The UAE is expected to soon commence background security checks on expatriate workers, according to a media report.
Addressing the Federal National Council (FNC) session on Tuesday, Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, reportedly said conducting background security checks on foreign workers was approved by the cabinet in October 2016.
A panel comprising representatives of Interior Ministry, Foreign Affairs and Human Resources and Emiratisation has already been set up that will submit its findings to the cabinet in the next few weeks.
“We expect a cabinet decision to conduct security checks on all foreign workers will be issued soon,” Gulf News quoted the minister as saying.
According to FNC member Hamad Al Rahoumi, more than 4.5 million expatriate workers live and work in the UAE, but no background checks for any past criminal activity are conducted on them.
“Emiratis want to make sure every worker is free of a criminal record — regardless of wherever they come from,” he reportedly said.
In response to a question by Marwan Bin Ghalita, first deputy speaker of the House, Ghobash clarified the country was planning to increase presence of “highly skilled” workers to 40 per cent of the workforce in the country by 2021.
Nearly 79 percent, or 3.7 million, of the registered workforce falls in the fourth and fifth skill levels (limited/unskilled category), while only million workers come in the first, second and third level (skilled category).