UAE | Employment

Proposal moots job security for Emiratis

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

  • By Wafa Issa, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 23:12 February 14, 2009
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Gulf News Archive
  • As per the proposal, no company will be allowed to sack an Emirati before it has exhausted all avenues to find a suitable solution.

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.

Insurance

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.

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