Monday, May 09, 2011

UAE puts ceiling on unskilled expats

The Federal Cabinet has placed restrictions on the importation of unskilled labor.

Arabian Business:
The UAE government is to implement new limits on the importation of unskilled workers as part of a policy to balance the country's demographic structure.

The Federal Cabinet on Sunday said the "uncontrolled import of unskilled labourers should be limited and replaced by recruitment from within the UAE".
There are two imbalances. One is that only one fifth of the population are Emirati nationals. The other is that the bulk of the short term migrants are unskilled men.

When a similar reform was announced in Bahrain a few years ago there was a howl of protest from households. Not surprisingly, there is a exception:
However, the cabinet's resolution said the chairman of the Federal Demographic Structure Council "may exempt from this resolution domestic helpers or any other categories he specifies".
Here's the Khaleej Times report on the package of resolutions coming under the Federal Demographic Structure Council.

I didn't see mention of my recommendation: to equalize the labor rights of Emirati and foreign workers. Until that happens, employers won't see the point of paying Emiratis as much a foreigners. The disadvantage of Emiratis is that they have too many rights (or foreigners too few).

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Anonymous the real nick said...

On paper at least it makes sense. Unskilled foreigners could be replaced with...unskilled Emiratis - and there are plenty of those around.

11:34 AM  

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