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New work permit rule is a tribute to gender balance

Vicky Kapur (From the Executive Editor's Desk)
Filed on July 29, 2019 | Last updated on July 29, 2019 at 06.38 am
New work permit rule is a tribute to gender balance

The new work-visa rule is a massive tribute to the UAE's gender balance initiatives, with visa laws now clearly aligned for both the genders.

The new UAE work permit rule allows men sponsored by their wives or mothers to be employed legally in the country, with two-year permits available at a fraction of the usual work-visa cost. Such a facility was earlier available only for women and daughters under the sponsorship of their husbands and fathers, respectively, and not the other way around.

The new rule that came into effect as of yesterday is indeed a shot in the arm for the economy as it will benefit companies who now won't have to look at overseas recruitment while scouting for talent, and will help families supplement their income and thus improve their quality of life. This latest step is another piece in the extensive reforms jigsaw puzzle that is now taking shape in the UAE, strategically opening up employment for talented individuals and making the country an even more attractive expat haven.

At the same time, the new work-visa rule is a massive tribute to the UAE's gender balance initiatives, with visa laws now clearly aligned for both the genders. While earlier only women in select professions - as teachers, doctors or engineers - were allowed to sponsor their families (hubby and kids), the field is now open to all professional men and women who earn Dh4,000 per month (or Dh3,000 with company accommodation).

And not just that, by allowing men to work while remaining on their wives' or mothers' sponsorship opens up a whole new section of talent that can be tapped into at a fraction of the cost a company would earlier incur. A work visa alone for a fresh recruit costs in the vicinity of Dh5,000, excluding the cost of medical insurance and other expat essentials.

Companies can now hire such legal residents without having to spend on their visa costs (work permits cost Dh300 only) and medical insurance, which in this case would have already been taken care of by the spouse or the spouse's employer. The new rule is just one step in the visa reforms programme, but it is a giant step towards narrowing the gender gap.


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