New age extension for jobs to help unify system

Nissar Hoath And ?anwar Ahmad
Filed on December 30, 2010
New age extension for jobs to help unify system

Employees in the private sector can now get two-year extension to work after the retirement age with the announcement of a new fee structure for issuance and renewal of work permits.

Clarifying media reports about increasing of retirement age from 60 to 65, Humaid Rashid bin Demas, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs at the Ministry of Labour, told Khaleej Times: “I don’t have any idea of what was mentioned in some section of the media about the extension of (retirement) age from 60 to 65 years.

“A worker whose age is more than 60 years can now get an extension of two years with a two-year labour card. Earlier, they were issued labour cards for one year as an extension, but now they will get it for two years.” The retirement age remains at 60. However, companies can ask for an extension with the Ministry of Labour. Every extension has to be approved before the work permit and labour card is issued. The extension upon the ministry’s approval can be issued beyond the age of 65 with a charge of Dh5,000 for a two-year period.

According to the ministry, the new structure that will come into force from January 1, are measures to help unify fees and standardise the classifications of categories.

The new structure, according to the ministry, was to unify fees for issuing work permits for those until the age of 65, which was in accordance with the classification of categories and new facilities.

There are about 17,500 workers above 60 and about 14,000 those between 60 and 65 years of age in the country.

The fee for renewal of labour card and issuance of internal work permits for a period of two years, under the new structure, will be Dh300 for the first category. The second category includes three levels and will be charged Dh600, Dh1,500 and Dh2,000 respectively.

Meanwhile, employees under the third category will pay Dh5,000 for renewal of their labour cards, and similarly, a unified fee of Dh5,000 will be for the issuance of two-year labour cards of those workers who are over 65 years of age.

Instances of companies amending workers’ age to get reduction in wages are expected to come down with the implementation of the new rule. According to a senior official at the ministry, many companies were known to be doing this to avoid paying more for visas.

According to the ministry, the change in the fee structure brings those employees aged 65 at par with others with regard to issuance and renewal of work permits.

Under the new structure, the ministry will also issue part-time job permits for both public and private sector employees. A part-time job permit will be issued for Dh500, including labour card, which will be valid for a year.

The ministry will further issue a temporary work permit, including a labour card valid for six months for Dh500. The temporary permit is issued to workers in all professions.

The other permit, called internal work permit, is for those who are sponsored by their parents. Those include children of Emirati women and expatriate husbands of Emirati wives as well as females sponsored by their parents regardless of relation.

Students and minors are also covered in the new structure with the work permits for teenagers (from 15 to 18) valid for one year and can be renewed for Dh500.

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