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Mon 26 Nov 2007 02:38 AM

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Gulf ministers support residency cap

Labour ministers approve plan to impose six year cap on unskilled expat workers.

GCC nations are broadly in favour of a proposed law to impose a six year residency cap on unskilled expatriate workers, according to a UAE labour ministry official.

Following a meeting of GCC labour ministers in Riyadh last week, Yousuf Jaffar told Gulf News “The 3+3 law was discussed at the ministerial meeting in Riyadh and most countries were in favour of the law.” According to Jaffar, ministers approved an 11 point plan for the law, likely to be approved at the GCC summit in Doha next month.

Under the law, unskilled labourers would work on a three-year contract, renewable only once. However, the law would be applied separately to each country, meaning labourers could continue to work in other Gulf nations.

Bahrain Labour Minister Majeed Al-Alawi announced the proposed cap in early October, saying that it was necessary to stop the erosion of local culture and to stem soaring unemployment among nationals.

Expatriates from across the Gulf have accused the minister's plans of being shortsighted and misguided, claiming the move could have dire consequences for the region's economies.

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