United Arab Emirates: New Emiratisation and Labour Market Testing Program Creates More Recruitment Rules for Employers

In order to increase the amount of local workers in the private sector, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has launched a program that implements a new labour market testing platform which requires participating companies to create job advertisements accessible to UAE nationals seeking employment before being able to hire foreign nationals. The new program will likely increase the time for selected employers to hire foreign nationals since employers will be required to complete labour market testing first.

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Jan 25, 2017
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In order to increase the amount of local workers in the private sector, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) has launched a National Program for Emiratisation called 'Tawteen'. The program implements a new labour market testing platform called 'Tawteen Gate' , which requires selected companies to create job advertisements accessible to UAE nationals seeking employment before those employers can hire foreign nationals.

Tawteen Gate

As part of the National Program for Emiratisation, the MOHRE has launched a labour market testing electronic platform called 'Tawteen Gate' which requires selected companies to create job advertisements accessible to UAE nationals seeking employment and creates an online platform that selected employers can use to search for local workers.

Companies will learn whether they are subject to this requirement when they create a job offer application on the system.

Unemployed UAE nationals who have been unable to find a job for three months or longer can register on the platform to benefit from priority job listing access over foreign job seekers.

The Emiratisation Partners Club

MOHRE is offering memberships to the Emiratisation Partners Club to companies operating in certain industries outside of UAE free zones who are required to employ UAE nationals. Companies are selected for membership through an electronic system and then evaluated based on a points system which considers the following factors:

• Employment structure;
• Training and development;
• Innovative employment;
• Employer's commitment to Emiratisation; and
• Work environment.

Depending on the total number of points, the members are rated as Silver, Gold and Platinum. The rating triggers benefits and incentives, such as fast tracking for employment-related transactions, appointment of a designated account manager to provide advice related to MOHRE applications, and exemptions from certain MOHRE classification decrees, among others.

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

Employers in the private sector registered with the MOHRE and selected for participation in the National Program for Emiratisation may be required to create job openings through the Tawteen Gate platform if the position they recruit for is select by the Ministry for nationalisation. If no suitable UAE national has been identified, the employer will be allowed to hire another candidate. Affected employers must ensure that they account for additional time to complete labour market testing. Employers that enlist Fragomen to support labour market testing will be subject to a fee.

As the Tawteen Gate project is in its initial phase, the UAE authorities are expected to release further program details and additional regulations on the Emiratisation program in the upcoming months.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to mideast@fragomen.com.

© 2017 Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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