Emiratisation not happening at Etisalat?

Jasmine Al Kuttab/Abu Dhabi
Filed on May 18, 2016 | Last updated on May 18, 2016 at 07.42 am
Emiratisation not happening at Etisalat?
Noura Mohamed Al Kaabi addressing the Federal National Council Session in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. - Photo by Ryan Lim

"Etisalat claims that it is attracting more Emiratis, but I read that Etisalat encourages and supports whoever resigns."

Federal National Council (FNC) member, Khalid Al Falasi from Dubai, argued that instead of encouraging Emiratisation, Etisalat is pushing Emirati employees to quit from the organisation.

During an FNC session held in the Capital on Tuesday, issues regarding Etisalat were yet again brought up, as Al Falasi raised questions about the lay-offs of a number of Emirati employees and replacing them with expats.

Earlier in April, the CEO of the telecoms provider, Saleh Al Abdouli, told FNC that the entity had laid off 806 expatriates and eight Emirati employees between 2014 and 2016, due to "misconduct and not obliging with the organisation's policies."

During Tuesday's meeting, however, which was not attended by Al Abdouli, Al Falasi pointed out to Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, (who will refer the comments back to Etisalat), that the service provider is contradicting its statement regarding supporting growth of Emiratis within the entity, calling Etisalat's claims as "foggy."

"Etisalat claims that it is attracting more Emiratis, but I read that Etisalat encourages and supports whoever resigns. So how do I balance between recruiting more nationals, while encouraging them to resign at the same time?" he questioned.

He pointed out that a number of Etisalat employees informed him that they felt pressured to resign from the organisation, in order to receive a high amount of end of service pay, which was referred to as "the golden cheque."

Al Kaabi agreed that no one should feel forced to resign from his or her job. "I will pass these comments to Etisalat and communicate personally with the CEO," she noted.

However, in April, Etisalat's CEO argued those who were laid off were, in fact, replaced by a larger amount of employees, as 218 Emiratis and 435 expats were hired during the same period. Al Falasi on the other hand argued that the organisation is still at the same Emiratisation rate it was 16 years ago, when it was raised from 32 per cent to 46 per cent.

"They are not making enough efforts with regards to Emiratisation," he noted.

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