UAE jobs: How new classification system for private sector firms will help job-seekers

Three categories have been announced and will go into effect from June


Waheed Abbas

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Image used for illustrative purpose.
Image used for illustrative purpose.

Published: Wed 25 May 2022, 3:51 PM

The UAE’s newly-introduced classification system for private firms will increase job opportunities, bring cultural diversity to the country’s workforce and also give an upper hand to potential job-seekers who can ascertain the company’s ranking under the system before applying for the job.

Under the UAE’s new classification system announced on Tuesday, the private sector companies have been categorised into three sections. Companies that increase the Emiratisation rate by two per cent, follow all labour rules, and commit to Wage Protection System will get the first rating, resulting in a 93 per cent discount on the ministry’s fees. Companies that follow all UAE labour laws and regulations but do not fulfil other standards will fall under category two. While businesses that break the rules and do not adhere to labour law will be categorised into the third category and will not get any discount

Vijay Gandhi, regional director for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Korn Ferry, said many large organisations in the UAE are taking stock of the current state of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their companies. They are taking an in-depth organisational analysis focusing on identifying and closing key talent gaps, crafting the path forward from strategy to implementation and helping accelerate change through clear governance, effective communication and branding.

“The classification system is fair and the two per cent target is achievable with the depth of national talent available in the country today. In addition to banking and financial services sector, this classification will help key sectors like tourism and hospitality industry who are leading from the front,” added Gandhi.

UAE nationals will prefer category 1,2 firms

Samantha Wright, managing consultant for Emiratisation at Michael Page, said it's important that companies offer a diverse workforce and offer career opportunities to UAE citizens.

“There are so many talented, highly-skilled and professional locals that are committed, career-driven and can bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their employers,” she said, adding that the UAE is a very candidate-driven market, a market where many Emirati candidates at all levels have multiple offers on the table.

“I foresee that national job-seekers will look to join a company within category one or two, companies that are deemed to be proactively promoting Emiratisation and offering job/training opportunities to UAE nationals. Similarly, to Glassdoor and Google Reviews, which a lot of people review before submitting an application or attending an interview, this will be another tool and resource used by local employees to help decide as to who they want to join,” said Wright.

She pointed out that companies in category three will face challenges when hiring UAE nationals. “I think it will all come down to perceptions around why that company sits within category 3. Companies need to be showcasing their offering to all potential employees and if it is publicly known they do not / cannot hire UAE Nationals, in comparison to others in the market, I believe they will struggle trying to attract such talent into their business,” added Wright.


Mayank Patel, country head of Adecco Middle East, said the new classification will definitely increase job opportunities, implementation of fair and unbiased selections, and more flexible roles for diverse nationalities with an overall benefit to businesses and the economy.

“The new system will create new and diverse job opportunities in the region with demand for highly skilled local and expat talent. With more than 80 per cent expat population in the UAE, the new system for cultural diversity will make a business more profitable, sustainable and competitive,” added Patel.

Adecco country head noted that when companies adhere to labour rules to ensure complaint and ethical business practice, this not only increases their brand equity and loyalty but also avoids risks of violations, fines and lawsuits.

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