Nowadays, the UAE is considered to be one of the richest countries in the world. It has reached a dramatic boom of economy in the last couples of the years. It attracts enormous attention of the developed countries. Consequently, other nations are interested in the cooperation with the UAE. Following that, international communities invest greatly into the development of the state. Nevertheless, despite such great success there are a lot of problems in the inner world of the country. The most significant one is connected with the position of the workers in the UAE. Initially, most of the employees are international emigrants who comprise the great part of the population. Accordingly, their position is quite unstable. Most of the laborers undergo a strict discrimination, namely work, gender and race. The workers face the problem of the overtime working hours, bad conditions and the lack of minimum wage. The aim of the paper is to analyze the position of the employees in the UAE. Moreover, it is important to investigate such problems as minimum wage, medical insurance and overtime working hours.
For the last 10 years, the United Arab Emirates have become one of the most luxurious countries in the world. The reason for such dramatic increase is connected with foreign investment to the development of the country. Moreover, the most significant factor that has brought the country to such an enormous success is the workforce.
Employees’ Minimum Wage
According to the article Human rights and health disparities for migrant workers in the UAE, most of the population of the UAE is international workers. They comprise more than 95 percent of the country’s workforce. Furthermore, the UAE possesses the highest percentage of expatriates, “increasing from 84.8 percent (1975), 89.5 percent (1985), 89.3 percent (1990), reaching its highest at 90.4 percent (1999), and falling back down to 85.0 percent” (Sönmez, Apostopoulos, Tran, & Rentrope, 2013). Consequently, a huge amount of Western emigrants are attracted to the UAE, because of tax-free salaries and wealthy citizens with posh household staff. Moreover, such a growth in economy has caused to an increase of sex trade, and Dubai has gained the name of “the centre for prostitution in the Middle East (Sönmez et al., 2013). Nevertheless, people from all over the world try to find job in the UAE.
The explanation of the particular issue lies in the fact that there is not stable minimum wage for emigrants. The government has established a special system that controls the laborer’s work. It is called kafara. The system enables to withhold worker’s passport to arrange the process of employment, which provides total control over employees’ salary. Taking into the account that there is no minimum wage in the UAE, the average daily salary is $8 for 10-hour days, about $160 for 48-hour weeks, and annual salaries of $2,575, including overtime (Sönmez et al., 2013). Moreover, workers are responsible to work for the employer whilst they are arrears to sums of money to agents for visa and travel costs.
The article deals with the description of the dramatic boom of the UAE. Moreover, it provides an explanation of the working issue in the particular country. According to the article, most of the laborers are international workers who come to the UAE to find a highly-paid job. Being acquainted with such tendency, the government adopted the system that totally controls workers’ life. Speaking about minimum wage, one may admit that there is no an appropriate minimum amount of money that the common laborer can obtain.
I believe that such system is insufficient one. Every developed country should propose stable minimum wage is for the employees. It helps to regulate economic affairs more productive. Moreover, minimum wage a pledge for the laborers. I totally disagree with the kafara system. The reason is quite obvious: it is based not on ethics code but is founded on employers’ preferences. It will be better if such a system is prohibited. The kafara destroys human’s attitude towards the working process. The lack of minimum wage and the establishment of kafara system can lead the prosperity of the country to the deepest bottom. Consequently, the government should think twice in order to keep the success of the country. That is to say, that the extreme progress of the economy as well as its great luck totally depends on working people. They are considered to be the basis of the country. That is why it is important to provide the reforms for international as well as local workers. The minimal salary and the law that protects laborers’ rights should be adopted. Every business has to be grounded on ethics codes, since they are the considerable frame for a successful country. By applying the above-mentioned proposition the UAE government can not only satisfy the workers’ preferences but also double its prosperity.
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Employees’ Working Hours
The article Migrant Workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) depicts two sides of the development of the UAE. On the one hand, the country is “With a growth rate of 2.5 per cent in 2010 and an estimated GDP per capita of $37, 000, the UAE is ranked as one of the richest economies in the world” (Emirates Cetre for Human Rights, 2013). IT is the most innovative country in the world. Every year thousands of tourists visit this marvelous nation. On the other hand, despite the prosperous image there are a wide range of problems hidden deeply inside the country.
The most significant issue of the discussion is the UAE economy. It is based on the certain levels, social, education, and political. The social one is rather considerable. Consequently, it is connected with the work affairs. According to the article, most of the workers are international emigrants. They are “a large proportion of the UAE’s population” (Emirates Cetre for Human Rights, 2013). By adopting kafara system, the government intentionally humiliates the working class. The problem is that the mentioned sponsorship programme allows unbalanced power to sponsors and employers in regulating the legal residence of workers. Actually, employers obtain total control over the employees. Consequently, the government does not pay attention to the considerable problems that almost every worker suffers from. The most obvious are the lack of minimal wage, the overtime working and terrible working conditions.
Speaking about working hours, the article states that the laborers “exposed to long hours of work (up to 12 hours per day with one day’s holiday per week) during times of extreme heat and with very few breaks to compensate” (Emirates Cetre for Human Rights, 2013). The domestic workers are not an exception. All the employees work overtime and never get a premium for the extra work. In accordance with the article, such terrible overtime working hours lead to complete exhaustion. Moreover, there are some examples of workers’ suicides. As claimed in the article suicides have become progressively common among the workers.
