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UAE lowers foreign workers recruitment fee for EPC companies

UAE lowers foreign workers recruitment fee for EPC companies

Work permit fees have been reduced to Dh300 for private companies that are registered under the government’s Emiratisation Partners Club (EPC), the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Mohre) announced in a statement on Sunday.

The Dh300 fee applies to both the issuance and renewal of expats’ work permits, according to the decision issued by Nasser bin Thani Juma Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation. These permits are valid for two years.

The ministry’s EPC initiative, also known as ‘Tawteen Partners Club’, is part of the national strategy to increase the number of Emiratis in the country’s workforce.
To become an EPC member, a company must meet a certain rate of Emiratisation.

Firms that have a higher proportion of local staff are placed at a higher membership category and become eligible for a host of incentives and privileges, including the reduced work permit fee.

EPC categories
The EPC used to have just three categories but, with the latest Mohre decision, it now has four: platinum, gold, silver and bronze.

To qualify for the platinum class, a 12 per cent Emiratisation rate is required for high-priority entities; seven per cent for medium priority; and three per cent in low priority.

High-priority entities are those that need high-skilled employees in business, health, education, consultation and communication sectors, and have 125 staff members or more. Medium-priority firms, on the other hand, are those that work in fields such as retail trade, hospitality, and transportation, and have 250 employees or more; while low-priority entities are those that don’t require high-skilled employees and work in different fields, such as construction, sanitation and security sectors, and have 500 workers or more.

– The EPC gold class requires an eight per cent Emiratisation rate for high-priority entities; four per cent for medium priority; and one per cent for low priority.

– Silver requires a four per cent Emiratisation rate for high-priority entities; 2.5 per cent for medium priority; and 0.5 per cent for low priority.

– Bronze members are companies that recruit workers in accordance with the technical and vocational programmes determined by the ministry, regardless of the proportion of Emiratisation. They can hold their membership for renewable periods of six months, but during this time frame, they should be able to meet the Emiratisation requirement for the other three classes. Otherwise, their membership shall be cancelled.

Privilege cancellation
According to the Mohre decision, the proportion of Emiratisation should be calculated every six months, and the memberships for platinum, gold and silver classes shall be renewed annually as long as the proportion of Emiratisation remains the same.

If an entity’s Emiratisation rate declines, it will lose its privilege of a low work permit fee, and the membership shall be cancelled if the firm fails to meet the requirements.