On 26 March 2020, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation issued Resolution No. 279 of 2020, which encourages employers to consider alternative means of reducing staffing costs rather than terminations.
The resolution encourages employers to consider alternative means of reducing staffing costs rather than terminations and makes clear that certain measures should be with an employee’s express written agreement. Pursuant to the resolution, employers may mutually agree any of the following options with their non-national employees:
• Remote working
• Paid leave
• Unpaid leave
• Temporary reduction of salary
• Permanent reduction of salary
The resolution envisages that the measures will be implemented gradually in turn, starting with remote working and ending with permanent reduction in salary. The resolution also introduces a concept of ‘sharing employees’ whereby employers with a “surplus” of non-national employees may register them on the ministry’s newly established ‘Virtual Labour Market System’ to enable such employees to work for
other employers. The current employer will remain the primary employer and be liable for the employee’s minimum entitlements (save for salary) under the law (i.e. leave, allowances, medical insurance etc.).