First, UAE Labour Law
The Emirates seem determined to make locals as unattractive to have as employees as possible. A proposal to ban companies in the private sector from sacking Emiratis other than for labour law violations has been proposed.
The proposal to make new graduates in the UAE, like these fresh faced young ladies, as attractive to employ as a ball and chain.
After a UAE real estate development company decided to axe a few locals, what with the collapse of the real estate market, lack of credit and buyers, and a huge potential overhang of new apartments already nearing completion meaning work was rather thin on the ground, the disgruntled employees took their case to the Ministry of Manpower claiming arbitrary dismissal.
Fair enough, this sort of legal challenge to redundancy happens everywhere. But the response of the Labour Ministry is typical of the regional response to such issues: if there's a problem, simply declare the symptom of that problem illegal, rather than perhaps looking at what the root causes are, and addressing those.
So, the razor-sharp minds in the UAE Ministry are proposing to simply make it almost impossible for private firms to fire an Emirati. Brilliant.
The likely result of such a law will, I trust, be obvious to most readers. No-one who owns a private firm will want to hire an Emirati. Those that do, will - if they are clever - devise means around the problem, such as having a holding company with all the cash, and subsidiary companies that can hold the employees. When necessary, such a subsidiary might go bankrupt...
This is a stupid law. It might arguably "preserve the jobs of Emiratis" who already have one, but it will be highly damaging to employment prospects of future Emiratis.
Unfortunately, Oman has similar laws. In fact, the Government have basically told all companies in Oman over the past couple of months that they had better not be laying off any Omani staff
The answer should be to make it more attractive to hire locals, perhaps by progressively taxing foreign labour, making it as easy to hire and fire locals as Expats, and having educational programs that turn locals into useful potential employees rather than work-shy holders of some useless qualification certificate. Unemployment insurance or social welfare needs to be put in place. Rules on minimum redundancy payments too. And pensions made transferable between companies.
Oh wait, that all seems like a lot of work. Much easier to just make the problem illegal and then state that Government has solves the problem!
Proposal moots job security for Emiratis
By Wafa Issa, Staff Reporter
Published: February 14, 2009, 23:12
Dubai: A proposal to ban companies in the private sector from sacking Emiratis other than for labour law violations is under consideration.
The National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia) has submitted a draft proposal to the Ministry of Labour under which cases pertaining to the termination of Emiratis working in the private sector are to be evaluated.
Feddah Lootah, the acting director-general at Tanmia, said the proposal aims to safeguard jobs of Emiratis in the private sector. "The main task of the authority is to preserve the jobs of Emiratis," he said.
The ministry is looking into the proposal but no time-frame has been given as to when a decision could be made.
The proposal suggests that the termination of Emiratis in private sector companies is to be considered arbitrary unless the employee has violated the labour law.
The violations which could lead to a worker's peremptory dismissal are outlined in Article 120 in the Labour Law.
Article 120 clearly mentions ten cases in which the employer is entitled to terminate a worker's contract. Non-performance of basic duties as set out under the contract and repeated violations despite warnings, professional mistakes which result in a substantial material loss to the employer, and clear disregard for safety instructions at the workplace are some of the clauses that can be brought against erring employees.
Last week, Gulf News reported that a group of Emiratis had filed a complaint against Al Futtaim Group for what they said was arbitrary termination. The case is still under review at the ministry after the sacked employees had sought immediate reinstatement.
The Tanmia proposal also stipulates that any company in the private sector forced to terminate Emiratis as part of restructuring policies aimed at increasing competitiveness, review of production costs in tough times, or in cases involving mergers between companies should duly inform the ministry of labour about such a move before any decision.
Also, as per the proposal, no company will be allowed to sack an Emirati before it has exhausted all avenues to find a suitable solution.
The proposal outlines a number of steps that a company should mandatorily satisfy before terminating Emiratis such as implementing a part-time system, repackaging salaries on the condition that they don't go below the minimum wage for Emiratis (which is between Dh3,000-Dh5,000 - depending on the qualifications), relocating them within the company or training them to handle other positions in the company.
Additionally, an employer in the private sector will also not be allowed to terminate an Emirati on the pretext that he/she does not have the required qualifications and skills, if the employee has completed her/his probation period.
Secondly, a disturbing Valentine's Day tale of a man who confessed and was convicted of forceably raping his defacto-wife's 4 female children over many years... The police got involved when one of the girls finally got the strength to go to the Police.
The result for the girls? All were sentenced to 80 lashes for "allowing" the man to have sex with them. And he was deported after a brief spell in jail, instead of being stoned to death.
Gee, I wonder why so few rapes
Death-row rapist deported after admitting to charges
By Bassma Al Jandaly, Staff Reporter
Published: February 14, 2009, 23:12
Ajman: A man who was to be stoned to death for raping his mistress's young daughters has been deported, Gulf News has learnt.
Abdul Aziz, a Pakistani, was sentenced for repeatedly raping the four Emirati girls, who were then aged between 12-14. Their father, an Emirati, was married to an Indian woman. When he died his widow then got into a relationship with Abdul Aziz. Gulf News earlier reported Abdul Aziz had married the Indian woman, but police investigations revealed they were not married.
"The woman who used to live in Al Ain, told police after her arrest in Ajman that she married Abdul Aziz soon after the death of her Emirati husband and the father of her daughters, but the truth is that there was no official and approved marriage contract between the woman and the man," a police official said. Abdul Aziz lived with the woman and her daughters for more than 12 years, claiming that he is their step father.
The girls and their mother gave birth to more than 12 children from him. One of the girls was eight months pregnant when they were arrested in 2005, according to police. DNA tests by Dubai Police proved that Abdul Aziz was the father.
The woman's youngest daughter reported the matter to police when Abdul Aziz tried to attack her. He was arrested and subsequently sentenced to death by stoning. Gulf News learnt that Abdul Aziz was later deported.
The accused admitted his guilt at all stages of the court proceedings. He told the court he was the father of some of the children, but some others "were not his."
The mother was accused of aiding and abetting him and forging the birth certificates of her daughters' children. She has also been deported, Gulf News has learnt. The four girls were sentenced to 80 lashes each. The girls were charged with "allowing" the man to have sex with them.
The victims, who are now aged between 23 and 28, told the judge, Abdul Aziz used to threaten them with a knife, forcing them to surrender to him.
Police said Abdul Aziz and the woman lived together for several years. Police said that when neighbours and relatives in Al Ain noticed something was wrong, the couple moved to Ajman.
The girls told police that some of their children were born in India and some in the UAE. Their mother used to tell people in the UAE that her daughters were married in India and she used to tell relatives in India that her daughters were married in the UAE.
Police said the girls and their children who are now being taking care of by their relatives in Al Ain are suffering psychologically. "They are naive and illiterate, They never went to school," a police official said.