The IA and managers and officials of the insurance companies in the State discuss suggestions of national employees to promote Emiratization

: 12/19/2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

H.E. Fatima Mohammed Ishaq Al Awadi, Deputy Director General of the Insurance Authority, asserted that increasing the number of UAE nationals in the insurance companies, improving the level of their skills and experiences, and providing them with the opportunity to take part in making decisions, setting policies, and preparing plans are a patriot duty of the management of insurance companies operating in the State in a manner that contributes to achieving the leadership directives and government objectives to empower the national employees.

She said that the national employees working in the insurance companies enjoy a high level of academic and practical competence which we are proud of. She said she hopes that the national and foreign companies operating in the State adopt an Emiratization plan through which they seek to increase the Emiratization rates in the company, promote the national employees, and give them the technical and technological skills that influence their career progress in the companies they work in.

 This was stated during chairing the extensive meeting which was organized by the IA with the general managers of the insurance companies regarding the Emiratization in the insurance sector at Yas Island Rotana Hotel at Abu Dhabi on Monday. The meeting was attended by the managers and HR managers of 61 national and foreign companies operating in the State to discuss the results of the meetings held by the IA during last October and November with the national employees working in the insurance companies operating in the State and their suggestions pertaining to the attractive environment for Emiratization and means to overcome the problems and obstacles facing Emiratization in the insurance sector, as well as areas to enhance the competence and improve the professional levels of the national cadres.

She affirmed that the IA is determined to change the reality of Emiratization in the insurance companies in implementation of the desire of the prudent leadership of the State. She explained that despite the rising of Emiratization rate in the insurance companies in the State from 5.2% in the end of 2010 to nearly 6.5% in the end of the first half of the current year, yet it is still a small and unsatisfactory rate while the information at hand indicates that some foreign insurance companies do not include any national employees.

She explained that during its previous meetings with the national employees working in the insurance companies operating in the State, the IA discussed the issues, remarks, and inquiries of interest for the national employees in the insurance companies which may contribute to developing their skills and encouraging them to work, as well as positively reflect on their performance and competence and increase the competitiveness of the companies they work in on the other hand.

She explained that Emiratization is not about employment, but it must be accompanied with intensive training on the technical, financial, and legal aspects of insurance which contributes to the UAE nationals assuming advanced positions in the middle and top management and create adequate conditions for the stability of national cadres in their positions in the insurance companies, whereas such stability leads to the accumulation of experience which is a primary factor in the insurance business.

She added that toward this objective, the IA has recently adopted many rules and took practical initiatives which contribute to expanding the Emiratization base in the insurance companies, including linking the approvals issued to the companies to open new branches with the appointment of certain rates of UAE nationals, instructing the foreign insurance companies which operate in the local market and do not have any national employee to achieve at least the general Emiratization rate before the end of the current year, and forming a committee to run the Insurance and Takaful Training Center in participation with the Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS) toward establishing the UAE Institute of Insurance and Takaful.

She asserted that the initial results of the IA's actions were encouraging as the rate of UAE nationals working in the insurance companies increased at 13.3% during the first nine months of the current year as compared with the end of the past year.

H.E. Fatima Al Awadi asserted that the IA will not stop at such level of action and efforts, yet it will continue taking further procedures and practical initiatives to increase the Emiratization rate in the insurance sector and improve the level of skills and experiences of the UAE nationals working in such sector to achieve the directives of the prudent leadership in the State and implement the government strategy in this domain. She referred to the Emiratization plan in the insurance sector which was recently set by the IA for the years 2012-2014 and which includes specific objectives and means and mechanisms to achieve the aspired objectives.

She reviewed the achievements attained by the IA over the past few years. She said that since its establishment in 2007, the IA managed to achieve a quantum and advanced leap in the local insurance market, especially in terms of rearranging such market and organizing its status appropriately in terms of the performance, control, competitiveness, and completion of the legislative frameworks which represent the cornerstone for tightening control over the insurance sector in the State.

