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Being a Responsible Employer

A large part of running a company is human resources management. The UAE labour law sets clear guidelines about the rights of employees and obligations of employers, and any disputes between employee and employer are first brought to the attention of the Ministry of Labour. The number of employees that a company can hire is determined by the kind of trade licence it holds. Since an employee’s visa must be sponsored by the employer, the process of hiring is controlled by both the General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs (DNRD) and the Ministry of Labour. Both government offices have moved most of their operations online, so instead of entering the government buildings, procedures can be carried out at typing offices that have access to the eGovernment system.

Before a company can hire any employees, it must obtain both an establishment labour card and an establishment immigration card from the Ministry of Labour and DNRD. The cards are needed in all transactions with the Ministry of Labour and the DNRD.

When hiring employees, keep in mind that some sectors are required to employ a certain percentage of UAE Nationals. The Emiratisation programme was put into place in order to lessen the country’s dependence on foreign labour and increase the local population’s role in the regional economy.


According to the labour law, employers are required to provide certain benefits to their employees. Employers are not required to provide private health insurance, but they must at least pay for each employee to have a government health card. The labour law also details the minimum amount of vacation time that each employee deserves, the maximum hours to be worked in a week, and the minimum compensation owed to an employee that has completed a contract. The labour law also stipulates that companies with over 100 employees must use a ‘wage protection system’ through the Ministry of Labour.

To recognize corporate social responsibility (CSR) among companies, Dubai Chamber introduced the CSR label in September 2010. Benefits include being recognized as a responsible company, your company's enhanced reputation and easier retention of your employees. To qualify, companies can complete an online self-evaluation and provide supporting documentation. They will receive feedback from Dubai Chamber based on average scores achieved in environment, community, workplace & marketplace. Companies can then proceed to Step 2 to provide detailed information as per assessment form, a letter of commitment to CSR from CEO/Head and evaluation fee. If your application is successful, you will then be eligible to receive the CSR label for your company.
 
Dubai SME, an agency of the Department of Economic Development has launched the Corporate Governance Code for Small & Medium Enterprise to ensure growth and sustainability.  There are 9 pillars or principles that SMEs should be aware of:

1.Adopt a formal corporate governance framework outlining roles of all key stakeholders
2.Conduct a succession planning process
3. Establish a timely, open and transparent flow of information with shareholders
4.Set up a formal Board of Directors to accompany the growth of the company
5.Develop a clear mandate for the Board of Directors to oversee operational performance
6.Maintain credible book of accounts, annually audited by an external auditor
7. Set up an internal control framework & conduct a regular review of risk
8. Recognize the needs of stakeholders
9.Formulate a framework setting out the family's relationship with the business.


UAE Labour Law
– Dubai eGovernment
Issuing an establishment card at GDRFA – General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs
Dubai Government health card for corporates – Dubai Health Authority
Dubai Government health card for individuals - Dubai Health Authority
Wage protection system – Ministry of Labour
Dubai Chamber CSR label online application - Dubai Chamber
Download SME corporate governance code- Code for SMEs-Dubai SME

 

Published Date : 20/02/2013Back


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