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

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

Employers must abide by the Ministerial Decree No. 739 of 2016 that safeguards employees’ wages and which mandates that employment contracts are honoured

UAE private sector employers must ensure that salaries are paid on time via the Wages Protection System, said the country’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) in a statement on Wednesday.

It added that employers must abide by the Ministerial Decree No. 739 of 2016 that safeguards employees’ wages and which mandates that employment contracts are honoured, reported official news agency WAM.

The ministry stated that adherence by employers towards fulfilling their legal obligations to their employees, particularly with regards to remuneration, is of utmost importance in ensuring the stability of the working relationship, employee productivity and business continuity.

The ministry said that private-sector employers’ commitment to pay wages on time, as well as documenting Early Leave and the reduction in employee wages, whether temporary or permanent, would guarantee the rights of both employers and employees.

The ministry advised that employers that have granted employees Early Leave must expedite the required documentation to register such consent via a temporary supplementary annex to the employment contract available via the MoHRE app and website.

On April 6, MoHRE launched the Early Leave initiative for all expat private sector employees 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.

On April 1, MoHRE issued another set of directives for the private sector governing work-from-home policies and the conditions under which employees are allowed to operate out offices, if necessary.

Read: UAE issues new remote working directives for private sector within the country

On April 23, the Dubai government partially relaxed some of its restrictions on movements in the emirate and said that employees were allowed to work in offices, if absolutely necessary. The numbers though should not exceed 30 per cent of the total workforce. Companies should constantly monitor the number of employees and visitors entering and leaving the workplace every day.

Read more: Dubai eases movement restrictions, allows malls and offices to partially reopen

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