She added that during the past four years after its establishment, the IA completed hundreds of activities and initiatives within its strategic and operational plan, which all aimed at improving the insurance sector in the State, promoting the UAE as a regional and global insurance hub, boosting the relationship with the federal and local entities as well as the regional and international organizations to adopt the best international practices, and consequently achieve further progress and growth in the economic development components to embody the vision of the prudent leadership.

She noted that the IA has issued many regulations to uplift the insurance sector, including instructions as to the procedures of anti-money laundering and combating of terrorism financing in the insurance activities and instructions as to the rule of profession practice and ethics that must be followed by the insurance companies and which aim at protecting the policyholders and beneficiaries. Further, the IA issued Takaful insurance regulations which represent the first of its kind in the Arab region and the most comprehensive at the level of the Islamic countries, instructions to organize the operation of insurance agents, and instructions as to the licensing of TPA companies and organization and control of operations thereof, as well as the guidelines pertaining to the rules of insurance policy marketing by the banks. In the field of financial organization of the insurance sector, the IA prepared rules of the investment policy of the insurance companies, and it prepared the principles pertaining to the method of calculating the technical provisions in the insurance operations. It also prepared the rules pertaining to the solvency margin in the insurance companies. Currently, the IA embarks upon preparing the accounting policies in the insurance business. In the field of insurance training and education, the Insurance and Takaful Training Center was established in cooperation with the EIBFS.

She added that the IA currently takes more organizational and legal actions to enhance the development in this market in all aspects and to uplift its competitiveness level and develop its performance to occupy a very advanced rank at the regional and global levels.

Following the opening speech, H.E. Fatima Mohammed Ishaq Al Awadi, Deputy Director General of the IA, presented a summary of the report drafted by the IA regarding the results of the meetings held with the UAE nationals working in the insurance companies and the results of the questionnaire measuring the satisfaction of the UAE nationals working in the insurance companies which varied between commending of the management of companies they work in and a package of negative remarks noted by some UAE nationals about some financial, technical, and social aspects prevailing in the companies they work in.

The questionnaire results focused on many points which constituted areas of agreement between the UAE nationals working in the insurance sector, including lack of adequate training, unfamiliarity of the national employees of the training courses, inequality in the in-kind and financial benefits among the UAE nationals and expatriates, the absence of a clear promotions system and lack of graduation in the progress of top job titles, unification of the health insurance among all the companies to cover all family members of the UAE national, failure to allow the UAE national time or a sabbatical leave in case he/she wishes to complete education in the different institutes and universities, lack of labour cards, failure to unify the working hours among all the companies, unclearness of the job description of some UAE nationals, and failure to announce the vacancies in some companies.

Moreover, the Deputy Director General of the IA presented a brief presentation on the Emiratization plan in the insurance sector for the years 2012-2014 which will be adopted by the IA as of the beginning of next year.

The plan seeks to achieve two objectives; the first objective is quantitative to increase the rate of national employees in the insurance companies according to certain rates. The second objective is qualitative by preparing the national youth to work in the technical, financial, and legal aspects of the insurance and reinsurance business whether in the administrative and marketing aspects or the top positions in the insurance companies by providing them with academic qualification and practical training.

The attendees had extensive and continuous discussions about the general problems and barriers which are related to Emiratization and training operations and well as means to improve the professional performance of the UAE nationals working in the insurance sector and mechanisms to increase attractiveness of working and performing in such vital sector.

They also addressed areas of development of the training aspects and the most advanced means to encourage the national employees to participate in the qualitative training courses which are positively reflected on the performance of employees and companies together. The discussions also concentrated on some financial, employment, and organizational aspects to achieve job stability and security for the national employees in the insurance companies and to increase them in the future.

The participants extended thanks and appreciation to the IA for organizing such meeting which contributed to promoting the awareness of companies about Emiratization and realization of the plans and needs of the national employees. At the same time, the participants presented practical suggestions to promote the companies to achieve the Emiratization plans and to encourage them to enhance the training and involve the national employees in the specialized training courses in order to improve the academic and practical standards in the insurance domain.

Managers of the insurance companies expressed their desire and willingness to adopt the Emiratization plan prepared by the IA for the years 2012-2014 and their keenness to increase the rate of UAE nationals in the companies.

 

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