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UAE private sector employers cannot terminate staff infected with Covid-19 – ministry

UAE private sector employers cannot terminate staff infected with Covid-19 – ministry

Those infected with the coronavirus must be granted sick leave in line with the UAE law

coronavirus covid-19

Employers in the UAE cannot terminate their employees who have been infected with the Covid-19 coronavirus, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has stressed.

In a message on Twitter, MoHRE called on private sector companies to deal with employees infected by coronavirus as pathological cases, in which they are entitled to sick leaves.

Under UAE law, all employees are granted 90 days of sick leave, which includes 15 days of fully paid leave. Companies have to pay staff half pay for the next 30 days, with the remaining days counted as unpaid leave.

“Companies should adhere to not terminating the employees infected by coronavirus and complaints will be dealt with”, the ministry said.

Last last month, the ministry also issued a statement urging private sector employers in the UAE to ensure that salaries are paid on time via the Wages Protection System.

The ministry stated that adherence by employers towards fulfilling their legal obligations to their employees, particularly with regards to remuneration, is of “utmost importance”.

Read: Private sector salaries must be paid on time – UAE labour ministry

The MoHRE also launched the Early Leave initiative for all expat private sector employees last month, permitting those who wish to temporarily return to their home country to do so during the time that the Covid-19 precautionary measures are in effect in the UAE.

Read: UAE launches ‘early leave’ for private sector expats to return home during Covid-19 crisis

Employees would be asked to submit their annual leave dates or agree with their employers on unpaid leave and employers must book a round ticket for employees.

The contractual relationship between employer and employee continues during the time that the employee avails of the Early Leave benefit, with it considered as unpaid leave, ensuring that employee rights are upheld as per the UAE labour law.

In related measures for private sector employees in the country, MoHRE issued a new decree on March 26 allowing private sector companies in the UAE to restructure their existing contracts with employees by granting them both paid and unpaid leave, as well as temporarily or permanently reducing their salaries during the period in which its businesses are affected by the Covid-19 precautionary measures.

Read: UAE issues decree to regulate private sector job cuts, salary reductions during Covid-19

The employers must immediately update the systems approved by the ministry with any changes to employment contracts agreed by both parties, including the temporary or permanent reduction of wages.

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