When starting a company in Dubai there are many things to consider. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an area that often gets looked over. Companies that are registered in the United Arab Emirates ought to consider implementing a successful CSR policy within the workplace. For those companies that already have a CSR policy, we ask: Are you aware of and compliant with the United Arab Emirates CSR Law?
As we are approaching Eid al Adha, in the spirit of appreciation, giving, helping businesses, communities and others we take a closer look at CSR. We outline what CSR Law contains, and the obligations it will place on UAE businesses and new company setups.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
Corporate Social Responsibility is how an organization contributes towards improving and adding value to society in some shape or form. Examples on CSR vary such as: donating money to charities and non-profit organizations, volunteering time or resources towards causes to putting into practice environmentally-friendly procedures at a place of work.
Why is Corporate Social Responsibility important?
Nowadays consumers have even more access to information and more choice when deciding on the quality of goods and services. Many consumers are now placing increasing value on CSR and are holding organizations accountable for effecting social change along with business practices, beliefs and profits.
Some consumers will go as far as to stop purchasing goods or services from their preferred companies if they believe they’re not taking action for societal and environmental issues.
2017 CSR study by Cone Communications key findings include:
What are the laws concerning UAE CSR?
The UAE Council of Ministers published a new resolution – the CSR Law. The new resolution aims to develop organizational framework and guidelines for the management budget as part of their Social Responsibility Activities. CSR Law outlines reporting necessities for contributions to CSR activities and offerings, where it applies to certain UAE businesses on a compulsory basis, to those on a voluntary basis and offering a range of incentives to contribute to CSR initiatives.
CSR Law Objectives:
How can UAE companies offer their support towards CSR?
Ministry of Economy has launched a website CSR UAE. The CSR framework will be delivered through the CSR Smart Platform. This is open to current businesses operating in the UAE and companies that are setting up a company in the UAE.
What is CSR Smart Platform?
CSR Smart Platform brings all members or stakeholders that are involved in the sustainable development projects, program and development including establishments, businesses, non-profit organizations and Government agencies. Its main purpose is to circulate information on the strategy of government for development and related initiatives and coordinate the communication between the state and private sector entities. The CSR Smart Platform also grants corporations the control over their contributions to the CSR agenda by enabling them to:
Who must comply with UAE CSR law?
Registration on the CSR platform will be applicable to the below entities:
However, registration will be optional for:
How can companies contribute to CSR?
Some of the smart portal contributions are:
Is CSR mandatory for UAE companies?
Currently CSR Law mentions that social responsibility is on a voluntary bases for established and new Dubai company start-ups. Reporting and listing social responsibility on CSR Smart Platform will become compulsory for all UAE business that come under the scope of CSR Law.
Are there any fees associated to CSR?
There is a compulsory annual contribution into the Fund, currently at AED1,500, as part of a UAE business’s contribution to social responsibility. Organizations that want to acquire the Social Responsibility Mark the contribution of AED10,000 plus an additional AED15,000 is required to obtain the Social Responsibility Permission.
CSR law outlines the requirements for organizations to report their CSR contributions and activities. In the not too distant future these requirements could become mandatory and may involve reporting the appropriate disclosures in order for trade licenses to be renewed.
We therefore recommend that all UAE companies take the time to review their CSR policy and reporting procedures as this will be applicable to new company setups in Dubai and throughout the Emirates.
CSR has significant importance for businesses, non-profit organizations and employees. At the essence of CSR is teamwork: together everyone can achieve more and make a difference.
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