The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation said on Wednesday it had recovered more than Dh2.3m of financial support from 107 citizens who had accepted “fake jobs” in the private sector.
The ministry worked in partnership with the Nafis programme, which drives efforts to increase Emirati participation in the private sector, state news agency Wam reported.
The UAE provides financial incentives to encourage citizens to switch from typically higher-paid public sector positions to the private sector.
Emiratis who work in the private sector are eligible to receive a monthly salary top-up, as per rules announced by government leaders in November last year.
The ministry urged citizens not to be lured by false jobs offered by companies to help them circumvent employment targets.
Investing in local talent
Companies must increase their Emirati workforce by 1 per cent every six months as part of the nationwide push.
Employers in the UAE with at least 50 members of staff are expected to meet a 4 per cent target by the end of the year.
The Emirati employment rate will increase to 6 per cent in 2024, 8 per cent in 2025 and 10 per cent in 2026.
In July, the UAE announced that companies with 20 to 49 employees would be required to fill a quota for the first time, hiring at least one Emirati in 2024 and another by 2025.
Heavy fines have been imposed on companies and people seeking to manipulate the government-set targets to avoid financial penalties.
The ministry said it carries out regular inspections to ensure businesses are meeting goals and working within the regulatory framework.
Emiratisation targets – in pictures
“Our systems track companies’ compliance with hiring Emiratis in real jobs, paying their salaries as agreed in their contracts through the Wage Protection System (WPS) and as shown in the digital link between the ministry and pension funds in the UAE,” the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We also have an effective smart inspection system and conduct regular field visits to companies employing Emirati citizens.”
The UAE wants Emiratis to play a significant role in the private sector, which remains a driving force for economic development.
The ministry said employers “must align with the national objectives to enhance Emirati citizens’ role in the country’s development”.
“We applaud Emirati professionals working in private companies for their competence and dedication,” it added.
Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, has previously stated that the private sector had proven to be a “credible partner” in the government's campaign to harness the potential of Emirati talent.
UAE takes hard line on offenders
In May, the UAE said firms breaking Emiratisation rules faced fines of up to Dh500,000.
Authorities in the UAE have taken action against hundreds of companies found to be wilfully evading Emiratisation targets.
A total of 436 companies were fined for false Emiratisation, such as family members being hired with no real role or forging employment records by obtaining false work permits in the name of UAE citizens, it was revealed last month.
Five companies were found to have circumvented targets by reducing the number of employees to avoid being included in the programme.
UAE authorities have warned private companies against posting misleading job advertisements, offering unskilled positions and offering reduced salaries to citizens under the country's Emiratisation drive.