Government employees in Dubai will now be allowed to work outside their offices — either fully or partially — as new Remote Working Protocols have been approved.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, on Thursday announced the roll-out of the new protocols, which seek to enhance corporate agility, efficiency and talent retention and promote work-life balance.
It was part of the overall vision to harness technologies and create a flexible environment for the next generation of jobs.
“Adopting remote work systems has played a major role in ensuring business continuity during the pandemic. It has offered employees the flexibility to be creative and innovative. We are entering a new phase marked by new tools and innovative approaches to government work.
“In the years ahead, we will be increasingly relying on the creativity of our human capital. Helping government employees make a positive impact in the workplace is a key priority for us,” Sheikh Hamdan said.
The protocols specify that only those employees whose productivity will not be affected by working off-site will be eligible for the programme. Performance and productivity will be regularly monitored and assessed.
Employees whose duties can be performed from outside the office will have the option to fully work remotely, while those that need to work from the office shall be allowed to avail of the initiative partially.
Work from abroad
The decision also allows the director-general of each entity to permit employees to work from abroad in case they are stranded overseas due to crisis situations.
Those eligible should adhere to all rules and regulations. They will also remain entitled to bonuses, allowances and benefits, as per the Dubai Government’s HR Law.
Benefits of remote work
Abdulla Ali bin Zayed Al Falasi, director-general of Dubai Government Human Resources Department, said the decision shall boost talent retention and support the government’s ability to align itself with emerging market trends.
In addition to social and economic benefits, Al Falasi said remote working helps to reduce operational costs, reduce traffic jams, and increase productivity.
As part of implementing measures to combat the Covid-19 outbreak, remote work systems were tested from mid-March 2020 to mid-June 2020.
How it will be rolled out
The success of the remote working model implemented earlier in the year places the government sector in a good position to adopt the model in normal circumstances.
Sheikh Hamdan’s decision authorises directors-general to issue internal bylaws to regulate remote work procedures in accordance with their requirements.
Each entity has the flexibility to implement the protocols in accordance with the nature of work undertaken by its staff.
The decision also empowers line managers to objectively determine the eligibility of employees to work remotely.
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