Labour Ministry applies an integrated system of policies and regulatory toolsLabour market is stable under workers protection while maintaining employers interests
The UAE Ministry of Labour has applied a package of initiatives designed to achieve the strategic objectives inline with the Federal Government’s Strategic Plan which would contribute to increase market efficiency, as part of the pursuit towards achieving the UAE 2021 vision to move to the knowledge-based economy that revolves around UAE citizens.
The ministry is keen on achieving those goals by Promote the participation of UAE citizens in the private sector, achieve flexibility, attract suitable talents and boost productivity, as well as to maintain labour market stability through balancing interests of both production parties in conformity with UAE national legislation and to contribute to enhance the UAE ’s reputation and image in international forums. As well as support institutional competency to deliver high-quality governmental services and to ensure that all the administrative services comply with the highest standards of quality, efficiency and transparency.
And so, achieving national human resources career opportunities in the private sector, a great example would be the service centers [Tas’heel] which are managed by national cadres under the supervision of the Ministry of Labour, several success could be noted by this project in terms of enhancing the participation of nationals in the labour market by creating investment opportunities by opening 40 centers spread all over the UAE, and employing more than 900 citizens.The Ministry of Labour has not only created job opportunities for UAE nationals in these centers, but has set a unified monthly wages system in all centers in addition to other financial privileges based on the employee's citizen's productivity, and also to enrolling them in special training courses to perfect their job skills.
In the framework of the "Absher" initiative which was launched by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the Ministry of Labour came up with a management office to organize discounts and special offers for UAE nationals working in the private sector. The program is one of the top initiatives carried out in the beginning of 2013; the year which was announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai as the Emiratization year.The ministry is trying through [Absher] to register qualified citizens to join the discounts and special offers program after meeting T&Cs to benefit from the advantages provided by it.
Many agreements and MOUs have been signed to provide, as promised, benefits and incentives to the locals enrolled in the private sector, by attracting new partnerships in coordination with the Ministry of Presidential Affairs; today over 30 government, semi-government agencies and a private base practices have join the program.
The ministry continues to localize the profession of government relations officials (PROs) with major companies; the total number of workers in this profession has exceeded 1920 UAE nationals.
The Ministry of Labour since 2011, guidelines and conditions have been set to monitor licensing private recruitment agencies, something which would enable citizens to invest in this practice in a way that enables them to be true partners in the organization of such agencies as well as enhance employment opportunities for national human resources qualified and trained for private recruitment agencies.Since the implementation of the new investment controls the number of citizens employed within that particular sector is over 520 citizens working for the 614 agency.
In the framework of the ministry's keenness to promote stability in the labour market by protecting workers' rights and ensure the interests of employers, the WPS comes on top of the ministry initiatives in this regard; the system contributed greatly to the stability of labour relations and provides a safe working environment because it ensures protecting labour rights by receiving their wages without delay according to their signed contract.
The number of workers who receive their wages through the system is about 3.5 million workers employed within 271,000 facilities.Then came an NOC letter reform by the Ministry of Labour back in 2011, which grants workers the ability to shift to a new job after the end of the working relationship with the employer which adds up to the flexibility of the UAE labour market and achieving a balanced contractual relationship between both sides.
When the employment contract expired, the employer was given the option of renewing the contract or giving a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) to allow the worker to transition to another firm. If the employer did not renew the contract and did not provide the NOC, the visa system required workers return to their home countries for at least 6 months
The United Arab Emirates took advanced steps in classifying housing standards to ensure workers’ rights to an adequate and decent housing that meets their comfort and safety requirements.
This file faced a strategic shift after adapting the Cabinets general criteria for workers' housing in 2009; the Ministry of Labour in cooperation with several concerned partners both local and federal implemented the decisions.
MOL gives great attention towards occupational health & safety measures in the labour market, and so they implement several programs, including thousands of field visits to housing units and workplaces, especially construction sites, workshops and factories, so as to contribute to raising awareness of the importance of adhering to occupational health and safety measures, and to provide guidance while facing work-related injuries and risk and highlight preventions.
The Ministry of Labour also applies a series of initiatives prescribed by the regulation of labour laws in terms of dealing with labour disputes that arise between two parties and tries to find amicable solutions between them, or referred to the judiciary system if the case had no closure.
H.E Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Labour, had recently issued a decision to stop granting work permits to facilities that doesn’t implement final judicial rulings, this came as part of strengthening the legislation system and improve labour rights protection.
The United Arab Emirates, when compared to other regional countries, has obtained high scores for the application of the midday work ban decision which prevents labourers to work under direct sun outdoors, to provide them with appropriate and proper health guarantees and protect their human rights.
This decision became a major feature of the UAE labour market in terms of taking the necessary preventive measures to protect workers from the risks of working within harsh temperatures during the summer season.
The Anti-human trafficking dept. was formed by the ministry to protect workers and ensure their rights physically, morally and personally! All through the development and activation of a supervisory and executive mechanisms that supports the inspectors on duty, which will positively affect the stability and balance of the labour market.
And carried out anti-trafficking department since its inception many workshops to educate workers about their rights and legal ways to file complaints related to sensitize labor indicators of forced labor and the law of the employers in addition to the training and qualification of labor inspectors and personnel departments of labor relations and call center for giving them post skills and identify potential victims of exploitation in all its forms and manifestations.
The ministry has launched and adopted a series of services and labour awareness programs through labour care units setup at different labour camps across UAE to spread labour laws awareness lectures and workshops in multiple languages aimed increase their knowledge about their rights, in addition to the ability to note down their queries and receive complaints and other services.
Moving on to providing high quality services to customers and meet their expectations, "Tas’heel" was defiantly a true model to explain the above, it is considered one of the best institutional partnership between the public and private sectors in line with the UAE 2021 vision in terms of improving the level and quality of services and achieve customer satisfaction, which falls in line with the Ministry’s strategic plans.
The ministry is always keen on monitoring the performance those centers to ensure high service continuously, staff politeness and commitment. The ministry trains employees on the arts and skills of superior service provision and other standards that ensure quality and accuracy of services and speed in order to achieve customer satisfaction.
MOL has also managed to tie the majority of its services electronically, including linking the issuance of work permits with the issuance of entry permits with the Interior Ministry. Both ministries aim to connect over 27 service to save time, efforts and money while increase data accuracy levels.
Not forgetting the ministry’s latest 74 services which are provided through their latest smartphone application, it includes many procedural and informative services with 24/7 accessibility.
The Labour Ministry has recently launched in collaboration with the Higher Colleges of Technology in Dubai, a special remote controlled, smart drone project to support the inspectors squad at the ministry during their field campaigns, especially for recording violations at construction sites during the midday break periods.
Furthermore, The Ministry of Labour pays special interest to international relations, to ensure proper representation of the UAE Government within international forums with relevance to labour rights and labour mobility, thanks to the government’s openness to the international community, and that enhances the UAE’s reputation and image in such forums.
All the above achievements has declared the United Arab Emirates Head of the Arab Labour Organization Council; as H.E Saqr Ghobash, UAE Minister of Labour was elected Chairman of the Board. The UAE has also received membership in the International Labour Organization Council as well as holding a Vice President of the Board of Directors position at International Training Centre of the ILO, and other notable achievements.