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Posted by Hays UAE, November 2015

As an employer of Emirati’s, the UAE National Service Law will affect your business. Here is what you need to know about the law, what it means for your current UAE National employees, career benefits awarded to those who have served , and the risks you might face of a reduced talent pool due to service.

What is the law?

National service is mandatory for all male UAE nationals that are between 18 and 30 years old and medically fit. Recruits who have completed their General Certificate of Secondary Education will be required to serve nine months, while those who have not will serve two years. At present service is optional for women and can only serve nine months.

Current UAE National employees

If you currently employ Emiratis be aware that they are not be exempt from service. By law you are required to allow the worker to enlist and keep their job (or similar jobs) open for them once they return. In addition time will be added to their end-of-service and pension benefits. Private sector employers are required to pay half the salary to their employees during the period of national service; the UAE Armed Forces will pay the remaining half.

Career benefits to those who have served

UAE Nationals who have completed military service are awarded priority in recruitment. They will also be first in line for promotion upon meeting all other requirements.

Will there be a UAE National skill shortage?

Our experts working in the Emiratisation sector assure employers that the law does not mean there is a skill shortage, especially as the time required to service is reletively short. Bridget Connolly, Business Manager for Emiratisation specialism at Hays, says “The candidates that we have been dealing with, who have returned from military service, are really energised so will add tremendous value to businesses”.

Don't forget to read our next blog post about diving into a new career

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