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Many Emiratis dependent on social security funds were unable to find jobs in the past 3 years, says FNC report

The committee pointed out that the legislation regulating social security didn't keep pace with social and economic changes



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Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Tue 22 Feb 2022, 10:56 PM

A big number of unemployed Emiratis benefiting from the social security funds were unable to get jobs over the past three years, according to a new parliamentary report.

The report by the Federal National Council (FNC) Committee on Social Affairs, Labour, Population and Human Resources said the number of unemployed Emiratis eligible for social security funds and those who were able to get employment decreased from 280 in 2018 to 130 in 2021, a decline of 54 per cent.

The committee attributed the significant decrease to the low output in implementing the "Motivating those who are eligible for social security to work" initiative and the Ministry of Community Development's failure to achieve its objectives in the operational performance indicator.

During its study of the topic: "The Ministry of Community Development's policy regarding the development of the social security system", the committee identified seven challenges facing social support programmes.

In its report, the committee pointed out that the legislation regulating social security didn't keep pace with social and economic changes, which resulted in the limited inclusion of new categories of social security, and the elimination of incentive rewards for students at different stages of education.

The report tackled the discrepancy in social assistance entitlement at the national level, according to the results of the Emirati family income and expenditure survey issued by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority.

The survey had found out that the estimated minimum income for a family consisting of 5 to 7 members should be Dh17,000 to be eligible for social support.

According to the report, the Ministry of Community Development's family eligibility for social assistance is a monthly income of Dh13,080.

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The committee's report also cited the absence of proper studies of the cases of people benefiting from the social security funds, in accordance with government standards that require studying the case from all its economic and social aspects. It is not proper to only study the case according to its classification as a category without considering other conditions, such as housing, health and others, which will negatively affect the provision of the requirements of a decent life for them, said the report.

The committee members also highlighted in the report the low outputs in the implementation of the initiative: "Transferring productive families to the stage of quality and excellence through training".

The report also cited the difficulty of periodically updating the data of groups benefiting from the social assistance due to the multiplicity of testimonies and certificates required from various authorities, including the courts and economic departments. This results in inaccurate data for beneficiaries of social assistance and the unlawful disbursement of sums to some of them, and the inaccuracy in determining the extent to which some are entitled to social assistance.

The committee also said in its report that there was lack of a proper definition of the concept of social security in the legislation regulating social security, which brings about confusion in defining the categories and criteria of social security such as the category of the unemployed, in addition to the legislation's lack of provisions concerning the free vocational training for job seekers and new employees.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com


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