UAE | Employment

New emiratisation drive

The labour minister has announced that companies can only recruit UAE nationals as human resources managers and secretaries. Businesses have 18 months to replace their staff.

  • By Samir Salama, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 23:33 May 3, 2009
  • Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Private companies must henceforth recruit UAE nationals as human resources managers and secretaries, the labour minister said on Saturday.

"This will create 21,536 jobs including 671 managers," said Dr Ali Bin Abdullah Al Ka'abi.

Private businesses are being given 18 months to replace their existing human resources and personnel managers with UAE nationals, while no more work permits for secretaries will be issued with immediate effect, according to two decisions signed by Al Ka'abi on Saturday.

The minister said foreign secretaries who hold valid labour cards and are recruited by virtue of job contracts will remain in their jobs until the end of their limited-period contracts or otherwise until the end of the labour cards, "whichever is earlier".

This, Dr Al Ka'abi said, implies that neither the job contracts nor the labour cards of secretaries will be renewed.

"Furthermore, private companies will not be allowed to transfer sponsorship of secretaries and they will not be issued temporary or part-time work permits or mission permits. Secretaries sponsored by their husbands or parents will no longer be issued labour cards," he said.

"The labour ministry's new emiratisation plan is meant to strengthen the recruitment of UAE nationals in certain jobs rather than in economic sectors after it [the ministry] found a lack of commitment to the emiratisation quota imposed by the Cabinet in the banking, insurance and trade companies."

Companies which wish to recruit UAE national secretaries should coordinate with Tanmia, the National Human Resources Development and Employment Authority and other human resource development programmes in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

Emiratisation, he said, will now be on the basis of profession, a policy that has succeeded in private companies with 100 workers or more, which recruit UAE nationals as government relations officers, also known as PROs.

The new decisions are applicable to all private companies, regardless of the number of their workers.

Dr Al Ka'abi said the emiratisation of human resource managers was prompted by foreign human resources managers' "preference to recruit their own nationals."

Calling the 18 months a suitable grace period, Dr Al Ka'abi said Tanmia will provide training to UAE citizens to be recruited in place of foreign human managers.

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