Another 100 companies fined for evading Emiratisation rules since November

Almost 1,000 private companies have now failed to meet Emiratisation guidelines

Latest figures show that 995 private companies have tried to evade Emiratisation rules. Photo: Bjoern Lauen
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Latest figures show that 995 private companies have tried to evade Emiratisation rules since they came into force in 2022, more than 100 of them since November 2023.

The announcement was made on Wednesday, with officials saying 1,660 fake Emiratisation cases have been discovered.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation said those companies will no longer receive financial benefits from the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council programme (Nafis) for employing UAE citizens.

More than 19,000 private companies currently hire Emiratis and comply with Emiratisation policies and decisions, the ministry added, noting that about 92,000 Emiratis work in the private sector.

Actions taken against offending companies include fines ranging between Dh20,000 and Dh100,000 and, depending on the severity of the offence, referral to the Public Prosecutor.

Fake Emiratisation

False Emiratisation includes family members being hired with no real role, or forging employment records by obtaining false work permits in the name of UAE citizens.

Companies caught breaking the rules are also downgraded to the lowest categories in the private sector classification system. This means they face higher service fees for work permits and transfer fees. Instead of paying only Dh250 for certain permits, they will pay Dh3,750.

The UAE's Nafis programme was introduced in September 2021, looking to ensure 10 per cent of all jobs in the private sector were taken up by citizens by the end of 2026.

Legal requirements

UAE authorities previously warned private companies against posting misleading job adverts and offering unskilled positions and reduced salaries to citizens under the country's Emiratisation drive.

Employers at eligible companies are required to reach a 4 per cent target by the end of the year, increasing to 6 per cent by the close of 2024, 8 per cent the following year and 10 per cent by the end of 2026.

In July, in a major expansion of the drive, small businesses were told they must recruit Emiratis to their workforce.

Companies with 20 to 49 employees must hire at least one UAE citizen by next year and another by 2025.

The requirement applies to privately owned companies in 14 sectors, including real estate, education, construction and health care.

Previously, only companies with 50 or more employees needed to meet the targets for hiring UAE citizens.

Updated: January 10, 2024, 11:03 AM