UAE urges businesses to grant sick leave to Covid-positive employees, not terminate them

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Abu Dhabi - MoHRE urged private sector firms to not terminate workers and grant infected workers sick leave.



By Wam

Published: Sat 9 May 2020, 10:20 PM

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has called on private sector establishments to consider workers infected with Covid-19 as sick cases entitled to sick leave as per Federal Law No. 8 of 1980.

Pursuant to the law, an employee who has completed more than three months of service after the completion of a probation period is entitled to sick leave for a period not exceeding 90 days, continuous or otherwise, for every year of service, wherein he or she should be paid a full salary for the first 15 days, half salary for the subsequent 30 days, and go without any salary for the remaining 45 days.
The Ministry called on establishments not to terminate the service of any employee proven to have been infected with Covid-19.
The Ministry said it would handle any complaint concerning the termination of service due to the coronavirus according to procedures in place. The complaint, if not resolved in a friendly manner, would be referred to court for litigation to determine whether it constituted lawful termination or arbitrary dismissal, said the Ministry.

The Ministry added in this respect that Article 27 of Federal Law No. 14 of 2014 on combating communicable diseases states that "it is prohibited to place any restrictions or provision on patients carrying communicable diseases that would deny them their rights enshrined in the legislation in place in the country out of consideration of their health status and without prejudice to the measures governing the control and prevention of communicable diseases."

MoHRE affirmed the necessity of the private sector fulfilling social and legal responsibilities toward employees affected by the coronavirus, specially noting that the UAE is "providing comprehensive and free healthcare services to citizens and residents alike."

The Ministry also called upon the private sector to document employee leaves, note any amendments to business contracts, and ensure the payment of salaries through the Wages Protection System (WPS).

"Private sector establishments' commitment to paying wages on time, documenting leaves especially early leaves and amending contracts that include the temporary or permanent reduction of wages under an agreement between the two parties concerned is essential to protecting the rights of all parties. The Ministry considers the value of wages mentioned in the WPS to reflect contracts signed by the concerned parties," said the Ministry.

The Ministry earlier affirmed the necessity of establishments granting early leave as part of Covid-19 countermeasures to document leaves as a temporary amendment to business contracts available through MoHRE's apps on Apple Store and Google Play and its website at www.mohre.gov.ae .


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