This resolution aims to reduce the attendance of workers in the private sector establishments in the UAE to the minimum necessary for the conduct of business, subject to a maximum cap of 30 per cent of the total number of employees. Establishments are also required to minimise the number of customers visiting to 30% of the seating capacity and to consider other controls, including maintaining safe distances and continuous disinfection of devices and facilities.
Offering a clarification on the regulation of remote work in the private sector, the MOHRE explained that the following sectors are exempt:
- Financial sector establishments, including banks, exchange centers and money transfer outlets;
- Companies in the food industry, including those that manufacture and distribute food;
- Establishments in the hospitality sector, including hotels, restaurants, and catering companies;
- Companies and factories that produce sterilisation and cleaning materials and medical equipment, as well as those that offer cleaning services;
- Healthcare facilities, including hospital pharmacies, pharmaceutical factories, clinics, and other medical services; and
- Infrastructure sector companies, including those that are involved in road and bridge works, water services, sanitation resources, electricity and communication networks, building and construction sites, contracting and construction firms, engineering consultants, energy companies (oil companies, oil refineries, power plants, gas stations, fuel sales and distribution).
The ability to remote work applies to all workers whose job does not require their physical presence at work (subject to approval by their employer's HR department), with priority given to:
- Pregnant women;
- Those aged 55 and above;
- People of determination;
- People suffering from respiratory or chronic diseases; and
- Mothers of children in grade 9 and below.
The resolution stipulates compliance with the precautionary and preventive measures by all workers whose jobs require physical presence at workplaces or labour accommodations. Under these measures, private entities must provide screening devices at their entrances to take temperature and check symptoms of the virus among workforce daily twice: before entry in the morning and upon return for evening shifts. Suspected cases should be prohibited from going to work or entering their accommodations before referring them to relevant health authorities.
The decision calls upon these entities to put in place a mechanism for transporting workers to and from their workplaces, ensuring that the number of transported workers should not exceed 25 percent of vehicle seating capacity.
The Remote Work Resolution has attached to it a Temporary Guide Regulating Remote Work (the Guide). All private establishments are obliged to implement the procedures set out in the Guide.
Employer Obligations Include: Providing necessary technical tools to perform the work remotely; putting in place mechanisms for the management of remote work, such as determining working hours; ensuring the availability of a safe technological environment, which ensures data privacy and regulates login credentials; observing remote workers to ensure their observance of working hours and completion of assigned tasks; and facilitating the communication of remote workers with their colleagues, management and leadership, including providing of video conference platforms.
Employee Obligations Include: Obtaining employer’s approval for remote work; reporting to their workplace when required; performing tasks within set timeframes; being reachable by phone or email to ensure continuous communication depending on business needs; maintaining confidentiality and utilizing working hours to perform tasks; providing employer with proof of accomplishments and productivity; and maintaining remote working devices provided by the employer in good condition and returning them whenever requested.