Advice for UAE employers and HR professionals to manage the impact of Coronavirus
The coronavirus outbreak caused real harm in the economy, and businesses resulted very affected. Since it was a completely new situation for many companies, it became essential to read about the advice for UAE employers and HR professionals on how to deal with this matter.
In this article, you’re going to learn about how to properly handle the pandemic situation with your employees and how your HR team could be your greatest asset to solve all the issues that may arise. Let’s observe:
- Advice for UAE employers and HR professionals to manage the impact of Coronavirus
- What is the correct way to manage the information regarding the pandemic?
- What are the considerations to carry out medical tests of employees?
- How can employers and HR professionals handle the employees’ self-quarantine?
- What are the considerations on working from home?
- What are the options on the types of leaves for employees?
- What is the best way to handle the travel restrictions?
- How can Connect Resources help you dealing with the challenges of the pandemic?
1. Advice for UAE employers and HR professionals to manage the impact of Coronavirus
Since the coronavirus cases where detected in the UAE, many businesses decided to protect their employees and take the necessary actions to keep their companies running. However, there are many aspects that employers don’t know how to handle, and for this reason they look for advice.
If you’re looking for HR consulting firms near me you can contact Connect Resources to receive assistance on how to deal with the implications of the pandemic and your workforce.
1.1 What are employers’ obligations?
The best advice for UAE employers and HR professionals regarding the managing of the pandemic consists of knowing what their obligations are so they don’t break any regulations with the workforce.
What are some of the obligations for employers to protect their employees? Let’s observe:
- Protect their employees and workplace from any injuries or diseases that may happen during their work
- Ensure safety, health and welfare of their workers
- Ensure safe workplaces and take the precautionary measures needed
- Provide training and education to their employees about the COVID-19 outbreak
- Share information on how to keep good hygiene practices
- Provide the necessary equipment to guarantee hygiene at the workplace
- Notify the employees about the latest government guidance on the virus
- Take preventive measures of cleaning and disinfection of the workplace and means of transportation
Fortunately, the UAE authorities have given many instructions to employers so they know how to stay in compliance with the law, so you can clearly know your obligations.
2. What is the correct way to manage the information regarding the pandemic?
Having solid advice for UAE employers and HR professionals could make a big difference to know how to deal with the information and misinformation about the outbreak.
What are the recommendations that employers can give their employees to be well-informed about the Covid-19? Let’s observe:
- Avoid spreading rumors and sharing unverified information
- Follow the official government announcements
- Always check if any statement or information has been verified by official sources
- Be aware that social media is one of the main places of misinformation, so don’t use it as an official source
- Listen to the news reports to know the policies and recommendations given by the authorities
- Be informed about the defamation laws that apply in the UAE
- Share proper internet use and social media policies
Once the COVID-19 crisis becomes manageable, it’s expected everything to go back to normal so your HR team must be prepared to make the transition and inform your workforce about what’s next.
3. What are the considerations to carry out medical tests of employees?
If you’d like to know a great advice for UAE employers and HR professionals, you have to take into considerations all the implications for carrying out medical screening and tests of employees because it’s a highly sensitive topic.
If any of your workers gets infected with the virus, you have to ensure that your other employers don’t put themselves at risk by working with a sick colleague, so you want to be sure that all of your workers are healthy.
3.1 Can the HR team request the employees to get tested?
Requesting for medical screening and testing is something that you can do, but first you have to receive the employee consent before you take any steps.
You have to know that you can’t do it if your employees don’t consent it. Even if the employee shows any symptoms, you still have to request their consent.
If the employee refuses to agree to a medical check-up, you have to review your HR policies and employment contracts to know what actions you can take.
3.2 Can the employer request information from an employee about exposure to the virus?
There are many considerations regarding the information about an employee’s health, as it is a sensitive topic, so you have to keep in mind the following:
- Employers are able to ask their employees where they have been to determine if there’s a risk to the workforce.
- If the employer wants to access the employee’s medical records it should obtain a written consent from the employee
- An employee’s potential exposure to COVID-19 may be sensitive personal data, so it should be handles as such.
- The employers must assure the protection of employee’s personal data and should obtain consent before requesting any information.
Keep in mind that in a post-covid-19 world, you should consider some options to improve your HR team like outsourcing or consultancy.
