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Case Study: Privatization, New Staff Policies, Older Staff

This case concerns potential discrimination of older staff. The company set new policies after the government privatized it and those policies would seem to be unfair and unequal. New employees who are graduates or non graduates have the opportunity to train into positions faster and with faster grade increases and salary increases. Those working for the company before the change, are stuck in the older system of grade and salary increases. For older staff, movement to other departments, divisions, or locations does not change this. Their experience and knowledge is also used to train the new hires under the new system. This is a conflict between management and older staff. It can potentially lead to other conflicts as well.

Prepare a presentation discussing laws and policies, problems and conflict, the "Developee" program (a four year contract between the company and its new employees), arguments for changing the policy and how managers and employees may feel in this case. Is there a solution of alternatives?

Solution Preview

See the attachment.
Laws and Policies
Poor policymaking, not considering all outcomes of the policy or the people, is a common problem in businesses, especially during times when a country, society, or culture is changing.

We Know, Laws in the UAE are slowly changing. More companies are going private and more laws are in place to protect employees. Restrictions and requirements for emigrants have been loosened and made more employee friendly. For example, previously when a contract ended, the employer could prevent the emigrant employee from getting work with another company. Now at the end of a contract, the employee may change jobs and get another visa to work.

"Nationalisation of the human resource is the desired and articulated policy of all rulers of countries that form the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). In reality, however, the policy has been dogged with difficulties in implementation from its inception as it faces seemingly insurmountable hurdles, such as a demographic imbalance caused by a high proportion of expatriates working in the region, the challenges of public and private sector employment, the role of national women in society, the reliance on expatriate employment, high rates of unemployment among poorly trained nationals, and cumulatively the need for sustainable development as well as the effective governance of human capital. Within this context, governments, including the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have decided to tackle the challenges faced by Emiratisation as a nationalisation endeavour." (

Discussion Questions
However, private companies often still have management issues. The companies make policies that create frustration for employees and leave them with limited or no say in changing the policy. Looking at your handout, you will see the case I have chosen.

While we discuss this, please keep in mind these three questions:
What would have caused a company to create a policy that is unfair to older staff? Is it a company issue or an attempt to advance the new Emiratisation policy?
Does the government need to review this type of policy that places newer workers in a better position? And if they do, how can they make sure this type of policy is fair and equitable? Or can they?
UAE has a growing economy. Does this type of policy and overall treatment of employees create more problems of reputation for the country?

Company Background
The case involves a company that was privatized in the year 1999, and with a change in ownership, there was a change in policies. Initially, while under government control, it followed the government employment policy of providing workers with a change in grade every four years along with a salary bump. This change in grade and the salary increment was provided irrespective of the educational background and qualifications of the employees.

After the change in ownership, a new labor policy was brought into effect. This policy consists of an important point which is the 'Developee program', in order to improve the motivation levels at the workplace, proposed a change in grade and a salary bump ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses a case study that concerns potential discrimination of older staff.