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Friday, May 08, 2020

MOHRE calls on establishments to grant sick leave to any worker infected with COVID-19

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) has called on private sector establishments to deal with employees infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as pathology cases, under which they should be granted sick leaves as stipulated in the federal law no. 8 for 1980.

According to the law, if the employee spends over three months of continuous service after completion of the probation period, he shall be entitled to a sick leave not more than 90 days - either continuous or intermittent - per each year of service, to be calculated as follows: the first 15 days with full pay, the next 30 days with half pay and the subsequent period (45 days) without pay.

The MOHRE also called on establishments not to terminate the service of any employee with confirmed COVID-19 case.

The MOHRE affirmed that it would deal with any received complaint about service termination over a COVID-19 case in accordance with the observed procedures, where the complaint that cannot be solved amicably by the parties thereto would be referred to the courts of law, which would determine whether or not the service termination falls under arbitrary dismissal.

In this connection, the MOHRE referred to Article 27 of the Federal Law No. 14 for 2014 on combating communicable diseases, which stipulates that it is prohibited to impose any special restrictions or requirements on people with communicable diseases that prevent them from obtaining the rights they are entitled to as per the legislation in force in the UAE. The article also stipulates that the employees’ health conditions should be taken into consideration without prejudice to the measures necessary to eradicate and prevent communicable diseases.

The MOHRE stressed the necessity for private sector establishments to shoulder their social and legal responsibilities towards their employees, who are infected with COVID-19, particularly that the UAE provides full and free health care to infected citizens and residents alike.

Meanwhile, the MOHRE called on private sector establishments to be committed to documenting the leaves of their employees and any amendments to the employment contracts and paying their wages through the wages protection system.

It reiterated that establishments’ commitment to paying wages on time as well as documenting leaves, particularly early ones, and contract amendments including reduction of the employee’s wages, whether temporarily or permanently, by mutual consent would guarantee the rights of both parties to the business relationship. This is because the MOHRE is committed to the employees’ wages stated in the wages protection system, which reflect the work contracts concluded between the two parties and the appendices attached thereto.

The MOHRE underlined the need for establishments that grant any employee an ‘early leave’ during the period of applying the precautionary measures to combat COVID-19 to document this leave in the ‘Additional Temporary Annex of Work Contract’ available on the MOHRE’s smart app in the App Store and Google’s Play Store and its website www.mohre.gov.ae. They should also document permanent or temporary wage reduction agreements through the MOHRE-approved systems.

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