The “100 Million Meal Campaign,” a food distribution campaign, was launched to support labourers and vulnerable families adversely affected by the pandemic during the holy month of Ramadan by providing meals and food parcels to them. Inspection visits were undertaken to worker housing camps to ensure proper implementation of precautionary measures and the cleanliness and sanitation of dining halls and common areas. Inspection visits were also extended to shops frequented by labourers, medical clinics and buses that carry them to work sites.
The UAE adopted Cabinet Resolution No. 22 of 2019 to supplement Federal Law No. 10 of 2017, establishing more protection for domestic workers by establishing their right to terminate their employment in the case of sexual harassment or physical or verbal abuse by the employer or if the employer fails to meet contractual obligations. Thus, the law protected domestic workers’ right to retain their personal documents receive mandatory time off, and have access to avenues of investigation and prosecution of contractual violations by employers or recruitment agencies.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) launched the “Early Leave” initiative in coordination with the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Civil Aviation Authority and the National Emergency and Disaster Management Authority to enable foreign workers in the private sector residing in the UAE who wish to return to their home countries during the COVID-19 lockdown/precautionary measures period to do so by bringing forward the date of their annual leave or by agreeing with their employer to take unpaid leave.
Ministerial Decision No. (281) of 2020 Concerning the Regulation of Remote Working in Private Sector Establishments During the Application Period of Precautionary Measures to Reduce the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus
Ministerial Resolution No. 281 calls on all private establishments to limit the number of employees working on premises and labourers working on sites to not more than 30 per cent, with the implementation of social distancing and protective and sanitization measures, and to refer suspected COVID-19 cases to the health authorities.
Ministerial Resolution No. (279) of 2020 Regarding the Stability of Employment in Private Sector Companies During the Period of Applying Precautionary Measures to Contain the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus
Ministerial Resolution No. 279 aims at regulating the contractual relationship between employers and employees over the period during which precautionary measures for controlling the spread of the coronavirus pandemic are in place. It only applies to expatriates working in private sector companies that are registered with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
The UAE extends the grace period granted to violators by another three months and exempts them from all fines
The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship announced the extension of the exemption for “violators of the law of entry and residence of foreigners” and the extension starts from 18/8/2020 to 11/17/2020 whenever the violation occurred before 1/3/2020 and includes exempting them from all fines imposed on them, provided they leave the country.
Amendment to decision No. 30 for the year 2019 pertaining to admitting the family members of foreign workers into the country
The council of ministers approved on 31 March an amendment to decision No. 30 for the year 2019 pertaining to admitting the family members of foreign workers into the country, changing the requirement for admission from the profession of foreign workers to their income level.
Federal Decree No. (6) of 2019 Amending Some Provisions of Federal Law No. (8) of 1980 Regarding the Regulation of Labour Relations
Amendments to Federal Law (8) of 1980 on the organization of work introduced article (30) confirming that an employer may not terminate the service of a working women or give her a warning due to her pregnancy. Any termination of service due to pregnancy is considered arbitrary by virtue of article (122) of the law. Also introduced was article (7) prohibiting any kind of discrimination between people, which would weaken the equality of opportunity and infringe, among other things, on equality of access to jobs.