The importance of cooperation during this period
The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs affirmed Tuesday the 14th April 2020 the importance of cooperation during this period to mitigate social and economic damage, adding that this will benefit both employers and workers alike, and the long-term sustainability of businesses and business relationships. The ministry also pointed out steps to be followed in case where employers have to terminate job contracts.
The Ministry called on both parties to follow these instructions:
First: Workers continue to receive their basic salaries and other allowances, such as food and housing, as per their contract in sectors, activities and services whose businesses have not stopped due to the precautionary measures to combat the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Second: For the sectors, activities and services suspended due to the precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), employers and workers can agree that workers take unpaid leave, apply their annual leave, reduce working hours, or agree to temporarily reduce the salaries, as follows:
- In cases where employers provide food and / or housing directly, they must continue to provide adequate food and housing free of charge to workers. Employers and workers cannot agree to cancel these benefits.
- In cases where employers offer food and / or housing allowances, they must continue to provide these allowances, and employers and workers cannot agree to reduce these allowances.
- All workers who are isolated or quarantined who are receiving treatment shall receive their basic salary and allowances regardless of whether they are entitled to sick leave or not.
- Employers may terminate employment contracts, based on the contract concluded between them and in full compliance with the provisions of the Labour Law, while adhering to the notice period and paying all outstanding benefits, including the return ticket.
- During this period and even in cases where workers contracts are terminated, employers are required to provide workers with adequate food and housing free of charge, or equivalent cash allowances, until the workers repatriation procedures are secured at the employer's expense.
The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs called upon employers and workers to coordinate and cooperate with each other during this period, and find appropriate solutions that guarantee the interests of both parties in a way that benefits them in the near and medium term, until the end of these force majeure conditions. The Ministry said that it will take all legal measures against companies that violate these procedures.
The Ministry also established a dedicated hotline: 40280660 to receive reports of any workplace or accommodation violations. Workers can also submit any labour related complaint via text message through the labour complaints service, which is available 24 hours a day in several languages. The worker can send a text message to 92727 with the number 5, followed by their personal number, or their visa number and it will be acted upon immediately.