Top officials from 16 countries — including the UAE — recently discussed key steps that governments can take to enhance temporary employment contracts, including those that cover workers and domestic helpers.
The issues were tackled as part of this year’s Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD), a forum to highlight matters related to manpower between Asian and Gulf countries.
Protecting the wages of domestic helpers and facilitating banking services for temporary employees are among the key issues discussed during the ADD meetings.
“We are identifying the challenges — and the steps that governments can take to address these challenges — to enhance the contracting of temporary labourers and promote human development,” said Shayma Al Awadhi, acting assistant undersecretary for communication and international relations at the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Mohre).
Every step of the recruitment process is being inspected, Al Awadhi said.
“We also prioritise…reviewing the rules and regulations for hiring, as well as testing and employing labourers and the issues that may arise from that. We are also keen on outlining the steps that governments can take, either unilaterally, bilaterally, or multilaterally.”
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Besides wage protection and safe money transfers, the officials also looked into how modern technologies can be used to boost workers’ welfare, according to a Mohre statement.
They then discussed improving workers’ access to health-related information and facilitating knowledge exchange on skills that can be developed for jobs of the future.
The meetings also explored the following topics:
- Finding guidelines for skills-based partnerships, aligning with labour market needs
- Integrating the concept of gender in the framework of policies to promote recruitment and employment
- Current and future trends in demand for women to work in various economic sectors, with a focus on those related to technolog
- Best practices to enhance the transition opportunities and facilitate the employment of women to work in sectors with high rates of demand with a focus on the health sector
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The Abu Dhabi Dialogue is a voluntary, non-binding, inter-government consultative process established in 2008 as a forum for dialogue and cooperation between labour sending and receiving countries.
Its membership includes the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, KSA, and Malaysia — as well as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Through multilateral dialogue and cooperation on the joint development of labour mobility-related programming, implementation, and reporting, ADD helps to ensure that member-states develop partnerships for adopting best practices, and are in a position to learn from each other’s experiences and knowledge.