implemented in a very haphazard way. They just want to employ the nationals as fast as possible where ever there is a job opening, whether or not the skills match the person or not.

    It is very unfortunate that the expatriates (non arab expats) who helped create this country to what is it is today, are being now surgically and purposefully removed by making new labor laws which are more for the emaratis and against the expatriates.

    Many businessess usually private ones don’t want to employ emaratis because of the basic proven fact that they are lazy, want more holidays, are not work oriented, and don’t have any work ethics. So if the government starts forcing businessess to employ emaratis againt there will, then the economy will suffer as many businessess will leave the country. So basically they are breaking their own backs.

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