UAE companies will have to allocate funds and be involved in social responsibility initiatives by end of 2017, a top official said.
To implement the Year of Giving strategy, the Ministry of Economy launched 11 initiatives this week to create workplaces that take up philanthropy as part of its core values and helped the government keep a database and monitor the companies’ compliance to philanthropy.
The ministry, which will implement its initiatives starting 2018, is currently working with different economic departments and the chamber of commerce to make the required modifications in current policies and laws to make Corporate Social Responsibility compulsory for UAE companies.
By the end of the year, CSR will be mandatory to execute among 400,000 companies across the country, aiming to dedicate at least Dh500 million in cash or in-kind philanthropic work from companies.
An award system will be introduced to give financial privileges and exemptions for outstanding companies in the area of social responsibility.
A “social responsibility passport” will also be given to the top five best performing companies in the field, based on the company’s vision, its community strategy and the extent of innovation in its community programs. The passport will grant special privileges with local and federal government agencies.
An annual “social responsibility label” will be a sign used to promote companies that will reflect the extent of their contributions to community development and philanthropic work.
Al Shehhi said all these initiatives will come into action by 2018. “We cannot start giving the labels and passports except when we have new policies and legislations,” he noted.
The initiatives aim to raise awareness and support the interaction of the private sector with economic, social and environmental development challenges, while encouraging them to support various community projects in the country.