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Coronavirus: UAE issues decree to regulate private sector jobs, salaries

Marie Nammour /Dubai
mary@khaleejtimes.com Filed on March 30, 2020 | Last updated on March 31, 2020 at 12.25 am
coronavirus, covid-19, private sector, Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation

(alamy.com/ae)

The decision applies only while the precautionary measures over the Covid-19 coronavirus are in place.

Private sector establishments affected by the Covid-19 coronavirus can implement a remote working system, reduce the salaries of employees permanently or for a temporary period, or send them on paid or unpaid leave, according to a new resolution passed by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE).

The ministerial resolution No (279) of 2020 on employment stability in the private sector signed by Nasser Thani Al Hamli states that companies affected by the Covid-19 precautionary measures in the country can gradually adopt the steps in agreement with their employees.

The decision is to help business restructure and reevaluate their contractual obligations to the employees.

The resolution comes into effect from March 26.

Article 6 of the resolution states that establishments wishing to permanently reduce the salaries of non-national workers shall apply for 'employment contract details amendment' service to obtain the ministry's approval. And to temporarily reduce the salaries of staff, companies should make a 'temporary supplement' to the existing employment contract.

Business affected by Covid-19 can reduce their staff strength but the surplus staff must be registered in the ministry's virtual job market so that they can be hired by other companies. The decision makes it mandatory for companies to provide the employees with accommodation and other dues, but not salaries, while they are made redundant.

Restructuring of work mechanism

1-The enterprises that are implementing the precautionary measures- and which want to restructure their work mechanism -should proceed gradually with the foreign worker's consent Article 4:

Companies that want to recruit foreign employees during the cessation of importing of labor power from abroad should

1-Offer its available job vacancies in the virtual job market and look into the database of the laborers and pick what suit their requirements and in the available vacancies.

2-Employ those workers as needed by applying for one of the internal permits offered by the ministry on its smart and e-systems (work permit for changing of sponsor, temporary work permit) into:

1-Implementing the remote work system.
2-Giving the worker paid leave.
3-Giving him unpaid leave.
4-Reducing his salary temporarily during the said period.
5-Reducing his salary permanently.

Companies to offer their surplus of workers

Companies, that are implementing the precautionary measures, and which have a surplus in the numbers of expat workers (who hold work permits) should register their details in the virtual labor market system to make them available for working- on a cycling basis- at other enterprises when needed. The companies' commitments towards those workers should remain outstanding as to providing accommodation for them and settling all their dues (except salary) until they leave the UAE or they are permitted to work for another party.

Companies that want to recruit foreign employees during the cessation of importing of labor power from abroad should:

1-Offer their available job vacancies in the virtual job market and look into the database of the workers (there) and pick what suit their requirements in the available vacancies.

2-Employ those workers as needed by applying for one of the internal work permits offered by the ministry on its electronic and smart systems (work permit for changing of sponsor, temporary work permit)

Companies that want to recruit foreign employees during the cessation of importing of labor power from abroad should:

1-Offer its available job vacancies in the virtual job market and look into the database of the laborers and pick what suit their requirements and in the available vacancies.

2-Employ those workers as needed by applying for one of the internal permits offered by the ministry on its smart and e-systems (work permit for changing of sponsor, temporary work permit)

Temporary reduction of salaries

Corporations that want to reduce the salary of a foreign worker temporarily during the said period should:

1-Strike a temporary additional annex to the employment contract between the two parties, as per the form enclosed to this order. It ends when it ends (the contract) or when this decree gets out of effect.

2-Renew the aforementioned annex within an agreement between the two parties.

3-Draft (the said) annex in two copies to be given to each party. The employer is obliged to present it to the ministry when he is asked to.

Permanent reduction of salaries:

Companies that want to decrease the salary of a foreign worker permanently are compelled to apply for the service of "amendment of details of the employment contract" to get the approval of the ministry, as per the enforced procedure.

1-The decree also stipulates that foreign workers in the UAE, who wish to seek job opportunities, should register at the virtual labour market system and apply for the jobs offered by the registered companies for which they have the skills and qualifications.

2-The terms of this decision apply only to foreign workers while the precautionary measures are in place.

3-The decree is to published in the official gazette and comes into force starting from its issuance date.

mary@khaleejtimes.com 

author

Marie Nammour

Originally from Lebanon, Marie has been covering the Dubai Courts and the Public Prosecution, immigration and labour issues often, and the Dubai International Film Festival. A graduate from the Holy Spirit university of Kaslik, Jounieh, a city to the north of Beirut, she worked as an in-house reporter of international affairs at a leading TV station back home and a legal translator for a renowned law college in the Lebanese capital. Speaks fluently four languages and is fond of travelling, psychology, learning more and grown by now a rich ‘criminal’ imagination…


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