16 July, 2006

Emiratization Proceeds Apace

Today's Gulf News reports on the closing of loopholes allowing secretaries from repositioning for new jobs and staying in the UAE.
Many expatriate secretaries, looking for a loophole in the system to continue working here after emiratisation comes into effect, have been outsmarted by the Ministry of Labour. As per a decision issued by the Ministry of Labour on June 24, expatriate secretaries and human resources managers in the private sector will be replaced by UAE nationals. A surprise awaits them if they approach typing centres to submit online applications under "other professional categories."
Over at the "The Business of America is Business" blog I argue that replacing secretaries and HR managers will not be as easy as it seems. I maintain that though they may not be advanced-degreed or highly-skilled labor that everyone is anxious to attract, their extensive tacit knowledge of organizational processes and policies makes them more valuable than many managers and almost all bureaucrats suppose.

4 comments:

BD said...

On reading your post I was glad to see that the "surprise" is, as you say, not as ominous as it sounds.

On another comment you make,
Part of what makes Dubai such an exciting and interesting place to live is the large number of people here from all over the world...
I have to concur as an expatriate myself, but this reality will not in the least bit be affected if a few thousand expats are cut out of the job market.

That being said, everyone (expats and locals) should be treated as fairly as possible with regard to employment.

One thing I wonder is why, in fact, it is hard for locals to get jobs in the private sector. Do employers just refuse to hire them, or are they by law required to pay them higher salaries--thus resulting in a disincentive to hire them?

In other words, is there a minimum wage which is only applied to the salaries of locals? If so, this could be a part of the problem.

John B. Chilton said...

Locals do not accept offers at the same salaries and working conditions as ex pats accept. Employers choose the less expensive alternative.

Locals classified as unemployed could find work at the terms offered to ex pats. They choose to remain unemployed instead. It's not unemployment as typically defined which is: unable to find a job at prevailing wages and conditions.

It's not that government imposes minimum wages, but that government uses a definition of unemployment which is broader than the norm around the world.

Anonymous said...

Local unemployment = insufficient wasta to secure a high paying, low effort, high prestige, part time (flexible), govt or quasi govt job.

BD said...

Thanks JC--that's the kind of thing I want to know. But I still wonder if we (people who say locals don't like to work) are not over-generalizing. Do so many locals really turn their backs on these jobs. Could any locals on the forum share on this topic?

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