The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has started implementing the Cabinet Decision to expand the scope of companies subject to Emiratisation targets, where more than 12,000 companies with 20-49 employees, operating across 14 specific economic sectors, are now required to hire at least one UAE citizen in 2024 and another one in 2025.
Come into effect in January 2024, as according to MOHRE in December 2023, this law was only applicable to companies whose main activity on the trade licence fell under one of these categories:
- Information and communication
- Financial and Insurance activities
- Real Estate activities
- Professional, scientific, and technical activities
- Administrative and support services
- Healthcare and social work activities
- Arts and Entertainment
- Mining and quarrying industry
- Wholesale and retail trade
- Transportation and warehousing
- Hospitality services
Deadlines have not been specified yet, but fines will be implemented from 2025 onward.
Process of Recruiting an Emirati
- The process of recruiting an Emirati involves standard job advertisements or recruitment agencies.
- Private sector companies also have the option of registering on the Nafis platform, creating an account, and submitting vacancies and training opportunities to Emirati jobseekers.
What Positions can be recruited?
- The positions to be recruited depend on the company’s licensed activities, and low-skilled jobs are excluded.
- When advertising for Emiratization jobs, companies must not:
- Post unskilled jobs or misleading advertisements that do not represent the available and genuine job opportunities for them.
- Refer to the government’s Emiratisation policies and their benefits unless prior permission from MoHRE has been obtained.
- Provide information on the government incentives and support programs offered to nationals in the private sector.
- To be eligible for the Nafis program, Emiratis must have a minimum salary of AED 4,000
Obligation of the Employer when hiring Emiratis
- When hiring Emiratis, employers must provide them with appropriate workplace and tools, and minimum on-the-job training to enable them to perform their duties. Additionally, they must:
- obtain a work permit for the Emirati from MoHRE
- conclude an employment contract with him/her
- pay the salary following the Wages Protection System
- register the Emirati in the pensions and social security system and start contributing to it within a month from the date of issuance of his/her work permit
Company contribution @ 12.5% on the employee’s gross salary
Employee contribution @ 5% on the employee’s gross salary
Govt. contribution @ 2.5% on the employee’s gross salary
- report amendments (if any) to the employment contract that may affect the eligibility requirements for the ‘Nafis program’.
- Upon termination of the employment contract, the employer must cancel the work permit of the national immediately.
- Employers must not:
- deduct Emiratis’ salaries under the pretext of benefitting from the government’s support program
- pay lower salaries to the Emirati in comparison to his/her counterparts in the same position.