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UAE announces return office work in the federal entities by 30%, starting May 31

Thursday May 28, 2020

The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR), has announced the return of work in all federal ministries and entities as of Sunday, May 31, 2020, so that the percentage of workers in the workplaces does not exceed 30% of the total number of employees in any entity, provided that the gradual percentage of increase gradually should be based on developments .

 The decision, which was circulated to the federal bodies, came as part of the efforts to enhance the continuity of government work, the gradual return of employees and the provision of government services. It also comes in conjunction with the implementation of remote work system for workers who are excluded from the decision, and the need to adhere to precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)).

 A number of employee categories have been excluded by the decision from returning to office work to continue working remotely. These included pregnant women, people of determination, and those with chronic diseases, respiratory problems and weak immune system, such as asthma and diabetes, according to approved medical reports. Other categories excluded are employees aged 60 and above; and mothers of children in G-9 and below with duties that do not necessitate physical presence at workplace, until the end of the current school year, as well as those who have children to take care of at home, whose health condition requires permanent care in light of emergency condition.

 The decision also excluded employees who live with people most vulnerable to health risks in the same housing and who are in close contact with them, such as the elderly, those suffering from chronic diseases or weak immunity, and people of determination.

 According to the decision, all federal entities are required when implementing the gradual return of employees to their workplaces, to take health precautionary measures, such as social distancing and hygiene at workplaces, proper office space arrangement to receive employees, customers and suppliers. It also called for putting in place precautionary measures and procedures, as well as planning to ensure a strong electronic infrastructure and systems supportive of remote work for excluded groups, and a flexible attendance and departure system to maintain the safety of employees while moving to and from from workplaces.

The decision also stressed on the importance of reviewing the implementation of attendance and associated precautionary measures every week. The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources will issue detailed regulations to be circulated at a later time to all government agencies about arrangements for smooth return to work in the agencies, along with    implementation mechanisms.

 Virtual workshops on gradual return to work

 In its circular No. 17 of 2020, the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources announced a series of virtual workshops at the federal government level, to be broadcast via live streaming tech, with the aim of supporting and enabling ministries and federal agencies to gradually return to workplaces, according to the mechanisms referred to in the decision, health precautions measures and social distancing in the work environment.

 The Guide to Remote Work recently prepared by the Authority was attached to the circular, to help ministries and federal entities to abide by and provide the highest occupational health and safety standards for their employees and customers, together with clear health instructions and guidelines, to protect them and their family members.

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