UAE - There are currently 8,000 administrative government jobs filled by expats in the UAE, which should be filled by Emiratis instead, heard the Federal National Council (FNC) on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi.
During the FNC discussion chaired by FNC speaker, Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, members raised questions about high unemployment rates of Emiratis to Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, chairman of the Federal Authority for Human Resources and the Minister of State for Higher Education.
Salem Al Shehhi, FNC member from Ras Al Khaimah, said he knows thousands of Emiratis who cannot find jobs.
"Locals today are asking: When are we going to be recruited?"
An FNC report revealed there are 8,000 administrative jobs in the public sector that are currently filled by expats.
FNC members pointed out that the jobs could be Emiratised.
"The federal government has a strategy now to hire new employees to replace those no longer serving, and this strategy will continue until 2021," said Al Shehhi.
"So what about the thousands of graduates, where will they go?" he asked.
FNC member, Saeed Al Rumaithi from Abu Dhabi, said he believes there are at least more than 30,000 administrative government positions filled by expats.
The minister, however, said there will be 7,685 job vacancies for Emiratis in 2018.
"The role of the authority is to support and save jobs for thousands of Emiratis at federal government," added Dr Al Falasi.
Al Shehhi, on the other hand, pointed out that the 7,685 jobs are not enough, in comparison to the number of graduates.
"Today we already have thousands of jobless Emiratis, imagine how many we will have until 2021?"
"The 7,000 job vacancies do not mean much when compared to the number of graduates," he added.
Meanwhile, talks about unemployment continued, as members raised their concerns about the amount of work leave government employees are entitled to, if the employee must travel abroad to accompany a family member for medical treatment.
"The system is programmed to only give 15 days leave to accompany family for medical treatment and this rule needs to be amended, especially if the patient must travel long distance," said Hamad Al Rahoomi, FNC member from Dubai.
"I am talking about a psychological situation - for anyone who discovers that his family member has a disease."
"If I find myself in such a crisis, by discovering that the my wife, my son or my brother have cancer, I do not have time to think about these work-leave procedures - I will be in shock."
FNC members thus recommended that employees should have more than two weeks of leave if they need to travel abroad for family medical circumstances.
Moreover, FNC members also raised their concern about working mothers, pointing out working mothers in the public sector should be given the two hours of breastfeeding time after maternity leave ends.
The current law, however, states that the two hours of breastfeeding time starts from the day the mother gives birth.
Members also raised questions about the amount of leave employees are entitled to if a family member passes away.
The members said the current death leave for employees is limited, adding that it contradicts with the emotions of losing a loved one and also contradicts with the ability for the family to recover efficiently.
However, Dr Al Falasi said adding more days for death leave is not possible, as it will cause disruption to the work flow.
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