On 11 July 2023, The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) announced the inclusion of Emiratisation requirements for smaller business with a workforce of 20-49 employees in the UAE to meet new Emiratisation targets.
Initially, MoHRE issued Ministerial Decision 279 of 2022, on 6th June 2022, introducing new measures for increasing the population of Emiratis working within the private sector, whereby companies with over 50 employees were required to maintain specified Emiratisation rates, outlines as a percentage of the skilled workforce. Companies were expected to have achieved a rate of 2% Emiratisation by end of 2022, with a further 2% through 2023, to reach a total 4% overall. Increasing by 2% year-on-year, by the end of 2026, companies are expected to have achieved a minimum of 10% of UAE citizens operating in skilled positions.
What has changed?
MoHRE announced a new Emiratisation bracket, extending the scope of Emiratisation and introducing the need for companies with 20-49 employees to take on one Emirati hire by end of next year (2024). Each business falling within this employee range must then hire one additional Emirati into a skilled role by the end of each year.
The sectors that are required by the MoHRE to account for the new regulation includes: Financial and insurance activities; Real estate; Information and communications; Education; Healthcare and social work; Construction; Transportation and warehousing; Hospitality and residency services; Wholesale and retail; Administrative and support services; Professional and technical activities; Arts and entertainment; Mining and quarrying; Transformative industries.
What does that mean for employers?
Companies that fall within the employee range of 20-49 employees, are now included in the Emiratisation initiative and are required to meet specific Emiratisation quotas. Each business employing within this range are expected to hire at least one Emirati by the end of 2024, with one additional Emirati hire each year.
It is strongly urged that companies falling within this Emiratisation bracket are actively seeking to meet their hiring quota as soon as possible. To achieve this, it is recommended that companies that are yet to apply, register and engage with the UAE government’s partnership programme ‘Nafis’ or other similar recruitment agencies. The UAE government has created the Nafis platform, which can specifically aid companies with recruiting and discovering Emiratis candidates for hiring and achieving their Emiratisation quotas.
For companies who fail to comply with hiring one Emirati into a skilled role before the required deadline, they risk incurring penalties and fines. Should a company of 20-49 employees fail to hire one Emirati in 2024, they will be subject to a AED96,000 penalty fine. This fine will further increase to AED108,000 should the company fail to employ an Emirati in 2025.
How can PRO Partner Group assist?
PRO Partner Group can advise you on your company’s Emiratisation requirements and help you determine which tier your company is currently in and what steps need to be taken to ensure that you are fully compliant with the latest legislation.
If you need assistance with the new Emiratisation rules or any other related onshore or offshore company setup, restructuring, local partner or PRO support matter in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE, Oman, Qatar or KSA, then please do get in touch with us on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai or +971 (0)2 448 5120 for Abu Dhabi, email us at email@example.com or fill in the inline form and we would be delighted to assist you.