The article deals with the description of reality in the prosperous state. Despite its popularity among tourists, the UAE has serious problems with the working class. In fact, the government main demand is the success and well-being of the nation. Nevertheless, it has forgotten about the fundamental level of the society – workers. Consequently, it the article Migrant Workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) published by Emirates Centre for Human Rights the hardships of laborers are depicted. The absence of minimum wage is not the only problem. There is one more significant concern –overtime working hours.
Personally, I strongly disagree that both emigrants and domestic employees should work overtime. In fact, every developed country has reforms and laws that regulate working issues. There should be a law in the UAE that protects workers’ right. If the employee spends more than 12 hours per day, working he should have a right to get extra money. Analyzing the working conditions, and the lack of minimal wage it is demanded to care about working class.
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Nevertheless, the government is not going to establish such laws, since their main concern is well-being not citizens. Thus, the level of suicide has increased dramatically. The workers are tired enough to debate with their employers and find suicide as the alternative solution. It results into the depopulation and the collapse respectively. That is why it is paramount to provide sufficient reforms as well as laws to save the country from the destruction. Taking into consideration the fact that working class comprises the country, the government is obligatory to start taking care of it. The success of every state is the balance within the inner world of the country.
Employees’ Working Conditions and Medical Insurance Policy
One more important issue concerning the position of working class in the UAE is the working conditions. According to the article Domestic Workers in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates: Trafficking Victims?, most of the domestic and emigrant workers suffer from lack of rights and horrifying working condition.
In fact, most of the workers “are not permitted to leave their employer’s house for the duration of the contract – either not on their own or not at all, even if they have a conflict with their employer” (Antoinette, 2012). That is to say this is the example of forced labor. Analyzed data shows that most of the workers do not even know that they are not allowed to leave the employer. Moreover, the latter provide strict rules for the employee, namely most of the laborers works in the locked building. They do not have possibility to escape because of the high windows as well.
The situation of the forced labor is also closely connected with the fact that employers confiscate the passports of their workers. In accordance with the article “all employers who were interviewed kept the papers of their domestic workers” (Antoinette, 2012). Here one may speak about exploitation. It is admitted in the article that “confinement and excessive working hours are so widespread that exploitation should be regarded as the general market condition” (Antoinette, 2012). Without doubt, employers not only limit their workers but also manipulate with them. Consequently, another problem appears – domestic violence. Some employers humiliate on the workers, by beating and yelling at them. Furthermore, according to the article “men are primarily victims of violence in the public sphere and women are primarily victims of violence in the private sphere, then limiting protection of individuals to the public sphere constitutes discrimination” ( Antoinette, 2012). As a result, there is a lack of workers’ protection. Men suffer from discrimination in public sphere; women suffer from the same problem in the private sphere. One may admit that such types of discrimination are based on bath international and state community respectively.
The only positive issue is a medical insurance. All the employers are required to provide the health insurance for every worker. It does not depend on whether the workers are domestic or emigrants. This factor is like a drop in the ocean, since the working conditions are terrible. The Medical Insurance Policy is considered to be one of the most important issues in the UAE. All of the workers have a right for getting profound medical treatment in case of the accident. According to the article Country Cooperation Strategy for WHO and the United Arab Emirates 2012–2017 “The health care system depends on professionals from overseas, with expatriates comprising 80% of doctors and over 90% of nurses. In addition, staff turnover is quite high, adding to the shortage” ( World Health Organization, 2012). That is to say that medicine is considered to be on the highest level in the UAE. The reason is quite obvious the government wants to have a strong society, namely healthy workers. The future of country is closely connected with mental as well as physical state of the employees.
The article deals with the profound description of the terrible working conditions in the UAE. Analyzing it one may admit that the working class is the most humiliated class in the society. They suffer from horrible conditions, inappropriate attitude and lack of protection. Moreover, both men and female undergo racial or sex discrimination. They suffered greatly from the domestic violence and cruelty.
I suppose that working conditions are the key elements of the whole working process. The results totally depend on the environment in which the individual works. It should be appropriate in order the worker could provide effective product. Speaking about the discrimination at work, one may admit that the government should control it in every aspect. The laws have to be established and applied in every business. The employers must understand their workers and protect them respectively. The government is obligatory to cancel the kafara system, since it does not correspond to moral values.
The analysis of the article helps to realize that the life in the UAE is luxurious only for rich citizens. The reality is hidden deeply under the blanket of the posh buildings. In fact, most of the citizens belong to the working class. That is why it is paramount to start looking after them. They have a right to live and work independently. Furthermore, they must have their rights protected. Such issues as working conditions, high salary, and limited amount of hours should be the first concerns of the government. The government can not only supply every laborer with medical insurance but also with the protection of their rights.
All in all, the analysis of the articles gives a clear understanding of the problems connected with the worker in the UAE. It is absolutely true fact that most of the labors suffer greatly from the inappropriate working conditions. The main problems are connected with the lack of the minimal wage, 12 working hours and horrible working conditions. The only positive thing is the medical insurance policy. All the workers both domestic and international ones have possibility to get an appropriate medical care. One may conclude that the government has to protect workers right, since they are the basis of the country’s prosperity.