Reminder: Deadline to comply with the Emiratisation Law’ 2023!!!

May 8, 2023 | 5 min read

All business and companies, take alert: According to the UAE's Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MoHRE), private sector businesses with 50 or more skilled workers have until 30 June 2023 to achieve their six-month Emiratization objectives. Authorities reminded non-compliant businesses that they would be subject to half-yearly fines of AED 42,000 for each Emirati they failed to recruit.

For those who are unaware, Emiratization is a government program designed to boost the number of UAE citizens working in the private sector. The project was started with the intention of lowering the dependency of the nation on foreign labor and encouraging the employment of UAE citizens in a variety of industries.

The Ministerial Decision Number 279 of 2022 and the Cabinet Decision Number 18 of 2022 established the rules and regulations for Emiratization. Every employer with more than 50 employees is required to increase their Emiratization rate by 2% of all skilled workers every year as part of the Emiratization process.

Effective from January 2023, companies in the private sector must apply the following scheme, if their total skilled workers exceed 50:

  • 0 to 50 skilled workers – the minimum target is to recruit one UAE national employee.
  • 51 to 100 skilled workers – the minimum target is to recruit two UAE national employees.
  • 101 to 150 skilled workers – the minimum target is to recruit three UAE national employees.
  • More than 151 workers – one UAE national employee to be recruited for every 50 workers.

The private sector, and more especially, businesses registered across the mainland UAE, are subject to the Emiratization law. In light of this, companies situated in free zones, such as ADGM and DIFC, will not be required to follow these guidelines but are still free to contribute to the greater objectives of the law should they find Emirati talent corresponding to their particular companies.

Starting January 1, 2023, companies who fail to comply with the Emiratization targets will have to pay hefty fines as stated below:

  • A fine of AED 6,000 per month for each UAE national who is not employed.
  • A minimum fine of AED 20,000 and a maximum fine of AED 100,000 may be applicable, if:
  1. After acquiring a work permit, a company does not hire a UAE national but still receives support from Nafis;
  2. Employees benefitting from this program exhibit a lack of dedication to their jobs, and if the company neglects to inform Nafis;
  3. Employees benefitting from the programme fails to come to work and the company fails to notify this to Nafis;
  4. If the company terminates an employee’s benefits without providing a legitimate explanation and without notifying Nafis;
  5. If the company refuses to hire a UAE national after they complete their training, without providing a legitimate explanation.

This is the perfect time to follow the law if you haven't already. Your company or business risk suffering harsh repercussions if you don't comply by the deadline.

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