Emiratisation in UAE: Firms fined Dh400 million for failing to meet targets in 2022

More than 50,000 Emiratis are now working in the private sector, with 28,700 having joined since the launch of the Nafis programme

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A Staff Reporter

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Published: Wed 11 Jan 2023, 5:03 PM

Last updated: Wed 11 Jan 2023, 6:06 PM

The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has issued fines amounting to Dh400 million against private companies that failed to meet Emiratisation targets of 2022. Firms with 50 skilled employees or more were required to have 2 per cent Emiratis by the end of last year.

Establishments were fined Dh72,000 for each Emirati that was not hired. A federal law aims to raise Emiratisation rates by 2 per cent annually to reach 10 per cent by the end of 2026. About 9,293 companies achieved their targets for 2022.

These came as the board of directors of the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council (Nafis) held its first meeting of 2023 on Wednesday, and reviewed the results of the programme in qualifying and enabling Emiratis to get jobs in the private sector.

The MoHRE recorded 227 instances of fake Emiratisation. Administrative fines were imposed on 109 violating establishments that have been downgraded to Category 3.

About 20 cases have been referred to the public prosecution for further action, and to stop the benefits offered to 130 nationals. The process to recover the disbursed amounts in these cases has begun.

A UAE resolution provides an integrated legal framework to limit negative practices affecting the achievements of Emiratisation goals and policies. According to the resolution, if an establishment carries out fake Emiratisation to get Nafis benefits, an administrative fine of between Dh20,000 and Dh100,000 is imposed for each bogus Emirati employee. The financial support and other benefits offered by Nafis will be suspended, and the disbursed amounts will be recovered.

70% increase in Emiratis in private sector

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, chaired the Nafis meeting in the presence of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

More than 50,000 Emiratis are now working in the private sector, with 28,700 having joined since the launch of the Nafis programme. The number of Emiratis in the private sector increased by 70 per cent in 2022.

The number of beneficiaries in Nafis’ financial support programmes reached 32,566. Emiratis enrolled in the scheme enjoy salary support and unemployment benefits, among other perks.

Data released on Wednesday showed that 1,300 male and female students have enrolled in the scheme’s ‘National Healthcare Programme’, and 643 in its ‘Talent Programme’.

The number of registered partners on the Nafis platform has reached 7,017 companies. Nearly 17,500 job vacancies have been posted through the platform.

Additionally, since its launch, Nafis has signed 24 agreements with strategic partners, including six with universities and four with strategic partners in the semi-governmental sector, in a pledge to provide more than 11,000 jobs through outsourcing companies and suppliers.

Targets for this year

The council addressed strategic plans for supply and demand in the labour market in 2022-2026; the most attractive and crucial sectors to focus Emiratisation efforts on; and key initiatives and policies proposed for 2023 to advance the Emiratisation agenda in the private sector “in a faster and more efficient way”.

As reported by Khaleej Times earlier, firms are required to raise the number of Emiratis in skilled roles to 4 per cent by the end of 2023. The board approved this target on Wednesday.

The meeting also addressed the results of the first phase of the ‘Nafis ... Your Way’ campaign, which aims to highlight the success stories of Emiratis in the private sector and change perceptions about the work environment and opportunities that it offers. More than 101 success stories were shared during 2022 through visual, audio and written means of communication as well as social media platforms.

The board also approved the launch of the Nafis Youth Council — a platform to communicate with the youth in the private sector.

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