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“People make big sacrifices to come here. We owe them a duty of care” Emrill, Dubai

How Emrill is bucking the trend by focusing on welfare – and reaping the benefits in its recruitment and retention

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WORDS ROBERT JEFFERY PHOTOGRAPHY SIDDHARTH SIVA

he recent amendments to UAE labour law, which will make it possible for the first time for employees to switch jobs at their own behest and will provide them with protection from unwarranted dismissal, are, it’s fair to say, a hot topic among HR directors in the region. At conferences and meetings, and behind closed doors inside organisations, leaders are

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People Management Middle East

nervously considering the potential costs, the effect on recruitment and the implications for workforce planning. The changes are also weighing on the mind of Minelle Gholami (above), people director of Emrill, one of the largest facilities management businesses in the GCC. For her, however, the prevailing emotion is far less downbeat. “I’m happy about it,” says Gholami, as she meets People Management on a cool Sunday afternoon, a stone’s throw

from Emrill’s headquarters in downtown Dubai. “It will allow for a lot more movement of labour in the market. It will increase the competition for talent, so from an HR perspective we all have to make sure we’re doing what we can to hold on to people through good practices and satisfying, fulfilling employment rather than restricting their movement.” It’s an unusual sentiment to hear from a sector that has been beset by more than

People Management Middle East: Issue 2  

The CIPD magazine for the Middle East

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