UAE minister promotes dialogue on issue of minimum wage


Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said it was crucial the country went through a dialogue process to determine the feasibility of minimum wages.

“It is important there is a dialogue between businesses and private sectors to see if minimum wage will work. I think within the UAE, we need to go through the pros and cons of minimum wage to see if it works in the country,” he told Khaleej Times, on the sidelines of a media luncheon in Dubai.

“There are some countries who believe that a minimum wage works and there are some countries including half of the European Union, which believes that minimum wage does not work,” added Dr Gargash.

He also said the first UAE National Report will be presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva next month. With over 3,113,000 foreign workers from more than 200 countries working under 250,000 employers in the country, the report would highlight ‘significant strides’ made by the government in improving working conditions of labourers and enhancing the role of women in society. The 25-page report follows criticism from international organisations over issues such as labour exploitation, abuse and human trafficking. The UAE will be the second Gulf country, after Bahrain, to present its report to the UN this year.

“We had a lot of criticism on issues of labour, and I think in the past 18 months we have done very well in addressing criticisms. We have made great strides in improving our record on these issues,” said Dr Gargash. Some of the steps taken by the government include adequate housing for workers, mandatory health insurance, resolving labour disputes and combating trafficking.


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