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The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has recently announced new deadlines for its Emiratisation targets. These are aimed at increasing the number of Emirati citizens employed in the private sector. 

The new targets require companies to achieve specific Emiratisation levels within the next three years, with penalties for non-compliance. This move is part of the MoHRE’s ongoing efforts to empower its citizens and enhance their participation in the country’s workforce.

 

Key takeaways:

  • The new mechanism stipulates that companies need to achieve a 1% increase in Emiratisation before the end of June 2023 and to reach the targeted 2% by the end of the year.
  • Companies with 50 employees or more are still required to achieve a 2% increase in Emiratisation of skilled jobs.
  • The aim is to increase the percentage of Emiratis in the private sector by 2% each year until it reaches 10% by 2026.
  • Private companies that didn’t meet their Emiratisation targets in 2022 faced fines of up to AED 400 million.

  

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has declared changes to the method used to attain Emiratisation targets

The UAE government has made some changes to the Emiratisation targets for private sector companies with 50 employees or more. These changes are in line with the amendments of the provisions of Cabinet Resolution No. 5/19 for 2022. 

The new mechanism requires companies to increase Emiratisation in skilled jobs by 1% every six months, while still achieving the overall 2% target by the end of the year. The contributions for non-compliance will now be collected semi-annually, instead of waiting until the end of the year.

The goal of these changes is to support the continuity of the Emiratisation pace in the private sector all-year-round. MoHRE has prioritized Emiratisation in its national strategy and agenda. This step aims to maintain employment and retention rates of Emiratis in the private sector. In 2022, there was a 70% increase in Emiratis working in the private sector compared to 2021.

Furthermore, the new mechanism does not include any additional commitments or changes to the financial contributions imposed for non-compliance. The annual targets remain the same. Consequently, companies with 50 employees or more are still required to achieve a 2% increase in Emiratisation of skilled jobs. The new mechanism stipulates that companies need to achieve a 1% increase in Emiratisation before the end of June 2023 and to reach the targeted 2% by the end of the year.

 

Purpose and benefits of this Emiratisation update

The Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, His Excellency Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, noted that supporting Emirati talent is a priority for the UAE. The Nafis program achieved exemplary results in 2022, and the Ministry aims to support it in balancing the pace of job seekers registering and the job opportunities being offered.

The financial contributions on companies that do not meet the target for the first half of 2023 will begin in July 2023, and the contributions for non-compliance from 2022 will continue to be collected. The private sector is a credible partner. Therefore, the Ministry is confident that the new amendments will reflect positively on the existing cooperation.

 

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has declared revised Emiratisation targets for private companies

The MoHRE has made the following changes to its Emiratisation program in the private sector:

  • The annual 2% target is now being split into 1% increments every six months. 
  • The aim of the federal law is to increase the percentage of Emiratis in the private sector by 2% each year until it reaches 10% by 2026. 
  • To meet the 2023 target, companies are required to add another 2% Emiratis by the end of the year. That is if their previous year’s target already achieved. 
  • Private companies that didn’t meet their Emiratisation targets in 2022 faced fines of up to AED 400 million from MoHRE. 
  • Over 50,000 Emiratis are currently employed in the private sector, with 28,700 joining since the Nafis program was launched. 
  • The program has seen Emirati participation in the private sector increase by 70% in 2022, with over 9,293 companies achieving their targets.

 

What does this mean for employers in the UAE? 

For employers in the UAE, these new deadlines mean they must continue to prioritize Emiratisation in their recruitment and retention strategies, especially in skilled jobs. The amended mechanism requires companies with 50 or more employees to increase Emiratisation by 1% every six months. This will lead up to the overall target of 2% by the end of the year. 

Moreover, the semi-annual collection of financial contributions for non-compliance also incentivizes employers to continuously employ Emiratis to meet their targets. This way employers won’t wait till the end of the year to meet targets. By prioritizing Emiratisation, employers can contribute to the UAE’s national strategy and agenda. Furthermore, they will also benefit from a diverse and skilled local workforce.

 

Final thoughts on MoHRE’s Emiratisation deadlines

The UAE’s announcement of new deadlines for Emiratisation targets in private sector companies is a positive step towards achieving the government’s goal of increasing Emiratisation rates. 

By dividing the annual target into two semi-annual targets, companies will be encouraged to continuously employ Emiratis. Therefore, fines will be collected more frequently. This will ultimately benefit both Emirati job seekers and private sector employers in the UAE.

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