We’ve been seeing a lot of changes lately in terms of education, public transportation, and other areas due to the outbreak. Just recently, the UAE government has introduced measures for the labor sector as well.
Through its social media channels, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) invites businesses facing labour excess or shortage to check out the different options they could take, such as remote work, granting of leaves, and salary reductions.
Is your business affected by the measures taken? Are you facing labour excess or lack? The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation offers you various choices, check them out. #MOHRE #ForUAE #WeAreCommitted pic.twitter.com/YKlVAuQ476
— MOHRE_UAE وزارة الموارد البشرية والتوطين (@MOHRE_UAE) March 30, 2020
Ministry Allows Contractual Changes as Part of Measures amid Pandemic
Due to the current outbreak affecting establishments across the UAE, the MOHRE has allowed private sector businesses to make “contractual changes” to be done gradually, and in mutual agreement with their employees.
These changes include the implementation of a remote work system, granting of paid leaves, granting of unpaid leaves, temporary salary reduction, or permanent salary reduction.
For businesses with surplus workers, the Ministry recommends registering them on the Virtual Labour Market. Correspondingly, those with a shortage of employees are urged to recruit surplus workers from other companies.
Changes in Working Contracts
In light of the current outbreak, the MOHRE stated that “it is permissible to temporarily modify work contracts during the ongoing precautionary measures.” These changes (i.e. paid leaves, unpaid leaves, salary reduction) are subject to mutual agreement of both parties.
For businesses planning to temporarily reduce workers’ salaries, a mutual agreement involving the signing of additional annexure is required. This annexure shall be based on agreed-upon terms and may be renewed with the agreement of both parties. It shall be issued in two copies — one for each party — and presented to the Ministry when requested.
For businesses planning to permanently reduce workers’ salaries, they must first obtain approval from MOHRE by filing an application for “change of a job contract’s data” in compliance with current procedures.
Dealing with Labour Excess or Shortage
As cited earlier, businesses with labour excess are urged to register surplus workers on the Virtual Labour Market so that they can avail of other job opportunities. However, employers shall remain obliged to provide surplus workers with accommodation and dues (other than salary) while they are still in the country, or until they get hired by other employers.
On the other hand, businesses with labour shortage are urged to hire surplus workers from other companies, either as temporary transfer or part-time workers.
For more information about these changes regarding labour contracts, please visit the MOHRE official website, download their mobile app, or follow their social media pages.
Keep in mind that all of these changes involve a mutual agreement between both parties. Take time to discuss and negotiate with your employer about official leaves, salary, and other matters, and don’t forget your rights and obligations as a worker.
What’s more, if you have any questions or concerns about your job contract in the UAE, do not hesitate to inquire with the Human Resources (HR) department of your company. In the meantime, here are some tips to protect yourself from the outbreak, for your own safety and well-being.