labour law

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April 06, 2020

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Working from home during the COVID-19 crisis - labour laws explained

Guidelines issued by UAE's Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization to ensure remote-working goes smoothly in private sector establishments amid the restrictions due to Covid-19, underlines the obligations of both employers and employees.

"These are temporary guidelines that were issued as part of resolution number 281 for the year 2020," said legal consultant Dr. Hassan Elhais from Al Rowaad Advocates.

He explained that as per the resolution, employers are obligated to provide necessary technical tools for employees to perform their work using video conference, online and smart platforms.

"They are also required to set up mechanisms for competence, productivity and management of remote working such as determining working hours," he said. Employers need to ensure a safe technological environment for their employees as well as privacy and data confidentiality and regulate login credentials.

They also need to follow up on employees' attendance and completion of tasks and facilitate their communication with colleagues and management.

For employees to be able to work remotely, they need to obtain the employer's approval and must report to the workplace whenever requested.

"Employees need to make sure they are reachable on phone cells, emails and others means of communication," said Dr. Elhais.

He explained that they have to perform tasks within a set timeframe, maintain confidentiality of information and documents, and keep devices provided by his employer in good condition.

"Failing to follow these guidelines is governed by the country's labour law," Dr. Elhais said.

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