Employer options for a non-Emirati Employee During the period of applying precautionary measures against Corona
The Ministerial Resolution No. 279 of 2020 issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization regulating the stability of employment in private sector facilities during the period of applying precautionary measures to limit the spread of the Corona virus (the “Resolution”) , governs and organizes the employment relationships between the employer and the non Emirati employee, if the employer wish to take measures aiming to reorganize its work during the implementation of precautionary measures to limit the spread of the Coronavirus.
The Resolution permits the employer to take five actions from which the employer could choose what is suitable for theemployer facility subject to an agreement with the employee. Article 2 of the Resolution sets out those actions as:
Implementation ofremote work system.
Grant of paid leave.
Grant of unpaid leave.
Temporary salary reduction during the referenced period.
Permanent salary reduction.
Further Article Five of the Resolution provides the mechanism and procedures for the temporarily reduction of the employee's salary, so it requires it to be done by executing a "temporary additional appendix" to the currentemployment contract. And such appendix shall remain effective till end of duration or end of the Resolution whichever occurs earlier since the Resolution shall be valid only during the period of implementation of precautionary measures which remains as undetermined.
Article 6 of the Resolutionlays down the mechanism for the permanently reduction of the employee's salary by applying to the service of “modifying the employment contract data” in order to obtain the approval of the Ministry.
Despite the Resolution states the necessity of agreement with the employee onapplying these actions, the agreement of the employee is not a condition for working from distance as this action falls under the employer organization authority and the violation of which may lead to the dismissal of the employee by law.
On the other hand, the Resolution comes with unprecedent solutions in the labor legislation, such is manifested in giving the employee unpaid leave. Though this solution seems apparently to be kind of forcing the employee to have a leave without his will and without his remuneration, the essence of this solution is no more than a way brought by the Resolution to protect major interest of the employee which is the continuity of the employmentrelationship as much as possible, and providingthe employer with an alternative option, even if it is on a temporary basis, rather than dismissing the employee.
In conclusion, the Resolutionissued as an emergency legislative methodology, with the aim of preserving the right of both the employer on the one hand and the non-citizen employee on the other hand alike, as a result of applying precautionary measures aimed at limiting the spread of the Corona virus. However, the Resolution stipulated for its validity that the employer must be affected by these precautions.
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