Monday, February 23, 2009

For Emiratis, There is No Downsizing

An interesting development has occured in Dubai - local Emirati nationals, or citizens of Dubai and the UAE (by birth or registration when the UAE was formed in the early 70s) can no longer be laid off if a company needs to downsize. It's an interesting commentary on civics: the growth of a nation, and what it takes to transform a population into an efficient and modern workforce as quickly as possible. Here are a couple of interesting articles and tidbits:

Emiratis can be sacked only if they violate law
Emiratis consider legal action over job loss

Just a few tidbits from those articles:
  • There are approximately 150,000 Emirati nationals in Dubai
  • Of those, 14,861 have registered employment (are working)
  • None of those 14,861 can be fired when a company downsizes
  • They can only be fired in the case of gross negligence, an action that seriously hurts the operations or financial position of their company, or violation of the law
  • All cases will require investigation by the government prior to any Emirati losing their job
  • Their job cannot be performed by an expatriate (any non-National employee) if they are let go

For all non-Nationals, you're only allowed in Dubai if you have a work visa. If you're laid off, you have to leave the country (though the amount of time you get varies from 30 days to a generous 5 months). Curiously, the law doesn't specify what happens when a company that employs Emiratis has to close up shop. In that case, you have to lay off everyone, but as the company owner, your Visa would expire as well, so you have to head to the airport!

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