New welfare plans for expats mulled - 28 September 2011 - PARIS
Minister of Labour Saqar bin Ghobash Saeed Ghobash said on Monday that the UAE is considering various schemes for the social protection of expatriates working in the country, including the creation of a migrant savings account and a contributory system, as recommended by a study.
He, however, added that his ministry’s immediate focus remains on enforcing the current end-of-service scheme and protecting the worker against non-compliance or default by the employer.
Addressing Session 2 of the G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting currently under way in Paris, Ghobash argued that the UAE’s present efforts to strengthen social protection are not strictly aimed at shielding the national workforce from shocks associated with cyclical economic downturns. “They rather aim at aligning employment conditions across sectors so as to encourage employment in our private sector,” said the minister.
Speaking on ‘Improving social protection for all: different situations but common human challenges’, Ghobash said: “Earlier during our first session, I explained why the challenges the UAE faced with respect to promoting the employment of its nationals were not strictly a fallout of a down-cycle in economic growth; rather, they were rooted in longstanding barriers to the employment of our nationals in the private sector that could only be dealt with through short and medium-term active labour market programmes and interventions on one hand, and policies aimed at shifting job creation to targeted sectors in conjunction with reform of our civil service, on the other.”