A Ministry of Labour decision to abolish a long-standing six-month ban on foreign workers will stem an expatriate labour influx and help tackle unemployment among foreigners sponsored by UAE firms not having jobs.
The decision will also ease pressure on courts as it will reduce labour disputes caused mainly by sacking of expatriate workers by their employers.
“The main advantages of this decision is that it will enable local contracting companies to benefit from the expatriate labour in the UAE and will also largely contribute to reducing the import of foreign labour,” said Fouad Al Jamal, chairman of Trust Constructions company in Abu Dhabi.
He said the decision would also help tackle the problem of the large number of jobless expatriates residing in the UAE as a result of the stoppage or a delay in a project.
Quoted by the Dubai-based Arabic language daily Al Bayan, he said the problem had been aggravated by the six-month ban and restrictions on the transfer of sponsorship, adding that a large number of those workers are qualified.
“After lifting the six-month ban, these workers will be allowed to move to other companies and will not stay jobless,” he said.
Mohammed Al Danhani, Baniyas’ chief prosecutor, said the new decision would help ease pressure on courts as it will reduce labour disputes.
“This decision will prevent many disputes and problems that had been handled by courts…..it will also curb absconding of workers, joblessness and crimes associated with unemployment among the foreign labour in the country,” he said.
Another senior contractor said the decision would largely benefit qualified persons, including doctors, engineers and lawyers.
“I am with all rules enforced by the Labour Ministry to preserve the rights of the workers…workers should be told about how much they will be paid before coming to the UAE…we all should work to protect the rights of both the employee and the employer.," said Ahmed Al Mazroui, head of the Abu Dhabi contractors association.