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Emirates ID Card to replace Labor Card soon

emirates id card to replace labor cardIt is now reported that the Emirates ID Card will soon replace the Labor Card – the expected date for this is somewhere in June 2012.

Saqr Gobash Saeed Gobash, Minister of Labour, has said that the decision would be implemented as soon as the Emirates National Identity Authority (Eida) was sure that all expatriates in the UAE were registered and had applied for the Emirates ID.

“After the completion of ID registration of all expatriates in the country, the labour card will be eradicated and replaced by the Emirates ID,” he said.

Dubai residents, whose residence visas expire this year, can register and renew their ID cards at the time of renewal of their visas.

Learn more about Emirates ID Card.

60 percent of 3.8 million expats working in UAE have no qualifications

60 percent of 3.8 million expats working in UAE have no qualifications

Saqr Gobash, the Minister of Labour, has recently stated that the number of foreign workers in the UAE stood at 3.8 million in 2010. Out of the total only 266,000 had University education while 2 million have no qualifications whatsoever.

The expat-dominated UAE population was estimated to have grown to around 8.2 million by the end of 2010, with UAE nationals making only 11.47 per cent.

According to Saqr Ghobash, UAE is aiming to reduce the number of unskilled foreign workers.

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Private Sector asked to create 20,000 jobs for the Emiratis

jobless in dubaiPrivate sector of UAE, already struggling with global recession and downturn, has been asked to create at least 20,000 jobs a year to cater for the jobless Emiratis.

According to Saqr Gobash, Minister of Labour, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Development and Employment Authority of National Human Resources (Tanmia), there are at least 35,000 unemployed Emiratis in the UAE. Out of which only 8,000 Emiratis are currently enrolled with Tanmia.

There is already a law in place that makes it virtually impossible for employers to fire Emirati employees.

Tourists in Dubai to get a free mobile SIM

Labor fees restructured for private companies

Dubai Labor

As part of restructuring the Labor Laws in UAE, the Ministry of Labor has announced a set of parameters classifying private companies into categories besides setting up a fee structure for processing labor permits and related services.

According to the news report, Minister of Labor Saqr Ghobash has classified the companies on the basis of:

– rates of Emiratization they have achieved
– how multi-cultural they are, and
– what housing facilities they provide to workers

All new companies will have to pay Dh2,000 for registering with the Ministry of Labor, while another Dh250 need to paid for securing a digital signature to be used while processing all labor-related papers.

Private companies that employ non-Emirati representatives (PRO) will be charged Dh2,000 for every two years while Dh200 will be charged for re-issuing a lost or damaged PRO card.

The two-year labor cards of expatriate workers under sponsorship of any family member will cost Dh200.

In the fee schedule for the second category of the workers as listed in the revised list, the fees has been fixed at Dh600 (A), Dh1,500 (B), and Dh2,000 (C) while the fee will be Dh5,000 for the third category meant for expatriate workers over the age of 65.

The ministry has imposed a fee of Dh100 for temporary work permits to allow minors to be employed at any facility. The fee will be Dh500 for one year’s work permit.

The ministry has also set a fee of Dh300 for each case of transfer that includes a new work permit from one company to another.

To avail of the facility to import labor, a company should have paid fee of Dh10,000 with an annual renewal fee of Dh5,000.

Companies that do not get labor card for its foreign workers even after the 60 days from their date of entry into the country, will attract fines of Dh1,000 for every month or part thereof.

The article 2 of the ministerial decree No 26 of 2010 says companies will be exempted from paying such fees for the Emiratis they hire.

These updates, including the recent work permit rules, may going to put large dents in private companies purses. Business, in UAE, will never be the same.


New Work Permit Rules in UAE: Good or Bad?

UAE work permit

According to Cabinet resolution No 25 of 2010 issued by Saqr Gobash, the Minister of Labor, laws related to Work Permit, Labor Card and Residence Visa have been modified, with effect from January 01, 2011.

Once operational, the new rules will replace the current formalities of transfer of sponsorship for expatriate workers.

– An employee with an expired contract can obtain a new work permit and move to another employer without the passing of the currently legitimate six-month period and consent of his sponsor.

– New employment permit will only be granted to the worker after the end of his work relationship with his employer without consideration of the legitimate six month period which is usually calculated after the cancellation of the worker’s labor card, but stipulates two must-do conditions:
1. The two contracting parties must have ended their work relationship cordially
2. The worker should have worked with his employer for at least two years – the duration of the new labour card which will be issued by early January.

The resolution defines two cases where the worker can obtain the new work permit after the end of the contractual relationship without the agreement of the two contracting parties:

1. When the employer fails to honor his legal or contractual obligations
2. In the condition of expiry of work relationship where the worker is not responsible for it, but there is a complaint filed by the worker against his firm. In this case, an inspection report should prove that the firm has been out of business for more than two months and that the worker has reported to the ministry. The labour dispute should have been referred by the ministry to the court provided that the court hands out a final verdict ordering the employer to pay to the worker salaries of at least two months in compensation for the arbitrary sacking or terminating of the contract prematurely, or any other rights.

The resolution also defines three cases where the worker shall have the right to get a work permit without fulfilling the condition of working at least two years with the employer:

1. When joining his new job, the worker should be classified in the first, second or third professional class and that his salary should not be less than Dh12,000; Dh7,000; and Dh5,000; if he is in the first, second and third class respectively.

2. Non-compliance of the employer with legal and labor obligations towards the worker or in the case where the worker has no role in terminating the work relationship.

3. Transferring the worker to another firm the employer owns it or has stakes in it.

Would these new rules go in the benefit of job seeker, employer or result in a win-win situation? Only time will tell.

UAE Residence Visas to be reduced to 2 years from January 2011

uae residence visa

In an attempt to further cripple the companies operating in UAE, it is announced that residence visas / labor cards will be reduced to 2 years from January 2011. Currently the visas have to renewed every 3 years.

The new regulations would bring all private sector workers in line with drivers and domestic helpers, who only get two-year labor cards from the Department of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

Humaid bin Deemas, the assistant undersecretary for labor affairs at the Ministry of Labor, said:

It [the decision] will have a positive impact on the labour market as it will create more flexibility in the employer-employee relationship, and will allow both parties to this relationship a shorter time,

Earlier, Minister of Labor Saqr Gobash set out new rules for Emiratization. Among the changes is a requirement for private sector firms to have no less than 15 percent of Emiratis on their workforce.

Fines for companies failing to observe the Emiratization policy are as much as AED20,000 ($5400).