United Arab Emirates: New Ministerial Resolution On Teleworking

Last Updated: 27 February 2018
Article by STA Law Firm
Most Read Contributor in United Arab Emirates, August 2018

Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (the MHRE) issued Ministerial Resolution Number 787 of 2017 concerning Teleworking (the Resolution). Teleworking, also known as telecommuting, means working from a place outside the traditional office with the help of modern technology to keep in touch with your business. Jobs can be relocated using this system to areas where it is more attractive and convenient or cheaper to live for the employees.

The UAE has understood the importance of attracting and retaining talented employees. And soin an effort to develop a better work-life environment for UAE nationals and the necessitate to increase the employment of UAE nationals in private sector, the human resource ministry issued the concerned Resolution.

Objective of the Law

To create and provide:

  1. Job opportunities for UAE citizens looking for work in remote areas by encouraging the employer to offer teleworking employment options.
  2. Flexible work options for UAE citizens with family, to enhance family relationships by improving the balance between work and family.

The insight of the Law:

Definitions

The Ministerial Resolution has laid down the definitions related to teleworking for interpretation of the provisions concerning teleworking, as follows:

Teleworking: A work system in which the worker works outside the site designated for the establishment, whether working part-time, weekly, monthly or full-time.

Teleworking System or Method: A system or method approved by the Ministry of Human Resources to regulate the legal and administrative aspects of teleworking,

Teleworking Agreement:An agreement between the employer and the worker whereby theResolution enlists the rights and duties of the workers. The contract should include: the number of necessary and flexible working hours, agreed workplaces, wages, allowances, and leaves, As well asany other rights provided for by the Federal Labor Law of UAE.

  Types of Teleworking

The Ministerial Decision identified the forms of teleworking So that it takes one of the following ways:

  • Part-time teleworking: Where a worker can divide his working time between the first workplace and the teleworking places in equal or different rate.
  • Full-time teleworking: The type of work whose performance is mainly outside the workplace.

Application for Teleworking

  • Only a UAE national can apply for teleworking for a company, who has a prior registration in the teleworking system in the human resources ministry.
  • Before applying the employee is required to complete at least six months of service in the company.
  • The employer should look at all the teleworking application and respond within twenty (20) days including a statement of reasons if the employer rejects the request.
  • The employee cannot apply more than twice in a year for the teleworking system, in a case where the employer rejects his first application.

Responsibilities of the Employer:

The ministerial resolutions states Responsibilities of the employer who applies the telework system as follows:

  • The employer must determine the places allowed to perform the teleworking
  • Provide all necessary tools and electronic equipment to complete the work
  • Determination of teleworking hours according to work needs and nature of tasks,
  • The employer must clarify the teleworker's privacy policy through the follow-up programs installed on the workers' devices
  • To consider Health and safety conditions when locating telework-places
  • Develop principles to evaluate the work of teleworkers compared to their colleagues at the central workplace.

Responsibilities of the Employee:

The ministerial resolution also states the Responsibilities of the employee as follows:

  •  Commitment to places and working hours agreed upon with the employer
  •  Maintain the tools and devices that are in his custody and not use them for non-work needs
  • Commitment to teleworkers privacy policy
  • Pay attention to the agreed health and safety conditions with the employer
  • To use the available communication tools to communicate regularly with supervisors and colleagues according to the business requirements.

Teleworking sites

The employer can choose the most suitable workplace agreeable post checking the security and safety requirements. The employer also has the option of other locations including customer offices or home offices  post agreement with the customers. The Ministry of Human Resources will also provide a set of equipped offices for that purpose.

The application of the teleworking resolution will be for one year from the date of issuance of the decision. The Ministry will collect a report every three months of the teleworking system, which will include the  opinions of the employer who applied the teleworking policy and the views of the employee who worked with this system.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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