Nationals Can’t Take Jobs for Granted

ABU DHABI - The UAE government does not guarantee jobs for life to underperforming nationals in the private sector, the Minister of Labour has said.

By Adel Arafah (with inputs from Wam)

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Published: Thu 12 Mar 2009, 1:05 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 8:23 PM

Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash was speaking on Tuesday at a Federal National Council session in reply to questions from council members about recent terminations of some nationals’ services in the private sector.

“The private sector is based on profit and competition. Therefore, employees’ efficiency is indispensable to remain in service,” he said.

Ghobash said a ministry decree, issued in February this year, was to “explicitly protect productive and disciplined employees from being unfairly or unjustifiably terminated’’.

“Employment is a right for productive and dedicated citizens. The law does not protect incompetent or poor performing employees, whether they are nationals or non-nationals,” Ghobash said.

He said that his ministry was trying to find solutions for the termination cases reported to them.

“There are 15,000 citizens working for the private sector. During the period between 1 January 2008 and 14 February 2009, we received 64 complaints, of which 37 said they were unfairly terminated, while the remaining 27 related to other issues such as delay in salaries and non-payment of other entitlements,” he said.

The ministry resolved 16 cases, referred 12 to court and closed nine.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Mohammed Anwar Gargash, said that the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations had raised 74 recommendations on labour rights in the UAE.

Gargash said the UAE Human Rights Committee has accepted 36 of the recommendations, while 17 others are being studied. The committee expressed its reservations about 21 proposals for being in violation of the religion and constitution.

The country will present its response to the points raised in a special meeting in Geneva on March 19.

During Tuesday’s session, the national council also passed a federal draft law streamlining the salaries of the UAE Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and ministers.

As per the new bill, the basic monthly salary of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and ministers will be Dh80,000, Dh70,000 and Dh60,000 respectively.

The ministers will be entitled to 70 per cent of their basic salaries over the period from January 1, 2008 to December 1, 2008 as a supplementary increment.

The council also approved a federal draft law, under which anyone involved in disclosing or obtaining credit information would serve a minimum jail term of two years and/or be fined a minimum of Dh50,000.

Anyone disclosing classified credit information faces jail and/or a fine of not less than Dh100,000. More severe penalties would be considered if a public employee was involved.

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