Emiratisation deadline: authorities warn against false job adverts and illegal salary cuts

Inspection teams will monitor and prevent misuse of social support packages

A poster on the Emiratisation drive at Dubai's World Trade Centre. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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UAE authorities have warned private companies against posting misleading job adverts, offering unskilled positions and offering reduced salaries to citizens under the country's Emiratisation drive.

Inspections by officials will increase to ensure rules to bolster the local workforce in the private sector are being adhered to.

By January 1, private companies with more than 50 employees must ensure 2 per cent of their staff is Emirati or face penalties under a government drive to boost the numbers of UAE citizens to 10 per cent of the workforce in four years.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation on Sunday issued an official resolution that covered compliance by the private sector in advertising, compensation and training.

When advertising jobs for UAE citizens, companies must not refer to the government’s Emiratisation policies, support and benefits unless they have secured approval from the Ministry, according to a statement on Wam, the official news agency.

Ministry sets out responsibilities of employers

Misleading adverts that do not reflect real job opportunities, announcements of unskilled jobs, mention of government subsidies and incentives have been prohibited under ministerial resolution number 663 of 2022.

“Expanding Emiratisation in the country requires regulating all aspects,” the ministry statement said.

“We are keen to specify the duties and obligations of all parties, set laws to regulate recently observed violations through intensifying inspection visits, define necessary measures and ensure that all parties follow them.”

Authorities have banned companies from making unauthorised deductions in salaries of Emirati employees and misusing the government’s support and incentive packages.

The new order also urges private businesses to offer job training and skills upgrades to foster growth of Emiratis in the work place.

Paying lower wages to Emirati employees in comparison to their colleagues was also against the Emiratisation legislation, the resolution said.

When hiring a UAE citizen, a company must secure a work permit from the ministry, sign a contract, pay salaries as per regulation, register UAE nationals, and pay monthly pensions and social security contributions within a month from the issuing of employment papers.

If an Emirati employee quits, the employer must cancel the work permit and report the changes to authorities.

The resolution specifies the obligation of Emiratis to adhere to the laws, abide by the conditions in the Nafis programme and report violations to the ministry.

Authorities have warned against forging employment records by obtaining false work permits in the name of UAE nationals to gain from the social support incentives offered by the government.

A fast food company that recently advertised sandwich maker positions for UAE citizens is under investigation by prosecutors after social media users complained that unskilled jobs were being offered to Emiratis.

Employers that fail to reach the 2 per cent target by the end of the year will have to pay a Dh72,000 fine ($19,602) in January for each Emirati worker they fail to hire, the equivalent to Dh6,000 for each month of this year.

The government has taken action against companies that inflate employment numbers to meet targets.

With less than two weeks to go before penalties begin, recruiters have reported a rising interest in hiring UAE nationals in front-facing customer service, retail, hospitality and health sectors.

Updated: December 18, 2022, 12:39 PM