Financial support for unemployed Emiratis in Abu Dhabi will be axed unless they can prove they are not fit to work, a top government official has said.
Citizens will need to accept one of three offers of employment or see their benefits end under new plans to ensure everyone is contributing to society.
The move is part of a government plan to ensure all citizens contribute to society, Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, chairman of Abu Dhabi’s new Department of Community Development said. He said the UAE wants to avoid a society dependent on social welfare.
Healthy Emiratis will be given three chances to accept a job arranged for them or will see their benefit payments discontinued. The drive is not targeted at stay-at-home mothers or people who are out of work for medical reasons.
While financial benefits for unemployed Emiratis varies, some earn between AED6,000-8,000 a month. The minimum wage for Emiratis set by the Abu Dhabi government stands at AED10,000.
The benefit payments are meant to act as safety nets for those who are unable to work, but Dr Al Khaili said some have been taking advantage of the benefits. He added that it is time UAE nationals are active and preparing for a post-oil era.
In April, the UAE Cabinet approved as much as AED11 billion in social assistance for low-income groups over the next three years. Almost 39,000 Emiratis in Abu Dhabi received welfare payments in 2013, up from about 25,300 in 2011. The total value of aid had also grown from AED665 million to AED806m during the same time.
New data is to be collected at the end of March 2019 to provide accurate numbers.
Source Credit: Arabian Business