Monday, March 2, 2009

However, no Time Frame was Given

This is the closing phrase on most ingenious government schemes here. However, it allows the fellows in the dash that is dish to sneak in their little rules. Some of which are actually beneficial, like the "let's ban 10 year old cars from Jan. 1" rule that was never implemented. Someone on December 29th thought "holy camel shit, what the fck are we going to do with a million 10-year-old-probably-perfectly-fine-can-we-dump-them-in-Sharjah?-cars". Screw it. Lets NOT enforce this rule, however, lets NOT tell anyone, so cars that are 7+ years old are treated like metal lepers. (Anyone want a lovely BMW 2000 Z3).

The rule that is on the table now is the (used to be) much feared mandatory 6 month labour ban if you left your employer. There are certain exceptions to the current rule, but I think it only applies to Astronauts and people with a proven ability to zig-zag through the system. (Those that want to avoid a six month ban can do so, but it is a real pain in the ass). It looks like the rule is up for review and I applaud them. Seems the single-number plate boys are thinking that it is time to come to their senses. It is no longer a hardship to work here as it was a few years back, but it is no treat either. Many of us (including myself and some friends) just don't want to deal with the crap of visas, blood tests, etc. If people are made redundant, they can camp out on their residency permit (bought and paid for) and look for another gig, or just chill on the patio scene.

Further to that, shit might get done around here. Employees might be tempted to leave "DFA Contracting", paying them 100 widgets a month to go work for "Get It Friggin' Done" Contracting for 200 widgets a month. The difference being that DFA has no motivation, but "Get it Done" has. It will help separate the men from the boys and really encourage competition based on quality and expertise. God knows that the main contractor I work with has a grand total of about 4 decent dudes on staff. The rest sleep on the lawn. It would give these guys the ability to say to their bosses, "hey bastards, I perform, people know it, pay me more, or I'm outta here".

Getting rid of the labour ban would ease tensions everywhere. People would be tempted to stay and search out jobs, start businesses, etc. I know personally, until I realized that I could still do visa runs, it was a concern for me. Once that visa is canceled, the clock is ticking. You can't work without an NOC (good luck) and you have 30 days to leave. Leave your remaining rent that you paid, leave your friends, and probably leave your car and a bundle of debt at the airport.

Let's face it, the visa is bought and paid for for three years. Even if you transfer, you need to do all the medical hassle and all the forms again, right? Streamline things (don't think there is an Arabic word for Streamline or efficiency). I propose, if you have covered your probation, and therefor are considered a valued employee, lose the ban, keep the visa. Seems simple enough, right? Dole out NOC's, it means you don't need to pay for people's flights home. It would be helping everyone in my opinion.

What concerns me is the old standby, "No time frame was given". That means it is on the secret program or the never-never program. Pass the law and then shout it from the rooftops. Use your heads. The article is found here, in the Gospel according to Mo. As it is quite lengthy, I'll post it below:

Ministry of Labour to review six-month work ban

By Wafa Issa, Staff Reporter
Last updated: March 01, 2009, 23:04

Dubai: The Ministry of Labour is reviewing the six-month work ban, enforced when a person cancels their work permit, to facilitate for labour movement within the country, said a ministry official.

Abdul Razaq Qambar, training officer at the inspection department at the ministry, said during a seminar on wages aimed at raising awareness on workers' rights, that the review of the six-month ban, including the scrapping of the ban, is on the table.

"The ministry is studying different means to facilitate for labour movement within the country and the reviewing of the ban is part of this," said Qambar.

However, no time frame was given.


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