Coronavirus in UAE: 14-day self-quarantine for employees returning from leave


coronavirus, covid-19, work from home, quarantine, virus, influenza, HR

Dubai - Some companies have also implemented a hiring freeze.

By Waheed Abbas

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Published: Tue 10 Mar 2020, 11:44 AM

Last updated: Tue 10 Mar 2020, 8:18 PM

Companies in the UAE are imposing a 14-day self-quarantine on employees who have travelled to countries affected by the Covid-19 coronavirus, according to a spot survey conducted by Korn Ferry.

The study's results showed that 11 per cent of companies in the UAE have asked their employees to take "voluntary leaves" due to the impact of coronavirus, and majority of them belong to hospitality, leisure and travel sectors. Thirty-three per cent of companies have implemented a temporary hiring freeze. But those companies which are hiring are focusing on roles related to front office or filling vacancies at chief executive levels.
Coronavirus outbreak: Complete coverage

Some of the other measures taken by UAE companies for the safety of employees are related to offering flexible working hours, working from home, travel restrictions and adjustment to KPIs.

Around 60 per cent of organisations have announced flexible working hours for their employees and majority of them have offered this 2-3 hour window while some have also implemented shorter working hours for employees with children affected by temporary closure of schools and nurseries, it said.

The UAE's public and private sectors have been quick off the mark to prevent the spread of the disease. The country has responded with heightened agility and organisations and HR teams across UAE have implemented policies and measures to avoid further spread and infection from the virus.

Recently, the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) granted flexible working hours to mothers working in UAE ministries and federal entities who have children in nurseries.

The survey results also showed that companies have discontinued marking daily attendance of their employees at specific hours.

"Keeping employees safe is the most important action organisations can take. Employees who feel that their organization puts their safety first are likely to support business continuity measures by finding alternative ways of working and preserving business operations," said Vijay Gandhi, regional director for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Korn Ferry.

The spot survey results showed that 22 per cent of organisations have announced that employees can work from home and majority of the organisations have always had these arrangement for certain roles only but have rolled out the same to wider employees groups.

In order to ensure safety of their employees, 60 per cent of companies in the UAE have announced travel restriction in the region and internationally. The employees have been advised to use video/audio conference instead of local and international travel and also avoid personal travel to affected countries.

While companies are imposing 14-day self-quarantine to those employees who have travelled to the affected countries.

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