Private sector faces Friday deadline for Emiratisation targets

Employers with at least 50 staff must ensure 3 per cent of their workforce is Emirati to avoid fines

Private sector companies must meet mid-year Emiratisation targets by Friday. The National
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UAE private sector companies have just a few more days to hit mid-year Emiratisation targets or they will be fined.

Businesses with at least 50 employees must ensure that 3 per cent of their workforce is comprised of Emiratis by Friday to avoid paying penalties.

The deadline was extended from June 30 to allow for the Eid Al Adha break.

Employers that fail to achieve the goal will be fined Dh42,000 (about $11,400) for each Emirati role not filled, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation previously announced.

These measures apply to skilled positions. Companies in free zones are exempt from the scheme, but are encouraged to participate.

In February, the government announced that companies must increase their proportion of Emirati workers by 1 per cent every six months.

Previously, they had been mandated to boost the number of citizens employed by 2 per cent by the end of each year.

Eligible employers are expected to meet a 4 per cent target by the end of this year, rising to 6 per cent in 2024, 8 per cent in 2025 and 10 per cent by the end of 2026.

The government is determined to increase local participation in the private sector, saying it remains central to the economic prosperity of the country.

Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said in May that the number of Emiratis working in the private sector had reached 66,000, with more than 10,000 hired in the first three months of this year.

He said the encouraging figures underscored the ministry's commitment to bolstering the private sector's Emirati workforce.

The minister has previously stated that the UAE's focus on harnessing local talent would transform the country's labour landscape.

“The labour market in the UAE is entering a new phase that focuses on the central role of national human capital within the private sector," Mr Al Awar said in December.

"The skilled Emirati employees, who constitute most Emirati employees registered within the ministry’s system, are proving their positive effects on the economy.

"We are on the verge of fundamental changes in the country's labour market in line with increasing the participation of citizens and improving the competitiveness of the local business environment.

"This is in light of the support provided by Nafis programme for Emirati cadres and private sector establishments, along with the ministry's follow-up to implement regulations and resolutions aimed at increasing the participation of citizens in the private sector."

Updated: July 03, 2023, 8:49 AM