UAE Cabinet approves redundancy payments for unemployed Emiratis

Ministers sign off on separate plan to provide citizens with billions in loans to buy homes

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Ministers have approved a series of measures to benefit Emirati families, including redundancy payments for unemployed citizens.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said the move was intended “to compensate the insured worker with a cash amount for a limited period in the event of unemployment”.

"The aim is to enhance the competitiveness of the labour market, provide a social umbrella for its workers, and establish a stable work environment for all," Sheikh Mohammed said.

Unemployment support payments were first set out last year when the government embarked on a major drive to get Emiratis into the private sector, where redundancies are more common.

The Cabinet, which met at Abu Dhabi's Qasr Al Watan after the Eid Al Fitr break, further approved housing loans worth Dh11.5 billion for 13,000 Emirati families.

The loans are the latest step in the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme to ensure every citizen can own a family home.

The Cabinet formally approved the next stage of an Emiratisation drive that will ensure Emiratis make up 10 per cent of employees in private sector companies by 2026.

In the next year, companies with more than 50 employees should have a 2 per cent Emirati workforce under the Nafis scheme. This quota will be expanded year on year until 10 per cent is reached.

In September 2021, the government set a target of getting 75,000 Emiratis into private sector jobs instead of government roles. This included plans by the government to supplement private sector salaries, which tend to be lower than the public sector.

The aim is to create more than 12,000 jobs annually for citizens in all economic sectors.

To incentivise private companies, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation will reduce its service fee by 80 per cent, which will help in recruiting and training Emirati citizens.

Starting from January 2023, non-compliant companies will have to pay Dh6,000 a month for every citizen who has not been employed.

The Nafis scheme offers various benefits to Emiratis, including one-year salary support of up to Dh8,000 a month during training, and a monthly stipend of up to Dh5,000 that is paid for up to five years for university graduates.

It also offers a child allowance of Dh800 a child and up to a maximum of Dh3,200 a month to Emirati staff working in the private sector

Naming firms that breach financial rules

Ministers also approved plans to publicly name companies that breach securities and commodities regulations and detail their offences.

“The goal is to raise investment awareness, and protect our financial markets, deter violators and ensure the protection of all investors,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

At present, companies regulated in the Dubai International Financial Centre free zone that breach laws and regulations are commonly named by the Dubai Financial Services Authority and Financial Markets Tribunal.

The Cabinet plan, which was not detailed in full, appears to be an extension of that practice.

In contrast, domestic criminal and civil courts do not publicly set out judgments or name involved parties.

Tackling climate change

In the environmental sector, Sheikh Mohammed said ministers approved the formation of the Emirates Council for Climate Action, led by the Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Mariam Al Mheiri.

“The aim is to develop public sector plans to deal with the effects of climate change, adapt to its effects and follow up on the implementation of climate neutrality plans by 2050, which we have announced earlier,” he said.

“We also approved the establishment of the Emirates Council for Environmental and Municipal Work, with the membership of all municipalities in the country and a group of federal ministries, with the aim of exchanging experiences and proposing regulations and legislations that raise the level of municipal work at the federal level.”

Other decisions included merging the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments with the Zakat Fund, and forming a new board to manage the authority.

“We have a great opportunity for the growth of the endowment sector in the country and the development of Zakat resources. The new authority has a great mission to develop this sector,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

UAE pavilion at Floriade Expo 2022

The UAE will have a pavilion at the Floriade Expo 2022 in the Netherlands this year.

The event puts a spotlight on the horticultural world and the role it plays in our daily lives.

“It aims to introduce the country’s efforts to overcome the challenges of elevated temperature and water scarcity and to preserve our biological diversity,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

Visitors to the Floriade Expo 2022 in Almere, the Netherlands, in April. The World Horticultural Exhibition is held once every 10 years, each time in a different location. EPA
Updated: May 10, 2022, 5:19 AM