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How Private Sector Businesses Affected By COVID-19 Can Reshuffle Their Business Structure

Sept. 5, 2020


The COVID-19 breakout has led many businesses to slow down or completely stop their activities given the unstable times. This has led the management and business owners to receive irreversible losses in the near future. To overcome these problems in the long run, The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization has allowed for companies to take certain measures to cope with the recent changes. The measures listed below will help businesses reshuffle their business structures and actively take precautions to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. 

1. Reduce Salaries

According to the Ministry, temporary reduction in salary can be issued by companies when both the employee and employer are in mutual agreement. This additional document works to supplement the existing job contract and does not stand to replace it. The time period of the agreement must be stated on the document and agreed upon by both parties, after which a copy of the agreement must be given to the employee. The ministry can request for this document at any point in time, at which the company must present it.

A permanent salary reduction can also be arranged with the Ministry’s approval. To make any changes to the permanent contract of an employee, the organization must seek the approval of the Ministry in advance. These changes will remain effective for the entire leftover period of time as indicated on the contract. 

2. Manage Additional Staff

Any company that has more staff than they need to function, are required to have these staff members registered on the job market again. This is a step to ensure that the business can save on their capital that is otherwise promised as salaries to these employees. By listing additional staff on virtual job search sites, other companies that are looking to recruit people can employ them. Till these employees find another job, they are to be supported by the management of their current employment. This includes accommodation and other dues with the exception of a salary. 

3. When Hiring New Employees

If a business is in need of more employees to continue their operation, the employee being hired must be from the local job market while overseas hiring is suspended. The work permits necessary to retain the new employee can be applied using the online portal of the Ministry. The permit need not be full time necessarily; it can also be part time or a temporary work permit. If possible, the employers can also transfer any existing work permit to their new employee.

It is necessary for businesses to hire new employees that are only available on virtual job markets as job seekers are expected to apply there. All employees including expats, looking for jobs in the country have been instructed to apply for registered organizations in the positions that have been listed as available. 

4. Other Precautions

It is also recommended that businesses allow their employees to work from home or implement other remote work systems that work similarly. This will help reduce if not eliminate the virus from infecting a greater population while maintaining the required social distancing protocol. The management can also grant their employees paid leave or even unpaid leave to contain the spread and combat the crisis.

It is to be kept in mind that any changes that are being made by the business, must be in mutual agreement with their employees. Contracts and documents need to be made and retained for safekeeping by both the parties. Making these alterations will help businesses cope with the losses that they experience due to declining markets during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will also ensure that all employers and employees stay safe by eliminating any possibility of contact. If any help is needed in amending contracts, a lawyer may be consulted to help draft agreements.

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