In the context of the efforts of the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR), aimed at maintaining the safety of Federal Government employees, and implementing remote work guidelines in the Federal Government, the Authority has taken a series of precautionary steps and measures to protect the Federal Government employees in general, and its employees in particular.
The Authority is also playing a crucial role in enhancing the UAE Government’s efforts to protect Federal Government employees, by taking practical steps, from the first day of the Government’s move. These steps are intended to help protect employees, ensure business continuity and service provision at the level of ministries and federal entities, as well as create a positive work environment, thanks to the technological infrastructure and smart systems available at its disposal.
The most important steps in this regard include preparation of a guide to remote work in the Federal Government containing procedural guidelines in emergency circumstances, which was issued by the Authority in cooperation with the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, following the UAE Government’s announcement to start implementing remote work to some job groups in the Federal Government.
The Guide to Remote Work aims to preserve the safety and health of employees, enable the federal entities to implement remote work decision recently issued by the UAE Government’, and ensure the continuity of performing business and providing all government services under emergency circumstances. It includes instructions and practical steps that can be taken by concerned federal entities when implementing work remotely.
According to the Guide, the Authority is responsible for interpreting all the regulations and procedures related to remote work, and all federal entities should refer to the Authority on any problem facing them while implementing the provisions contained therein, and any other provisions to be issued later in this regard.
Online attendance registration
The Authority also took all the necessary measures that enable employees of the federal entities to register attendance and departure details electronically while working remotely, through the HR Management Information System in the Federal Government, "Bayanati". An electronic mechanism was circulated to all entities, in this regard, in order to ensure that the employees perform the tasks expected of them under remote work system according to the Guide, and entities were urged to use all technological media, and provide their employees with technical equipment.
A circular issued earlier by the Authority called on all ministries and federal agencies, to give their working women with children registered in nurseries whose work was suspended by decision of the Ministry of Education, flexibility in working hours, without affecting the normal workflow. These Female employees may arrive two hours late or leave two hours earlier than regular working hours to tend to their children registered at nurseries. The circular also urged that flexibility be observed in applying regular attendance and departure procedures to the concerned employees.
The Authority has been highly concerned with the implementation of the latest technical solutions in the field of providing training and e-learning services at the Federal Government level, in light of the current situation, in order to promote a culture of distance learning, as pioneering educational approach nowadays.
The Authority’s efforts in this regard culminated in the launch of the virtual sessions through the e-Learning Portal in the Federal Government, “Al-Mawrid”, which would enable the employees to attend the workshops and training courses held through Al-Mawrid Portal, using their electronic devices with ease.
Holding virtual sessions through Al-Mawrid Portal allows federal entities to hold online training programs and workshops and broadcast them to their employees through the platform, following recommendation by the Authority that federal entities must adopt virtual sessions as a better alternative to traditional training sessions.
In the meantime, the Authority recently used Webinar technology to broadcast the Human Resource Club forums, one of the Authority’s strategic initiatives, which was launched in 2010, enabling Club members and those interested in human resources to attend the sessions for free and from anywhere inside and outside the country.
On the other hand, the Authority has made some important internal arrangements to ensure the safety of its employees and activate remote work mechanisms. At the beginning, it held sessions using Skype for Business technology, the most recent of which was that of Happiness and Positive session, which lasted for an hour and a half, with the participation of 21 officials, from the Authority’s leadership.
Due to the good preparation and availability of adequate technical infrastructure to create an effective communication, it has been a successful experience, and it is the same technology that the Authority provides to its employees during remote working hours.
As part of its internal arrangements, the Authority formed an internal work team for emergencies and crises, and issued a series of awareness messages to its employees. It also replaced the old attendance tracker with another using a magnetic card, and intensified sterilization campaigns for its internal facilities.