Coronavirus: Some UAE firms drop probation requirement for new employees

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Dubai - Most of the organisations stated that they are not changing contract start dates if new hires are within the country.

By Waheed Abbas

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Published: Mon 23 Mar 2020, 2:57 PM

Last updated: Mon 23 Mar 2020, 4:58 PM

Some companies in the UAE are still going ahead with new hires who have already signed contracts, while some of them are even waiving their probation period, say recruitment consultants.

"Some organisations are protecting the employee for one year and waiving the probation requirement in principal, as this is a big risk new employees are worried about. They are using first year as a build-up process," said Vijay Gandhi, regional director for Korn Ferry.

Most of the organisations stated that they are not changing contract start dates if new hires are within the country. But if the new hire is outside the UAE, organisations are considering their start date once the person is physically in the country as new visas are not being granted, Gandhi said.

"If for any reason, the new hire cannot be in the country due to travel restrictions, then the start date has been moved to mid-April," he added.

Gandhi said given the travel restrictions, organisations in the UAE are reaching out to new hires to defer their start date to April after mutual communication and consent. "Two organisations have moved deferred start date to May 15 given the delays in getting new employment visas."

Nuno Gomes, head of career at Mercer MENAT, said companies are still moving forward with new hires who have already signed contracts as companies have been committed to protecting jobs.

"On the other hand, there is a natural hold back for planned new hires who have not signed a contract, since businesses are assessing the overall Covid-19 situation meaning that many organisations have delayed the hiring of new staff until the situation becomes clearer," said Gomes.

He pointed out that there are issues with regard to new visas but UAE residents transferring their visas from one employer to another should not face difficulty, giving organisations an incentive to hire local talent.

In the event the new hire coming from outside the country is forced to quarantine for 14 days then the employer is paying for this period whilst the new hire is working from home.

However, organisations are keeping their commitment and pressing forward on their on-boarding plans for prospective employees who had accepted the offer few weeks ago and ready to join.

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