Part-time jobs are now an option in Dubai’s public sector thanks to a new resolution issued on Tuesday, and many are welcoming the change. Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, has issued a resolution No. (27) of 2013 regulating part-time jobs at the Government of Dubai.
Part-time job arrangements would help provide a work-life balance to enable employees to divide their energy between work and their private life, as well as help attract “highly qualified and distinguished” expertise to work in the government sectors, Wam reported.
The resolution aims to allow more flexibility for operational changes, and help attract and retain talent. The change would also make it easier to find replacement employees to work for hours less than the official working hours, the report said.
Founder of Nabbesh.com, an online skills marketplace focusing on freelance, part-time and contract-based jobs, Loulou Khazen Baz said the resolution was “great news”.
“The fact that the government is recognising that part-time (jobs are) important....and are referring to (such employees) as highly qualified and distinguished is great.
“This is so important for people to start looking at freelancers not as people who have a low skill set, but who are experts and may choose not to work full-time for various reasons.”
On Twitter, Tala Al Ansari tweeted on behalf of mothers who wanted to work, saying: “finally, a good option for mums!”
Cofounder of online career portal Gradberry.com, Iba Masood, agreed it was “certainly a step in the right direction”, and said she was glad to hear UAE authorities were addressing the issue.
However, challenges did remain in the private sector and further regulation was needed.
Most employers did not know the procedures and free-zone regulations on hiring part-time students and interns, Masood said.
“The legislation and rules surrounding this area are very vague, and there is a bit of a grey area on taking on a part-time student. Also, we regularly hear about promotion companies taking advantage of students by not paying them their due wages, or making them work long hours.”
Regulating the part-time work environment would help more students enter the workforce while studying, and increase their chances of landing a full-time job after graduating, Masood said.
Over 95 per cent of employers on Gradberry.com had hired graduates with prior part-time work experience, she added.
The resolution sets out an employment legal and regulatory framework for the different departments to adopt, with provisions in place to regulate work leave, promotions and rules to transfer a part-time employee to full-time, and vice versa.
Meanwhile, a report by the Ministry of Interior’s 999 Magazine stated the UAE job market was showing clear signs of growth, thanks to the healthy economy, and job opportunities were expected to increase two to three per cent this year.
Salaries were also rising, up to 15 per cent on two years ago in some cases, as fresh demand in some sectors began to put pressure on available supply of talent, the report said.
The resolution, which determines working hours, salaries and a mechanism to calculate part-time job wages, complements regulatory laws and legislations of the Dubai Government Human Resources Department, and is effective from the date of issue.
by Sarah Young (email@example.com) / 7 August 2013