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Getting fired no longer a direct reflection of poor skills: UAE survey


There has been less negative sentiments towards redundancies and an increased interest in learning and future-proofing skills.

By Nandini Sircar

Published: Fri 29 Jan 2021, 8:22 PM

Last updated: Sat 30 Jan 2021, 6:33 AM

In the time of Covid-19, losing one’s job could be a big blow but a recent UAE survey revealed what could be considered a silver lining. Today, more people realise that being laid off has no bearing on their capabilities or qualifications.

There has been less negative sentiments towards redundancies and an increased interest in learning and future-proofing skills. People are also more empathetic.

That’s according to LinkedIn’s recent Stigma Survey, where 93 per cent of respondents agreed that there is a lot less stigma attached to redundancies as a result of Covid-19.

“While over 70 per cent of male respondents agreed that there is a negative stigma to being unemployed, 75 per cent feel more empathy towards those who have lost jobs because of being made redundant themselves. It’s said that previously, (some think) those who were made redundant were considered less interesting, less qualified or less capable than others,” the survey showed.

It further revealed: “Half of all respondents aged 35-44 said they are returning to a workplace with less job security. But dealing with the new norms, almost 65 per cent of all respondents have recognised that focusing on learning new skills is vital to stay relevant in the post-pandemic job market.”

Jaya Bhatia, CEO at expertHubrobotics.com, agree that redundancies are seen in a different light amid Covid-19.

“There is no longer a negative perception of a person being laid off, during the pandemic times. In fact, the stigma once associated with it is slowly dissipating, from the minds 
of employers, as layoffs become increasingly commonplace amid the worsening global economy which has impacted almost every sector in one way or another.”

Nadeem Ahmed, senior HR officer at Hidayath group, feel that “it’s not wise to stigmatise redundancies in any situation whatever the reason is”.

“As redundancies are mainly due to economic slowdowns and this year the reason for economic slowdown is Covid-19....Redundancies are really hard decisions for the employer as well. Employers are forced to take such steps as a last resort as sometimes the situation is beyond their control.”

According to the report, other measures such as flexible working arrangements, pay freezes and pausing recruitment have also been used in an effort to mitigate against job losses.

Over 65 per cent of respondents in the course of the LinkedIn research showed a keen interest in future-proofing and learning new skills to add to their portfolio.

LinkedIn data sees that there could be 150 million additional jobs in the technology sector globally in the next five years.

Bhatia added: “The pandemic has taught many lessons to mankind and the corporate world by re-learning the lean management strategy. They have also become more accepting of new technologies, like Chatbots and HR Bots, to manage repetitive works.

“People have also become mindful about hiring so they don’t have to end up firing their employees in case of future events.”


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