Ministerial Resolution No. 279 of 2020
Seeking to protect the interests of employers and employees, the UAE issued the Ministerial Resolution No. 279 of 2020 Regarding the Stability of Employment in Private Sector Companies, During the Period of Applying Precautionary Measures to Contain the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus’.
All the companies registered with Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) must comply with the above-mentioned law. This resolution applies to the expatriate residents working in the private companies registered with the ministry. It does not apply to UAE nationals working in the private sector.
Highlights of the resolution
The resolution grants companies that are affected by COVID-19, the right to restructure their contractual relationship mutually with employees according to the following gradual five procedures:
- implementing a remote work system
- granting employees a paid leave
- granting employees unpaid leave
- reducing salaries temporarily during the aforementioned period - in such a case, the company must sign an additional annexure that is limited to the agreed-upon term, or as long as the ministry’s resolution remains valid, whichever is earlier.
- reducing salaries permanently - in such a case, the company should first obtain the ministry's approval by applying for a modification of an employment contract’s data.
Laying off employees during COVID-19
Affected companies that are terminating employees for redundancy, must register the additional staff on the virtual job market to facilitate their recruitment by other businesses. In such conditions, employers must continue providing these employees with all entitlements, except for salaries, until they leave the country or get a job in another company.
Recruiting employees during COVID-19
Currently, overseas hiring is suspended. Employers wishing to recruit staff must post their vacancies on the virtual job market and/or search through available data for desired candidates. The virtual job market platform enables job seekers to register their CVs and companies to announce vacancies. Applications for work permits from the ministry is can be made only through the online channels.
For any employment issues, refer to MoHRE’s contact channels.