The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has urged private-sector corporations to grant workers infected with COVID-19 sick leaves entitled to them as per Federal Law No. 8 of 1980. The ministry has also requested the firms to not terminate the service of any employee proven to have been infected with Covid-19.
As per the law, an employee who has achieved more than three months of service after the completion of a probation period is entitled to sick leave for a period not exceeding 90 days, continuous or otherwise, for every year of service, wherein he or she should be paid a full salary for the first 15 days, half salary for the subsequent 30 days, and go without any salary for the remaining 45 days.
The Ministry declared it would manage any objection concerning the termination of service due to the coronavirus according to procedures in place. The complaint, if not resolved in a friendly manner, would be referred to court for litigation to decide whether it constituted lawful termination or arbitrary dismissal.
The Ministry added in this respect that Article 27 of Federal Law No. 14 of 2014 on combating communicable diseases states that
“It is prohibited to place any restrictions or provision on patients carrying communicable diseases that would deny them their rights enshrined in the legislation in place in the country out of consideration of their health status and without prejudice to the measures governing the control and prevention of communicable diseases.”
MoHRE asserted the obligation of the private sector performing social and legal responsibilities toward employees affected by the coronavirus, especially noting that the UAE is “providing comprehensive and free healthcare services to citizens and residents alike.”
The Ministry also called upon the private sector to document employee leaves, note any amendments to business contracts, and ensure the payment of salaries through the Wages Protection System (WPS).
“Private sector establishments’ commitment to paying wages on time, documenting leaves especially early leaves and amending contracts that include the temporary or permanent reduction of wages under an agreement between the two parties concerned is essential to protecting the rights of all parties. The Ministry considers the value of wages mentioned in the WPS to reflect contracts signed by the concerned parties,” said the Ministry.
The Ministry earlier affirmed the necessity of establishments granting early leave as part of COVID-19 countermeasures to document leaves as a temporary amendment to business contracts available through MoHRE’s apps on Apple Store and Google Play and its website at www.mohre.gov.ae .