Dubai companies to be rated by employees

Author: PM Editorial | Date: 21 Oct 2015

“Innovative” new employment welfare system will offer voice to staff in construction sector

Employees in the Dubai construction sector will be encouraged to rate the businesses they work for, under a new “Taqdeer” award programme that will offer incentives for good employers.
Companies that have been running for at least two years, and which perform civil, electrical or mechanical work, will be eligible to take part in the scheme, under which they will be ranked according to three categories: essential fundamentals (labour policies, facilities and infrastructure), culture and work environment (justice and transparency, labour relations, communication and feedback) and results (labour perceptions and performance indicators).
“The extensive evaluation framework of the award will encourage companies to aspire to high standards in their management of labour,” said His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid, chairman of Dubai Executive Council, in a statement announcing the scheme. “We are confident that the award will help set new benchmarks for good labour practices across sectors and throughout the region.”
The award is the latest in a series of moves by the UAE authorities to improve employee welfare. “I think there is some pressure on the authorities within this part of the world to update and modernise their employment arrangements,” said Luke Tapp, leader of the Dubai employment practice at Pinsent Masons. “We’re seeing such developments in response to pressure from media and press outside the region, over how lower paid workers are treated.”
As well as the boost to credibility afforded by the award, successful businesses may receive an advantage over other firms when bidding for government projects. Within a year, the scheme is likely to be extended to factories in the Dubai free zones, which employ more than 500,000 people.
“This is a very interesting and innovative approach,” said Tapp. “While it might take some time for organisations to see the benefits, it’s good to see a reward system being used to encourage companies to improve working conditions. This is a positive development for HR professionals in the region, and will help them drive home the importance of engaging with employees.”