United Arab Emirates plans new labor law
The United Arab Emirates is seriously considering revising its labor laws to minimize unskilled labor and lead the country into the new economy era, officials said.
Labor ministry officials have been studying ways to move form a cheap labor dependent economy to one that is dependent on a skilled and professional workforce.
As a first step, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will issue the majority of work permits to skilled and educated workers, Deputy Labor Minister Khalid Khazraji told a news conference.
Other ideas being considered is an increase of the cost of unskilled workers and lifting government support for cheap labor. Conditioning proof of qualifications for all incoming labor and setting a minimum wage law are also being considered. And companies requesting foreign workers will have to provide training for the new employees.
"All these ideas are being studied, nothing has been implemented so far," Khazarji said. He said a committee of experts and labor ministry officials will make their recommendations at the end of the year.
Khazarji stressed the importance of employee training for both residents and non-residents of the United Arab Emirates saying that non-residents largely contribute to the economy. More than 80 percent of the workforce in the UAE is unskilled and uneducated and 98 percent of the private sector employees are non-UAE residents, Khazarji said.
Twenty-two percent of the non-UAE residents are illiterate. Khazarji said the percentage would increase if the UAE continues to allow non-educated workers to enter the country.
The UAE was ranked number 45 on the United Nations Human Resources Development and Khazarji blamed the unskilled foreign work force for that, saying that only 13 percent of UAE residents are illiterate. – (Albawaba-MEBG)