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April 01, 2020
Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation have issued a resolution for UAE private sector employersEmployers affected by the precautionary measures to contain the Covid-19 outbreak. What are the options to protect both the businesses and their employees?
Companies registered with the ministry can take actions in the following order:
1. implementing remote working,
2. granting paid leave,
3. granting unpaid leave,
4. reducing salariestemporarily and
5. reducing salaries permanently.
In the case of a permanent salary reduction, the employer must obtain the ministry’s approval.
Companies have the option to send their employees on paid annual leave. While unpaid leave under the UAE Labour Law is only dealt with in very specific scenarios. Employers cannot force employees to take unpaid leave.
The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources and the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation said last week that all public and private sector employees whose work does not require them to be in the office must work from home.
Employers who wish to temporarily reduce salaries during the period of precautionary measures have to draft a “temporary supplement” to the employment contract between the two parties, according to Article Five of the resolution.
The final action available to employers, if all other options are exhausted, is a permanent salary reduction. This must also be agreed upon by the two parties and in writing.
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