Public Advisory: New Rules To Benefit Companies And Employees

Top Quote It is our duty at Dr. Buti Al Muhairi Advocates to support our clients. This is to provide an overview of the Ministerial Resolution No. (279) of 2020 by the MOHRE. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) April 27, 2020 - In an effort to bolster the protection and health safety of both its citizens and residents, the UAE government has put in place preventive measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. While such initiatives have definitely been effective, COVID-19’s intrinsic nature has created a challenge for global leaders worldwide. Similarly, companies and businesses have been greatly affected by the global pandemic leaving businesses with a decline in revenue and employees in uncertainty over losing their jobs.

    During this time of adversity, the UAE government’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) issued Ministerial Resolution No. (279) of 2020 on March 26. This is for the interests of the employees and the private business sector that seeks to provide stability in employment and at the same time, support the employers in facing this challenge.

    Due to the devastating effects of COVID-19, both financially and economically, private business owners can be granted to undertake measures to ease these burdens. In accordance with the resolution, an employer can lessen employment costs through the following measures- introducing remote-working for employees, allowing either paid or unpaid leaves and temporarily or permanently reducing the salary of employees.

    The resolution obliges business owners to take the aforementioned measures step-by-step beginning with allowing employees to work remotely and only move on to the other measures when the current one is not in any way effective. This means an employer cannot directly apply a measure that can be assumed too drastic without establishing that other measures have been exhausted or have been already applied.

    In addition, considering the ministerial resolution, an employer and non-national employee should reach an agreement in granting unpaid leave. This means employers cannot force their employees to take unpaid leaves.

    In relation to temporarily reducing the salary of its non-national employees, it should be noted that the employer and its (non-national) employees should (i) agree to a 'Temporary Additional Addendum' to the original employment contract between the employer and the non-national employee, as per the template attached with Ministerial Resolution which shall end upon the duration mentioned in the Temporary Additional Addendum or upon the end of the period of applying precautionary measures; (ii) renew the Temporary Additional Addendum in an agreement between the employer and the non-national employee; and (iii) two copies of the Temporary Additional Addendum shall be executed where both parties have a copy each and the employer shall be able to present the Temporary Additional Addendum to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation when required.

    Additionally, an employer experiencing severe financial burden can opt to impose a permanent salary reduction to the non-national employee given that the employee should apply for the “Amend Contract” service to have the salary reduction approved by the MOHRE.

    In the event where an employee temporarily does not require the services of their non-national employee, an employer should register their non-national employee’s details on the MOHRE’s “Virtual Employment Market System”.This allows the non-national employee to be able to work for another employer rotationally given that the non-national employee have obtained the necessary work permit

    It should also be noted that the original employer is still obliged to provide support for the non-national employee which includes accommodation and other allowances with the exception of the basic salary. This shall continue until the non-national employee obtains the needed authorization to work for another company or until the non-national employee files back to their home country.

    Meanwhile, any employer who is looking to hire a non-national employee within the UAE should register their vacancies in the “Virtual Employment Market System”. Likewise, employers should seek employees that are registered in the database.

    The UAE government through this resolution serves to safeguard both employers and non-national employees and support the economy in this time of uncertainty.

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