Workers are elated but some employers fume

EMPLOYEES in the UAE heaved a sigh of relief after hearing the news of a long-overdue change in the labour policy for easier job change procedures that will be put into effect come January 1, 2011.

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Published: Mon 20 Dec 2010, 1:14 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:56 PM

The mobility in job transfer was hailed as a move that will guarantee better quality in work due to the incentives that come with a rise in salary and better employment benefits from a new employer, opined most of the elated residents who spoke to Khaleej Times.

However, some employers and senior executives had reservations about the changes, saying the training and recruitment process of workers from abroad entails a lot of effort and costs. They also said that the new rule may tend to make the workers less loyal once they identify a company that offers them better perks.


Employees in the Capital were elated with the new rules issued by the Ministry of Labour on Saturday. “This is definitely good news for us. I know many employees who are not happy with their companies but are afraid to leave because they are getting threatened with the ban and that they will not be given an NOC. They are forced to stay with that company for fear of being sent home. At least with the new labour rule, we now have chance to look for other opportunities elsewhere,” said Delia Mijares, a sales consultant from the Philippines.

“This is very good as this will allow me to move out if I want to. I don’t have to tie myself with my company if someone offers me a better job,” said Praveen Badrani, a store assistant from India.

“I like it very much. I’m happy that our rights are finally getting looked into. This means that from now on, everything will be good for us. There’s no need to pressure myself with working with the same company if I want to move. I can now look forward to a better future. It’s definitely good news and I’m very happy with it,” stated Samia Trabelsi, a senior consultant from Tunisia.

“This is indeed good news for the employees, but not for the companies here. If you want to change job after two years that’s good, as you’re not restricted anymore,” agreed Sabir Yudashev from Uzbekistan.

A senior manager from a big establishment in the Capital who does not wish to be named, however, was not so thrilled with the new rule.

“This will not help the companies here at all who spent money and time in training its employees to reach their full potential. Then after two years, they are free to leave and somebody else may benefit from what you trained them. Two years of knowledge and training will only be use in another company,” he pointed out.

“Also, at the end of his or her contract, the employee may ask for more money and if you cannot give that, they will go to another company. This could prompt pay to go up and then it will be more expensive to employ people,” he added.

“If the company trained me, this doesn’t mean that I am the only one who benefitted from it. It means that I also contributed to the company, so how can I not negotiate? Ella Orendain, a Filipina employee said.

Abdul Sattar Khan Mohammed, a Pakistani worker, said: “Earlier I had an offer for a better job but could not take up the offer because my sponsor would not release me.”

Mohan Kumar, an Indian technician, said: “This would help streamline the labour market in the country and would influence employer to pay better to the workers they want to keep.”

Zayed Al Balushi, an Omani, welcoming the new policy, said: “The new law does not apply to me because I’m a GCC citizen, but it will help thousands of other expatriate workers who earlier had good opportunities but could not move jobs.”


Nilly Ahmed , a Lebanese banker, said: “We expected the labour officials to do it, that this decision will also make companies meet their obligations and give the employees their rights, and the workers who go for other companies will also enhance the competition.”

Samira Mohammed, Palestinian owner of Al Nouraas company, said: “The law, for sure, will protect the right of both.”

An Indian employer, Ram Kumar Tolani, Managing Director, Goodwill Insurance Brokers LLC, said: “Personally, I feel it is practical for both parties now and everybody can benefit from it. There are many new employers coming up and there are many employees looking for jobs here. We are an expanding company and, we are always looking for new employees but because of the six-month period ban and no-objection certificate from the employee’s sponsor, it has been hard to welcome new employees.

Sudanese Abdul Khaleq Abid, owner of Marwi Maintenance Company said: “However, we hope that this decision will not be exploited by some workers, who may leave the company without consulting the company.”

Egyptian Engineer Bakri Abdulla of Empost in Dubai said: “The employee can choose the best jobs that suit them where they can perform well, and this will assist in developing the labour market as well.”

“Before this decision, workers whose visas were cancelled had to wait for six months before being able to come back and work. The companies would bring new untrained workers while the trained workers with cancelled visa would go to other AGCC countries and the UAE lost out on trained workers,” he said.

Emirati employer Hussien Al Malik from Orient International Company, said: “We provide them with training to carry out the job, but this law would encourage them to be disloyal to the company. At the end of the day, the company will lose.”


Pakistani employee Damir Khan said: “Before this decision, owners of companies were exploiting workers. They do not give the workers their rights and, at the same time, they prevent them from joining companies. But, now the country will benefit from the skilful workers.”

Jennifer Coronado, a Filipino, said the new labour measure is favourable for workers because those who have been subjected to inhuman labour conditions, will have the opportunity to shift to another much better employer without securing a No Objection Certificate and waiting for the six-month ban to be over.

“As a pharmacist, the move doesn’t affect us as we come under the first 11 categories exempted from the ban. But, it is good to hear that it has been lifted as people in other profession no longer need to suffer because of the previous rule,” Suresh Devnani, an Indian pharmacist, said.

Olga Gojoruhina, a Russian working in a free zone, said: “This is good for businessmen and workers alike. People who invest money will be able to get good people. Workers, who are not satisfied with the present work situation, have the freedom to choose what is best for them. They can change the employer without confronting the law.”

Marjorie Ornado, a Filipino working in a multinational company in Dubai, said: “The expatriates can work happily as he can choose what is most suited to his capability. The employer can also get the best.”

A Bangladeshi grocery delivery man, Aziz Ahmed, said: “I am happy to hear about this but it would have been better if the two-year limited contract was changed to one year. That way, supermarket boys like us can find better paying jobs and move without problems.”

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