4. How can employers and HR professionals handle the employees’ self-quarantine?
The self-quarantine or self-isolation is an advice for UAE employers and HR professionals to prevent an outbreak at the office, and avoid employees to get sick. It’s an important matter in terms of health and safety.
3.1 What if an employee is infected?
If an employee is infected with coronavirus and they have confirmed it, the employer should request the worker to quarantine to prevent infection at the workplace. The employee could work from home or can be released from their duties with full pay.
3.2 Can the employer request an employee to be absent?
The employer should review the contracts and policies to know if they’re able to request a certain employee to work away from office. This could apply to potentially infected workers, but the company can request the employee to undergo a medical examination to know if they’re infected.
3.3 What if the employee refuses to self-isolate?
The employer can request an employee to work from home if he or she is infected, but in some cases, the employee may refuse to self-isolate and would want to go to the office.
In this case, the employer’s obligation is to avoid the spread of the illness in the workplace, so it’s advisable to maintain the infected worker far from the office. The employer can request the suspension, but it’s important to consider if it’s an option. For this reason it’s important to seek for legal advice to know what actions can be taken.
If you’re having troubles with handling your employees during the covid-19 outbreak, you have to consider contacting an outsourcing agency like Connect Resources to have excellent results.
5. What are the considerations on working from home?
Working from home was an advice for UAE employers and HR professionals so they can keep their employees safe and maintain the company going by keeping its operations active.
Some of the considerations to have a perfect remote workforce are the followings:
- Provide the employees with a way of logging on to secure systems
- Specify the liability insurance cover in case there are personal injuries while working from home
- Determine the supervision method for each employee
- Take measures to protect confidential information of your business, and personal data of your customers and employees
- Draft a home working policy to ensure everything is clear
As you already know, the coronavirus impacted jobs in the UAE and the whole world and businesses have implemented a remote workforce. If you’d like to have outstanding remote workers, you have to contact Connect Resources to receive this service.
6. What are the options on the types of leaves for employees?
The Covid-19 pandemic forced companies to send their employees to work from home as it was an advice for UAE employers and HR professionals given by the authorities.
Which type of leave should employees take? According to the HR advice for employers, the options for placement of leave are the following:
- Employees could take a period of paid annual leave voluntarily
- You could place a mandatory annual leave
- Employees with symptoms can take the sick leave
- Employees can continue working remotely
- Employees can take unpaid leave
Before deciding which leave your employees should take, you have to consult legal advice so you can introduce any measure, especially if those involve a reduction in your employees’ statutory benefits.
If you’d like to have a perfect management of your payments, you have to contact Connect Resources to receive assistance with your payroll since its team of specialists will manage everything correctly and you’re going to be pleased with it.
7. What is the best way to handle the travel restrictions?
The travel restrictions is another matter of HR advice for employers because it’s a delicate topic since the majority of the workforce in the UAE consists of expatriates and they want to travel to their home country to be with their families during this difficult time, particularly if they are in an unpaid leave.
3.1 Is it allowed to prevent employees from travelling abroad?
Employees should follow the regulations stated by the authorities, and employers can advise their workers to avoid international travel if it’s unnecessary. However, if there’s no official guidance about a specific travel ban to a country, the employer can’t place a prohibition to travel to their employees.
3.2 Can employers request employees to inform if they’ve traveled to certain geographic regions?
It’s a sensitive topic, since requesting this information if the government hasn’t imposed any restriction to that specific area, enquiring about traveling to that place could be considered as discrimination or harassment.
Having an effective HR team could make the difference with your workforce because if you have the help of top specialists you can handle the issues better. For this reason, outsourcing could be the best solution for your business.
8. How can Connect Resources help you dealing with the challenges of the pandemic?
One of the HR consulting firms near me is Connect Resources, and with its broad experience with several companies in a variety of industries, it could help you overcome the challenges that your business may face with the pandemic.
With Connect Resources you’re going to have the best ally to have an excellent management of your workforce during difficult times such as the Covid-19 pandemic. You’ll know how to deal with sensitive issues and you’ll be able to protect your business and employees.
Would you like to contact Connect Resources to help you with the challenges of COVID-19? You can call at +971 433 166 88 or send an email to [email protected]resources.ae, and you’ll talk to one of their representatives that will gladly answer all of your questions.