Monday, February 28, 2005

Easy Money I: From inside the Ministry of Labour - Gulf News

More on the Ministry of Labour crackdown on employees how run businesses using ex pat labor:

Dr Ali Bin Abdullah Al Ka’abi, the Labour Minister, told Gulf News he had not banned his employees from receiving work permits. The minister said he was considering these requests to streamline the market and prevent his employees from abusing their positions.

“I have not banned any of the ministry’s employees from receiving work permits, but they should first abide by the ministry’s laws and process the papers of other individuals who have been waiting in line before them. Their private business should not interfere with their work at the ministry.” He also said he wanted to get his employees more involved in their businesses.

“I am completely against UAE nationals who act as sponsors and are not involved in the daily operations of their company. They receive a lump sum at the end of the year without actually doing anything,” he said.

It was illogical, he said, that a person could own 100 licences and know what was going on in each business.

Notice what we're talking about: employees of the ministry which supervises and process work permits for ex pats also having businesses that rely on ex pat labor. And evidently, many of them have lots of these businesses, are not active in the business so much so that they simply receive a lump sum.

Here's the perspective from the employees of the ministry who are not happy about the crackdown:

Yesterday, many other employees said they would happily quit if the minister stood by his decision to stop granting permits for employees’ businesses.

“I take home a monthly salary of about Dh5,000 and I am supporting more than a dozen children. The businesses I have are a major source of income for me and my family. Why would I keep working for the ministry if they remove my main source of income?” said an official, who has been employed at the ministry for more than two decades.

Labour officials have complained they are among the lowest paid government employees and receive no incentives or encouragement.

They could be among the lowest paid government employees because their position (had) allowed them to make money by importing labor and making money. Not all government position provide these opportunities so readily. Where such oppotunities for conflict of interest the government is right to tighten oversight and codes of ethics in the department.

Finally, a connection must be drawn between the incentive of these employees to bring in ex pat labor and the desire of the government to create more opportunties for UAE nationals to find jobs in the private sector at acceptable salaries. The two are in conflict.

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1 Comments:

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12:16 PM  

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