In June 2023, Ministerial Decision No. 296/2023 on the Standards of Imposition of Administrative Fines According to Cabinet Decision No. 95/2022 on the Offences and Administrative Fines Related to the Initiatives and Programmes of the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council (NAFIS), was issued. It covers procedures for imposing administrative fines for various Emiratisation related offences.

In April 2023, Cabinet Decision No. 44/2023 was issued, which inserted a new clause into Cabinet Decision No. 95/2022, under which an establishment that circumvented the Emiratisation targets by reducing the numbers or modifying the classification of their workers or committing some form of fraud in order to circumvent Emiratisation targets would be subject to a fine of 100,000 AED for the first offence, 300,000 AED for the second and 500,000 AED for the third time and every time after that. There have also been recent reports of plans to increase the scope of Emiratisation requirements which previously only applied to entities with 50 employees to smaller employers, e.g. those with a workforce of 20 to 49 employees will be required to hire at least one Emirati employee by 2024.

Ministerial Decision No. 296/2023 has brought in some further changes on the fines imposed. The most significant change is to the procedure for imposing fines, and there is a specified fine depending on whether the violation is a first-timer or a recurring violation.

Under Ministerial No. 296/2023 an administrative fine of 20,000 AED is issued for a first-time offence, 50,000AED for the second time and 100,000 AED for the third time and every subsequent violation. This fine is imposed on any person whose establishments has a fictitious Emiratisation ratio; submits incorrect documents or data in order to obtain the benefits from NAFIS; or who terminates the service of a NAFIS beneficiary and reappoints them at the same establishment in order to obtain Council’s support. In addition, if an establishment fails to report any change made to the terms of benefit of an Emirati employee, without a reason that is acceptable to the Council, administrative fine of 20,000 AED will be imposed for ever case in which this happens.

An administrative fine of 20,000 AED is also imposed for every national failing to comply with the UAE Labour Law (Federal Law No. 33/2021) and its implementing regulations, if the beneficiary takes up the post but does not work on a regular basis; or if the beneficiary ceases to work and the establishment fails to inform the Council of that.


UAE – Training

Ministerial Decision No. 240/2023 has outlines details of special employment contracts which have to be used for what are being called ‘Studying Citizens’. These are UAE citizen enrolled to study in one of the programmes supported and approved by the Nafis scheme in the specialised occupations and job categories determined by the Ministry. It will not be permissible to combine Nafis benefits and privileges for citizens working in the private sector and compensation given to a studying citizen who is enrolled as studying in one of the programmes supported and approved by the Nafis in the specialist occupations and job categories determined by the Ministry, during the study period. These students cannot change what they are studying without prior approval from the ministry and the employer. They must also join the employer after successfully completing their studies for a period equal to the duration of their employment contract.

Oman – Labour

A new Oman Labour Law, Oman Sultani Decree No. 53/2023 has been issued and replaces Oman Sultani Decree No. 35/2003. It underlines the importance of employers having a plan for localisation which is published in their workplace and website. They will also be required to produce a report on Omani workers, including their salaries, gender and information on job vacancies. Employers must also have a plan on appointing and training Omanis for leadership roles. A number of provisions have been put in place to support women workers in this law including a 98-day maternity leave provision, and the right to take unpaid leave for up to a year for childcare reasons. There is also now seven-day paternity leave and 15 day caregiver leave – where an employee needs to accompany a patient. In addition, sick leave levels have been increased.


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