This week’s international headlines: employer incentives in UAE, sickness absence in Singapore and jobs for women in Saudi Arabia

The top stories from People Management’s international websites

1. Private sector organisations in UAE to be offered incentives

Private firms in the UAE are to be offered discounts on labour permits and other incentives as a way of encouraging them to hire more locals. The Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation promoted the measures during a series of recent workshops in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, in which it detailed the benefits to private sector companies of its Emiratisation Partners Club.

2. Action needed to combat productivity loss in Singapore

An ageing workforce is contributing to the increasing costs to organisations of productivity loss through sickness-related absence. A study compiled by Mercer put the figure at SGD3.3bn ($2.43bn) by 2030, suggesting that Singaporean employers need to plan ahead to introduce more effective wellbeing strategies.

3. Thousands of new jobs to be created for Saudi women

Saudi Arabia’s Job Creation and Employment Commission is planning to integrate women into four sectors of the labour market, including marketing, advertising and computer programming, amounting to up to 70,000 jobs, it has been reported. The Ministry of Justice has just announced that it will be recruiting female employees for the first time.

4. Upskilling needs to be key focus in Indonesia

More could be done by the Indonesian government to improve opportunities for jobseekers as unemployment figures creep up. The IT sector is continuing to drive the economy forward, but the skillsets of local people are still lacking and a push is needed to help step up education levels, according to experts.

5. Unemployment insurance on the cards in UAE

A draft law on unemployment insurance was discussed at the Education and Human Resources Council’s latest meeting. It would cover both Emiratis and highly skilled expatriates. A national fund for human resources development was also on the agenda, with the focus on increasing the competitiveness of Emirati nationals and ensuring their readiness for senior roles.